The top athletes from Easter week and this past week were honored by the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table on Monday.
And Lompoc High swept the boys awards for the past two weeks – both of whom came from track and field.
For the week of April 22, Braves thrower Jovany Lucatero earned the Male Athlete of the Week honor at Giavanni’s Pizzeria in Orcutt. The shot put and discus thrower guided the Braves to a stellar month of April – one that included securing the Channel League regular season title, the Santa Barbara County title and for clinching multiple individual league titles.
Super season for Santa Ynez High girls track
The Santa Ynez Pirates won the Channel League girls track & field championship. The Pirates were the only Santa Ynez High team to win a Channel League title in the school's first year in the Channel League. The smallest school in the league, Santa Ynez won with just 21 girls on the squad.
But it was the Santa Ynez track where Lucatero delivered his top marks to secure the county championship. The senior, who also helped anchor the offensive line for the Braves football team last fall, claimed personal bests in the discus (145 feet, 9 inches) and the shot put (40-1.25).
Lucatero has never won the Round Table Athlete of the Week honor until now.
“I’ve gone here a couple of times and have seen other people get it. But to be able to get this award, it’s pretty cool,” Lucatero said.
Then for the following week, sprinter and jumper Cailin Daniels was nominated with the top male honor by the Round Table.
Daniels, who also teamed with Lucatero for the Channel League football champion Braves, accomplished the hat trick at the Channel League Finals: He won the long jump (20-11.5), the triple jump (41-3.25) and helped guide the 4x100 relay team to a time of 43.82 while collaborating with Ryan Morgan, Oscar Tenorio and Cameron Iribarren.
And Daniels can call himself a league champion as a young sophomore.
“It feels great getting recognized for all my achievements (in track),” Daniels said. “It is surprising, but I knew I could do it and put a lot of effort and work into the track, weight room and runaways. I knew I could contribute to the team and I had the talent, I just had to put in the hard work to contribute.”
On the female side, the top winners from the past two weeks came from swimming and track and field, respectively.
Izzy Fraire of Hancock College women’s swimming earned the April 22 Female Athlete of the Week award. She emerged as a triple winner at the Western State Conference Championships down in Santa Clarita – winning the 200 IM in 2:10.99, the 200 breast stroke in 2:23.55 and the 100 breast stroke in 1:06.11. Both times in the 200 and 100 now represent school and meet records.
“It was amazing. I didn’t even know that I was going to break any records,” Fraire said. “It felt good breaking it. I’ve gone faster (in other meets), but I plan on going faster at state.”
Lastly, freshman Neta Ofiaeli from Santa Ynez High girls track and field claimed the honor of Female Athlete of the Week for April 29. Like Daniels, Ofiaeli completed the winning trifecta at the Channel League finals meet: Taking first in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.80, blazing the 200 in 27.80 seconds and placed first in the triple jump with a mark of 36-1.5.
Ofiaeli said it took some convincing from her teammates and coaches to try the events she’s now competing in – and now she earned her first Round Table Female Athlete of the Week nomination. She gave thanks to the people who pushed her.
“I’m not trying to sound cliché, but my coaches and teammates have pushed me to be the best that I can be,” Ofiaeli said. “I wouldn’t say it is talent, I say it was through hard work. I pushed it for the team and did it for the team and here I am. It made me a better person.”
The Round Table will hold its last luncheon next Monday at Giavanni’s starting at noon.
Jovany Lucatero, Jacob Nunez and Juan DeLuna know how to collaborate and dominate together. During the fall sports season, all three plowed the roads on offense or clogged the running lanes on defense for the Lompoc High football team. Now during the spring sports season, all three still help get the points for LHS – but through their arm and leg strength in throwing the metal and iron objects.