LOCAL SPOTLIGHT: Vega brothers excelling on the mat
Wheatland's Johnson to play in Iowa; RV's Arnold impresses
Two Lindhurst High products continue to make waves in the collegiate wrestling ranks.
Brothers Anthony and Angel Vega, both 2010 Lindhurst graduates and standouts during their time with the Blazers, are wrapping up successful junior campaigns and are moving on to national tournaments.
Anthony Vega, competing for Simpson University in Redding, went 3-1 to take third at the NAIA West Regional Championships in Great Falls, Mont., on Feb. 16.
The 141-pounder and team captain was one of three Red Hawk grapplers to earn a trip to Des Moines, Iowa, for the 56th annual NAIA National Championships on March 1-2.
Vega's only loss at regionals came in the semifinals, when he dropped a decision to three-time All-American and No. 1 nationally ranked Myles Mazurkewicz of Great Falls.
He was a two-time Appeal-Democrat All-Area wrestler and CIF state qualifier in 2009 and 2010 during his time at Lindhurst. He also finished fifth in the state at the community college championships last year while at Sacramento City College.
Also excelling is twin brother Angel Vega, a 141-pound wrestler for Minnesota State University Moorhead, who led his team in wins this year with a solid record of 22-11. On Sunday, he will compete in the NCAA Super Regional III Tournament at the Young Arena in Waterloo, Iowa.
At Lindhurst, Vega was a four-time Golden Empire League champion and three-time league MVP. At Sacramento City College last season, Vega finished seventh in the state in his weight class.
Wheatland's Johnson to play NAIA volleyball in Iowa
Wheatland High senior standout Kirstin Johnson signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball at the American Institute of Business in Des Moines, Iowa, next season.
AIB is an NAIA school that competes in the Midwest Collegiate Conference.
Johnson was an Appeal-Democrat All-Area selection for the Pirates this fall when she led the Butte View League with 268 kills. She was versatile at every spot in the rotation where she tallied 50 blocks, 78 digs and 31 aces. She was also selected to play in the North vs. South Senior All-Star Game in December.
River Valley's Arnold shines at Simplot Games
River Valley High sophomore Mackenzie Arnold competed at the annual Simplot Games at Idaho State University's Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho, over the weekend and took home an impressive fifth-place finish in the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 1.75 inches.
The Simplot Games is one of the premiere indoor track and field meets in the nation with more than 2,000 of the best high school athletes in the US and Canada competing.
Arnold received her medal from former Olympian Willie Banks, a triple jumper in the 1980, 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics, who once held the world record in the event.