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FACES IN THE CROWD
 
May 21, 2012 issue
Kayden Porter
Spanish Fork, Utah > Baseball

Kayden, a senior pitcher at Spanish Fork High, hit his 31st career home run in an 8-0 win over Delta High to set a Utah record (now 33). Last year he batted .571 to lead the Dons to their third straight state title and was invited to the Triple A All-Star Home Run Derby, where he was runner-up to 27-year-old Gwinnett Braves outfielder Stefan Gartrell 7-5. This season, Kayden is batting .390 and is 5-0 on the mound.

Shayla Sanders
Pompano Beach, Fla. > Track and Field

Shayla, a senior at Boyd Anderson High who holds nation-leading times in the 100 (11.33) and 200 meters (23.25) this year, swept both events and anchored the winning 4 x 100 relay at the 4A finals. She helped lead the Cobras to the girls' state title after five straight top three finishes. In February, Shayla ran a 7.21 in the indoor 60 meters, No. 2 alltime for U.S. high schoolers. She will compete at Florida next year.

David Heron
Mission Viejo, Calif. > Swimming

David, a junior at Mission Viejo High who competes for the Nadadores swim club, won the men's 5K at the open-water championships in Miromar Lakes, Fla., for his first national title. He finished the course in 57:50.92 to qualify for the junior worlds in Welland, Ont., in August. David also came in third in the 10K (1:58:15.86) to make the U.S. team and qualify for the Junior Pan Pacs in Honolulu later that month.

Gabrielle Jennings
Slidell, La. > Track and Field

Gabrielle, an eighth-grader at First Baptist Christian School, won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters, and anchored the victorious 4 x 400 relay at the Class C finals to reach 19 total state running titles (including cross-country, and indoor and outdoor track), dating back to fifth grade. Undefeated against Louisiana runners this year, she holds the state's top times in the 1,600 (5:06.10) and 3,200 (11:07.56).

Mike Pelletier
Burnt Hills, N.Y. > Volleyball

Pelletier, a 6'5" junior outside hitter at Springfield College, was named most outstanding player in leading the Pride to a 3-0 sweep of Carthage to win the NCAA's inaugural Division III men's volleyball championship. Hospitalized in 2011 by an ulcerative colitis attack that cut short his season and stripped him of 60 pounds, Pelletier had a match-high-tying 10 kills and a team-high seven digs in the final.

Stephanie Ricketts
San Jose > Softball

Ricketts, a senior righthander at Hawaii, threw her 800th career strikeout during a 10-3 complete game victory over Utah State in the regular-season finale. The win gave the Rainbow Wahine their fourth Western Athletic Conference regular-season title. Ricketts, who led the team to the WAC semifinals, finished with a 1.24 ERA and was named conference pitcher of the year for the third straight time.

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