Rocklin athletes training hard for fall sports

Water polo and cross country
By: Amanda Calzada/Placer Herald Correspondent
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Boys water polo Rocklin High water polo is ready to strike back from last year’s 1-8 record with a whole new coaching approach, said head coach Justin Pugh. Pugh emphasized he was getting positive attitudes and comments coming from the pool. “The kids are very honest on their work and they are pushing each other,” he said. The Thunders’ Evan Pugh, John Michaelson, Brandon Yoshida, and Nathan Danielson are preparing to showcase their strength in the pool. The boys face Dixon in a home scrimmage Aug. 25. Girls’ water polo Rocklin is one step closer to a section title this year, according to star player Aelish Guinn. Guinn trained at the National Training and Selection Camp hosted by the Olympic Development Program this past May. “There is no standout team this year,” said Guinn, who thinks the Thunder has a shot at the sections playoff bracket this year. Last year, Rocklin’s 6-6 record tied them for third in the Sierra Foothill League with Granite Bay and Nevada Union. SFL water polo also includes Bear River. Cross country Rocklin’s cross-country squads didn’t run behind the competition last season with both the varsity girls and boys qualifying for the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section finals last year. They placed sixth and seventh, respectively. Last year, the JV boys and girls both placed fourth at sections. “As for this year, this is the deepest squad we’ve had, especially for the girls,” said head coach Dan Pereira, who added that both teams would like to qualify for state and build on last year’s league standing. Standouts George Miao and Heidi Greenwood helped the boys and girls finish second and fifth in league, respectively. Maio qualified for the masters meet in the 1,600-meter last season. The fastest female runner could be determined by a few athletes given the depth of the team, Pereira said. The team welcomes new coaches Chris Knorzer and Marty Wade. Knorzer coached Rocklin running in the school’s early years and taught ceramics for 16 years. Wade returns to the team after a year of absence. “I’m really excited about having both on board,” said Pereira.