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Articles by Ben Gross

Runners over the age of 50 competed in a 5K at Lake Miramar on Sept. 13 at Lake Miramar. This event was part of the countywide San Diego Senior Olympics taking place over the course of the month. This year, eight athletes participated in the 5K run with impressive times and each offered a unique story as to why they competed.

The Vaqueros of El Capitan looked sharp on both sides of the ball versus the Lancers of Hilltop High School on Aug. 23 en route to a dominating 28 – 0 victory. They played the final of four total scrimmage games in the Gridiron Kickoff Classic hosted at Francis Parker School. Senior quarterback Brad Cagle and senior receiver Isaiah Capoocia, whose combined efforts contributed to an efficient day on the offensive side of the ball, led the Vaqueros.

Valhalla High School will become the first high school in East County to field rugby teams for both men and women. As a widely popular international spectator sport, particularly in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, rugby has slowly grown at the national level and integrated into high school athletics. The west coast of the US, particularly California has been leading the way. Despite the growth, rugby has yet to form teams in East County, and most of San Diego overall. One organization hopes to change this.

Politics and paradise—a meet-and-greet/town hall discussion held in the Eden-esk gardens on the grounds of The Water Conservation Garden. The event was hosted by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce and featured local businesses, craft breweries, wineries, restaurants, as well as some of the area’s elected officials.

The San Diego Mountain Biking Association (SDMBA) recently received a $10,000 grant to fund three local projects. These locations are Noble Canyon in the Cleveland National Forest, the Cuyamaca State Park and Crestridge Ecological Reserve in El Cajon.

World famous basketball showmen Harlem Globetrotters hosted clinics in the San Diego area, including one in East County. Stars of the team conducted two hour-long workouts aimed at teaching kids between the ages of 6-12 the fundaments of basketball, while also adding a bit of Globetrotter flare and excitement.

These were part of the Globetrotters 471 Summer Clinics in 19 markets across the U.S., including three in San Diego area 24 Hour Fitness locations. On Saturday, June 28, they hosted three total at the 24 Hour Fitness Sport in Santee.

There is a way to get in shape, learn a new skill set, not have to fight people for equipment and the people of East County need look no further. The newest branch of CKO Kickboxing is opening up shop right here in Santee and offers an innovative approach to modern workout needs.
CKO is a franchise with origins in New Jersey and 55 locations nationwide. What distinguishes these workout facilities is their “hands on” approach to fitness, according to branch owner Bonnie Danieli.

Two east county powerhouses, Valhalla and Grossmont, squared off in the CIF Division 1 championship at Torero stadium. These foes battled their way through the rigorous tests of the highly competitive playoff bracket and met for the fourth time this season on June 6. The Grossmont Foothillers reflected an intense game in front of a rowdy and packed house defeating the Norseman 6-4.

Yet another member of the East County athletics receives a scholarship to play at the next level, but not in a sport you would expect. Brittany Crittenden of Steele Canyon High School recently committed to bowl collegiately at Baker University of Baldwin City, Kansas. 

Yes, bowling of all sports. Mark it eight, dude.

Nostalgia filled the air at Sycuan Casino to commemorate a pivotal moment in San Diego sports history on May 24. The event was held in lieu of a current series at Petco Park where the current Padres are hosting the Cubs—the very team it beat to clinch the city’s first World Series birth in 1984. This incredible season may be 30 years ago, but it is far from forgotten.