A pair of national record-setters, swimmer Tom Shields from Edison High (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and track and field performer Anna Jelmini of Shafter (Calif.), have been chosen as this week's ESPN RISE National High School Athletes of the Week.
It would be hard to find a more impressive way to wrap up your high school swimming career than what Shields did last week as he broke the national high school record in the men's 200-yard freestyle in the CIF Southern Section Division I prelims. Shields' time of 1:33.83 broke the previous public school record of 1:35.55 and overall record of 1:34.96, which was set in 1991 by Joe Hudepohl from St. Xavier High (Cincinnati).
Shields, who will be headed to Cal after his high school swimming days are completed, previously competed in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials and was part of the U.S. Junior National team that won the 800-meter freestyle relay at the 2008 Victorian Championships in Australia. He also was named last year's Swimmer of the Year in Orange County and the four-time CIFSS champion will likely earn the honor once again.
Jelmini's effort at the Sequoia Sierra Finals of California's Central Section rocked the record books. Having led the USA all spring and recently cracking the all-time top 10 in the shot -- her secondary event -- she had a huge two-foot improvement to rocket up to No. 2 all-time with 54-04.75, just six inches off Michelle Carter's national record that was set in 2003 when Carter was at Red Oak (Texas) High.
In Jelmini's top event, the discus, she entered the season No. 4 all time and had ecently tied Suzy Powell's 15-year-old national mark. But on Tuesday of last week, she hurled the platter 190-03, shattering that tie by nearly two feet. Jelmini has not only set a precedent among throwers with this double effort, she is now the only athlete that ranks in the top two all-time in any two track and field events.
Jelmini, who gave up basketball during her senior to concentrate on the two throwing events, will attend Arizona State in the fall.
The complete list of this week's ESPN RISE Regional Athletes of the Week for spring sports follows below:
East Region Athletes of the Week
Boys: Jake Haley (Queen Anne's County, Centreville, Md.) Lacrosse
He showed why he's considered to be one of top-rated goalies in the country last week as he saved 80 percent of the shots he faced during his team's postseason run to the state championship. In the regional final, the Georgetown-bound junior saved 20 shots and then had another 15 saves in the state final to go along with numerous ground balls and clears to aid his defense even more. Haley also has shown he can run with a football or lacrosse stick in his hand as he was a key part of a backfield that rushed for over 1,200 yards during the 2008 football season.
Girls: Tara Huber (Parkland, Allentown, Pa.) Soccer
Huber had three goals and three assists as Parkland routed Stroudsburg, 9-1, in a District 11 quarterfinal
match last week. She already is one of Parkland's top career scorers and is an all-state candidate.
Southeast Region Athletes of the Week
Boys: Malcolm Miller (Collins Hill, Suwanee, Ga.)
The junior standout scored eight of Collins Hill's nine postseason goals as the team won the Georgia Class
AAAAA state crown. Miller has verbally committed to Michigan. Last summer, Miller was selected to Disney's Soccer Showcase All-Star Team. This squad was chosen after 400 teams participated in the Disney Soccer Showcase youth tournament. In making that team, Miller has been invited to train and compete this summer against top pros in England.
Girls: Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, Fla.) Softball
She did it all in the Class 4A state championship game for the Tigers as she dominated in the circle and drove in two runs and scored the third in their 3-1 win over Lake Wales for the state title. Fagan gave herself an early lead with her first of two RBI singles in the first inning and another in the third inning before coming around to score for a 3-0 lead. She allowed just one run in the complete game performance that will have the Tigers ending the season among the top five in the nation in the ESPN RISE FAB 50. Fagan is just a junior and was Dunnellon's centerpiece throughout the season. Her father and the team's head coach is Kevin Fagan, who was part of three Super Bowl-winning teams with the San Francisco 49ers and also played in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys.
Midwest Region Athletes of the Week
Boys: Scott Marinier (St. Rita, Chicago) Baseball
FAB 50-ranked Brother Rice of Chicago was undefeated at 27-0 heading into last week and was just five wins away from a perfect season. But Mainier, a senior right-hander for the Mustangs, put an end to those undefeated hopes. He pitched a complete-game shutout in a 4-0 victory. With an early 3-0 lead, he made sure that it wouldn't be surrendered as he allowed just four hits, all singles, and one walk while striking out 10 against an offense that entered averaging over nine runs a game. With the win, the Mustangs picked up their 27th victory on the year to improve to 27-4 while Marinier remained undefeated on the mound moving to 9-0 with the win.
Girls: Ellie McCardwell (Pendleton Heights, Ind.) Track & Field
With a huge five-inch personal best, the former gymnast took the national lead in the pole vault with a 13-05 clearance at the Pendleton Heights Sectional meet. Her vault is just an inch short of the official Indiana state record of 13-06 by Katie Veith.
Southwest Region Athletes of the Week
Girls: Cassandra Barefield (Cy-Fair, Cypress, Texas) Softball
With the Bobcats trailing undefeated and national No. 1 Klein Oak in a best of three playoff series, as it was her big bat that led the way to two straight wins to earn a trip to the next round of the postseason. In the series, Barefield had several key hits, including a home run in game two as Cy-Fair defeated the Panthers by the scores of 6-3 and 5-1 in the final two games. After her game two home run, it helped set the stage for many more runs as Klein Oak walked her several times instead of taking its chances by pitching to the young catcher. On the year, the sophomore was batting .344 with four homers, 16 doubles and 46 RBI.
Boys: Stephen Saenz (Rio Grande City, Texas) Track & Field
The best and most competitive event in the country this year in track & field is the shot put, and Saenz is back to where he left off in the indoor season -- No. 1. Saenz's 71-00.50 heave at Nike Indoor Nationals was the top mark for the winter season, but then he watched a trio of other putters, including Texas rival Hayden Baillio, surpass that mark outdoors while he was competing at the 68- and 69-foot marks. But at his Region IV-5A meet last week, Saenz exploded to 72-06.50, not only moving back to the top of the heap, but also to No. 5 on the all-time national list.
West Region Athletes of the Week
Girls: Anna Jelmini (Shafter, Calif.) Track & Field
Also named as the ESPN RISE National Girls Athlete of the Week.
Boys: Tom Shields (Edison, Huntington Beach, Calif.) Swimming
Also named as the ESPN RISE National Girls Athlete of the Week.
Mark Tennis, Doug Huff, Christopher Lawlor, Sheldon Shealer, Garland Cooper, Ronnie Flores and Steve Underwood contributed to this story.