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News from around the Ojai Valley

Caltrans puts on a slide show

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Photos by Bob Kilpatrick
California Department of Transportation workers use a helicopter (above photo) May 15 on Highway 33 to lift sheets of metal netting. Workers prepare to affix the netting (below photo) as the helicopter lowers it. The sheets are being put in place to help stabilize the slopes and control rock slides six miles north of Ojai.
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Latest sports

Thacher’s Kirkpatrick narrowly misses CIF-SS Masters

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Photo submitted
Thacher School junior Colin Kirkpatrick won the CIF Southern Section  Boys’ 1,600-meter run in a time of 4:17.25 but will not advance to the CIF Southern Section Master's Meet. Joseph Domingues, of St. Joseph High School, came in second with a time of 4:17.90, while Thacher's Ford Sharper was fourth in 4:21.83. Kirkpatrick came within 2 seconds of qualifying for the Masters.

Spring practice underway for Ranger football

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Nordhoff junior Korey Steven (right) gets to the open field May 21 thanks to a block by Nathan Rhodes against defensive player Gabe Flores.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) football team kicked off its spring practice schedule May 21 and will go until June 1 when the team hosts the annual spring practice game.
According to head coach Lance Wiggins, the Nordhoff program will have about 50 players returning from last year, but the incoming freshman will only be roughly 15 strong. 
“Overall I am pretty happy with the numbers. Of course, I’d like to have more players, but there is nothing I can do about it. It’s not like I can go out and recruit like the private schools, so why worry about it,” said Wiggins.
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Powell signs with Illinois College

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Photo submitted
Nordhoff High School track star Jillian Powell recently showed off her national letter of intent and was joined by her family during the signing ceremony. Powell will compete for the Illinois College Lady Blues next season. Illinois College competes at the NCAA Division III level. 

Big week for Williams in Sundowners

James Casey, Ojai Valley News contributor
The team of Millie's Duffers maintained its stranglehold on the top spot in the Sundowners Golf League thanks to the play of Robin Williams.
Millie's have now held the lead for three consecutive weeks and show no signs of slowing down.
All five players on the team scored at least 17 points, but Williams' record breaking round led the team’s May 22 efforts. 
Williams had four birdies and an eagle on his finishing hole to shoot a gross score of four-under-par 32 for a 23-point total. The round was the lowest score by any player this year and is one of the lowest scores in recent memory.
"I started with a three putt and didn't like that very much,” said Williams. "The course was in great shape and it allowed me to hit some good shots and putts and get on a roll,” he added.
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Rice claims 2018 President’s Cup

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Photo submitted 
Lois Rice and Peggy Melton went head to head recently in the Ojai Valley Inn Ladies Club President’s Cup with Rice (pictured) coming up with the hard-fought victory. Rice narrowly defeated Melton 5 and 4. 

VPS recruiting for varsity coaches

The Villanova Preparatory School athletic department is looking for a boys’ varsity soccer head coach and a head coach for the boys’ varsity basketball team for the 2018-2019 school year. Both teams compete in the Frontier League. Last season the basketball team went 6-10 overall and 4-6 in Frontier League action while the soccer team went 1-14 on the year. Resumes can be sent to athletic director Ricardo Olivares at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or applicants can call 646-1464 Ext. 151.

Ojai athletes head to CIF-SS track and field finals

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Photo by Carl Huffman
Thacher junior Caroline Delvecchio (right) flies over a hurdle in a recent race at Carpinteria High School.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Thacher School track and field team will send three athletes to the CIF Southern Section (CIF-SS) championship meet May 19 and May 20 at El Camino College.
To advance to the section finals, athletes needed to place in the top nine at the CIF-SS preliminaries held May 12 at Carpinteria High School.
Junior hurdler Caroline Delvecchio had a great day in the prelims after placing second in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15:08 seconds. Delvecchio then came back and placed fifth in the 300-meter hurdles, finishing in 47.47 seconds.
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Playoff run plays out: Nordhoff tennis team makes its mark in May

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Photo submitted
The Nordhoff boys’ tennis team celebrates after its first-round playoff victory over Eleanor Roosevelt High School.
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) boys’ tennis team had an eventful month in May during which it won a Tri-Valley League title and made it to the second round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
In the Tri-Valley League (TVL) Tournament, the doubles team of Victor Becker, and Dakota Martin won the TVL doubles championship, defeating Connor Callahan and Max Golbert from The Thacher School, 6-3, 6-4.
In singles play, sophomores Elias Simon and Shawn Rothermel finished in third and fourth place, respectively. The league doubles title means that NHS boys’ tennis players have won three individual league championships in the last four years; Mikel Elizalde and Thomas Jeffares won the Frontier League doubles title in 2015, and Max Prestwich won the Frontier League singles title in 2016.
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Errors do in Lady Rangers

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Nordhoff freshman Marley Loza stretches to make a catch against the Lancaster Eagles.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) softball team lost its first-round playoff game to the Lancaster Eagles, 3-0,after committing five errors and stranding runners on base.  “It’s not how you win games, especially in the playoffs,” said head coach Don Rodarte. 
The Lady Rangers managed to get runners on first and third in the bottom half of the first inning, but could not come up with a clutch hit to bring their runners home. The game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth inning when the Eagles were able to push two runners across home plate. They never looked back from there.
“We threatened early and then got some runners in scoring position again late in the game, but it just wasn’t our day. We weren’t sharp or focused like we needed to be,” added Rodarte. 
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Sundowners hit quarter mark

The Sundowner golf league finished the first quarter of its season May 15 at Soule Park Golf Course and basically all of the teams are still in the running for the 2018 Callender Cup.
Millie's Duffers were able to hang on to the top spot despite scoring a pedestrian total 55 points.
They were led by the play of Robin Williams,who owns the lowest handicap of all players in the league with only 0.75 strokes per nine holes. He shot an even-par round of 36 for 19 points. Williams' round tied with Ken Wiksell, of Chiefs IE, for lowest-gross total by any player on the day.
Williams was supported by Brad Weidlich, who remains on fire as part of his breakout season. He shot a gross-41 for 19 points and has the most points scored this season by any player in the league. Weidlich, a teacher at Ojai Valley School, is regularly posting stellar rounds.
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Casitas rowers hope to pull in national title

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Photo by Wendy Gillett
Casitas Rowing attended the U.S. Rowing Southwest Junior Regional Championships in Sacramento May 4 through May 6 and medaled in three big events, securing an invite to the national championships for the men’s lightweight double. In the freshmen women’s and men’s boats, the Casitas rowers earned silver medals and the men’s varsity boat got bronze medals that brought them one step closer to a national title. Joe Wells (from left), Alex Legaspi and head coach Eric Gillett have been training all year with one goal in mind and their placement at the regional event earned them an invitation to Lake Natoma June 8 through June 10.

Golf event for Mele family set for June

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Photo submitted
The Ojai Valley community is being encouraged to grab their golf clubs and take part in a June 2 fundraiser for the family of Anthony Mele who was fatally stabbed April 19 in Ventura. The proceeds from the tournament will go to support Mele’s 5-year-old daughter, Willow. The event will be held at the Soule Park Golf Course and will tee off at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $150 per golfer and several sponsorship options are available for individuals or businesses interested in doing more. For more information, contact Steven Garibay at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. A GoFundMe account has also been set up for Willow and can be found at www.gofundme.com/anthony-mele.

Ojai youth compete in QuickStart event

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Photo by Paul Del Signore
Logan Kirchner (left) and Degan Morris participate in the QuickStart Tennis Challenge.
The 11th annual QuickStart Tennis Challenge brought 45 students from Topa Topa Elementary School, Sunset School, Oak Grove School, Ojai Valley School, Mira Monte Elementary School and Montessori School of Ojai together to participate in competitive play on the courts of the Ojai Valley Athletic Club during the 118th Ojai Tennis Tournament. All participating students played at least two matches on the smaller-sized courts using low-density balls and student-sized rackets. The final match consisted of two teams from Ojai Valley School; after a long battle, Andrew Little and Jeremy Danino triumphed over Jack Pointner and Austin Haase. After the award ceremony, the students were treated to a free barbecue provided by Ojai Rotary Club at Libbey Park to catch some of the Pac-12 tennis action.

Special publications


2018 Ojai Tennis Tournament magazine

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2018 spring Ojai Valley Visitors Guide

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2018 Mind, Body & Spirit
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2017 Best of the Ojai Valley
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October 2017 Student Union

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2017 Senior Living Guide
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WOO18 Cover

2018 Women of the Ojai Valley
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