Combing through the years, it would be hard to find a more memorable chapter for the Santa Margarita girls’ athletic department than the one that just concluded.
The track and field program stayed lockstep with swimming and diving, winning a fifth-straight CIF-SS team championship on May 11, a week after the Eagles swam to a sixth straight section title.
But what bookmarked this spring from all the others in recent years was the success of the softball program, which captured a share of its first Trinity League title in 12 years.
The drought ended when the Eagles beat Mater Dei 5-0 the final day of the regular season on April 26, locking them into a three-way tie for first with the Monarchs and Orange Lutheran, and clinching just their second league championship in school history.
Even the luck of the draw went Santa Margarita’s way.
In the event of a three-way tie for first, Trinity League by-laws require representatives from each team to draw cards to determine the order of seeding for the playoffs. The Eagles pulled the No. 1 card, making them the top entry from the Trinity League into the Division I playoffs.
The Eagles won their first two postseason games before their season ended May 9 in an 8-7 loss to Great Oak of Temecula in the quarterfinals.
That wasn’t the end of Santa Margarita’s spring success, however.
That weekend, the Eagles won the CIF-SS Division III girls’ track and field title behind several strong individual performances.
Senior Tessa Green won the 100 and 200 meters, sophomore Lauren Memoly lowered her school record in the 400 while finishing first, and Memoly also placed second in the long jump. Both also helped Santa Margarita take first in the 400 and 1,600 relays.
Santa Margarita also had an athlete place in the top three in the triple jump, pole vault and 300 hurdles.
“There are no words to describe what the feeling is,” Green told freelance videographer Jonathan Khamis. “I’m just so proud of my team, just everyone stepped up and I couldn’t be happier.”
Green’s time of 12.18 in the 100 meters and 25.40 in the 200 were each the seventh-fastest in the event among all four divisions. Memoly’s time of 55.33 in the 400 was the fourth-fastest among all four divisions.
Memoly broke the school record in the 400 back on March 30 at the Trabuco Hills Invitational. She circled the track in 55.85 that day to topple the mark of 55.90 set by Lauren Drysch in 2017. Memoly is also a talented soccer player who has committed to TCU.
The same afternoon the Eagles brought home the title in track and field, Santa Margarita’s swim team was wrapping up another very successful season with their second straight CIF State Swimming and Diving title in Fresno.
Two of the top performers for the Eagles were Ella Ristic and Anicka Delgado.
Ristic won the 100-yard free style in 49.24 seconds, then returned to win the 200 freestyle in a meet-record 1:45.82. She also swam a leg on the winning 200 and 400 free relays.
Delgado came within one one-hundredth of a second of breaking the Orange County record in the 50 freestyle, winning in a lifetime-best 22.54.