In the final collegiate signing day period of the school year, Santa Margarita Catholic High School honored nine athletes from across seven sports as they made the commitment to participate in college athletics.
In response to stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, the celebration of the senior Eagle athletes was held virtually across social media platforms on April 15, 2020.
Two of the school’s top runners will be continuing their running careers at the collegiate level.
Sprinter Justin Caragao is headed to the University of California, Irvine for track and field. A four-year member of the Eagles track and field program, Caragao was the school’s Sprinter of the Year in 2019, having earned Trinity League titles in both the 400-meter event and 4 x 400 relay.
Runner Maddie Holt has committed to the University of San Diego for cross-country and track and field. A transfer student to Santa Margarita her senior year, Holt comes from Granada High School where she was a three-year varsity athlete in swimming, basketball and track. While at Granada, she competed in the 400-meter, 800-meter and 300-meter hurdle events, as well as the 4 x 400 relay.
From the softball diamond, Melanie Santos will be continuing her playing career at St. John’s University. A member of the 2019 Trinity League championship team, Santos was a four-year starter and two-year captain for the Eagles. She received 1st Team All-Trinity League honors in 2019.
Tennis player Zack Maline will be heading to Creighton University. Maline was part of three Trinity League championship teams for the Eagles, and he was undefeated at 18-0 in his shortened 2020 season. As such, he reached No. 20 in SoCal and No. 225 in national standings.
Four-year varsity swimmer Michael Maurer will be swimming for Biola University. Maurer swam the 500 freestyle and the 100 butterfly events for the Eagles. Voted captain his senior year, he was a member of back-to-back Trinity League championships for the program.
Fellow swimmer Harrison Needell has committed to Trinity College. A team captain his senior season, Needell swam the 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke events for the Eagles. He joined Maurer as a member of the school’s back-to-back Trinity League championship teams.
Also from the Eagles’ swim program, Junie Carlos is headed to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Carlos is a four-year varsity swimmer for Santa Margarita where she competed in the 100 backstroke, 200IM and 500 freestyle events. She is a three-time Trinity League and CIF-SS Division 1 champion and a two-time California state champion.
Pitcher Josh Robinson will be continuing his baseball career at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. The southpaw led the Eagles program in innings pitched during the offseason and pitched 35 innings his junior year with a 3.7 ERA.
Water polo player Aidan Nettekoven will be attending Harvey Mudd College in the fall where he will compete for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athletics. The three-year varsity player and scholar athlete made three straight CIF appearances for Santa Margarita.
“Spring signing day was quite a unique experience for all athletes across the country, given that most were held virtually,” says Santa Margarita Athletic Director, Annie Garrett. “Although we would typically acknowledge all of our athletes’ outstanding accomplishments in person, surrounded by family, coaches, teammates and administrators, we hope that our virtual celebration showed just how proud we are to have had this signing class represent Santa Margarita Catholic High School. We look forward to watching their continued success academically and athletically at the collegiate level.”