By Jeremy Balan
One trip to the Olympics would be impressive enough for Shannon Rowbury, a 2002 graduate of Sacred Heart Cathedral and San Francisco native, but two is truly exceptional.
With a second-place finish in the 1,500 meters at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials earlier this month, Rowbury qualified for the event for the second time and will be competing in London later in the month.
Rowbury finished seventh at the Beijing Games in the 1,500, but it was the best finish by an American in modern history.
At Sacred Heart, she won two state championships, the first, in her junior year, came in the 800 and her second, in her senior year, came in the 1,600.
She also won seven individual Central Coast Section championships (two in cross country, four in the 800 and one in the 1,600).
“There are lots of great coaches, who run terrific programs and have coached a long time, who will never have a two-time state champion athlete on their team, let alone a two-time Olympian,” said Andy Chan, the head track and field coach at Sacred Heart. “I fell very blessed [and] I hope that my experiences with Shannon have helped make me a better coach.”
Domingo earns gold medal with USA Basketball
St. Ignatius’ standout basketball player Stephen Domingo made his intentions clear as soon as he was named to the USA Basketball Men’s Under-17 team headed to the World Championships.
“Everything is the gold-medal standard here,” Domingo said in June. “There is no second place.”
Domingo and his teammates did not disappoint, winning all eight games at the World Championships in Lithuania, capped by a 95-62 win over Australia in the gold-medal game on Sunday.
Domingo started six games, averaged 7.8 points per game and took in 3.6 rebounds.
His best game of the tournament was in the team’s opener against Australia, when he scored 17 points and brought down five rebounds.
AAA basketball gets rid of divisional format
The divisional format that has been used by the Academic Athletic Association in boys and girls basketball for more than a decade has effectively been abandoned by the San Francisco Section for the upcoming season.
The addition of San Francisco International High School to the league is the reason for the shift, and now every team will play a single game against league opponents, instead of two games against divisional opponents and one against inter-division teams.
The change will also impact the playoffs, which will now feature the top seven teams for boys tournament and top six teams for the girls.
“There’s people who believe the section will grow in the next couple of years and we don’t want to play league games [that deep in the season],” said Wallenberg head coach Pat Mulligan. “We’ll see if it’s a long-term solution.”
On the boys side, the first-place team will receive a first-round bye in the league playoffs, with the other six teams playing in the quarterfinal round. The top two girls teams will have the same first round bye.
“The playoffs should be interesting,” said Mission head coach Arnold Zelaya. “Finishing first now means something good.”
The new format will also take the top teams in the league, rather than the unbalanced divisional format of last year, where 4-12 International Studies Academy made the playoffs as the Neff Division’s fourth seed, while Balboa missed out on the postseason as the Lang Division’s fifth-place team with a 8-8 record.
Fineman earns national honor
Grant Fineman, the lone senior on Jewish Community High School of the Bay’s boys basketball team last season, was named to the All-Jewish Hoops American team as an honorable mention by Jewish Hoops America.
Fineman averaged 12.2 points per game for the Wolves and 6.4 rebounds while playing point guard. He also led Jewish Community in assists (5.7 per game) steals (2.0 per game).
“Coaching Grant the past four years is something I will always treasure,” said Jewish Community athletic director and head basketball coach Tim Kjar. “He was like having a coach on the floor.”