[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Four from SCV Compete in 2012 London Games | 07-25-2012
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
87°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 18
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]
' style=


This year, four local athletes will be competing in the London Olympics, two runners, a swimmer and a volleyball player. They have different backgrounds and different lifestyles, but all are dedicated to their sport and all grew up right here in the Santa Clarita Valley. These are their stories:

 

Allyson Felix

It wasn’t until ninth grade that world champion runner and Santa Clarita local Allyson Felix discovered her passion for running. Just four short years later, at 18, she won her first silver medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics. This was followed by a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in addition to being named the Athletics World Champion on three different occasions.

This year, Felix is preparing to attend the 2012 Olympics in London, as a 100-meter runner. Though she initially tied with Jeneba Tarmoh in the Olympic Trials, Felix qualified when Tarmoh pulled out.

As a dedicated Christian who attended Los Angeles Baptist High School and whose father is a professor at The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, Felix sees running as more than an opportunity to showcase her talent.

“My faith is the reason I run,” she has been quoted as saying. “It calms my heart and makes everything feel like a lift. My speed is definitely a gift from Him, and I run for His glory. Whatever I do, He allows me to do it.”

In light of this, Felix knows she doesn’t have to use performance-enhancing drugs to succeed. In an effort to encourage integrity in a sport prone to scandal, she joined Project Believe, started by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and undergoes voluntary screenings.

She commented to ESPN, “Whatever I can do to prove I’m clean, I’m willing to do it. No matter what time I have to wake up or drive or whatever.”

Character is as important to Felix as athletic prowess, and her prowess is amazing. At 5’6” and 125 pounds, she is small but extremely fast for her size. In high school, her legs were so skinny that she earned the nickname “Chicken Legs,” despite the fact that she could deadlift 270 pounds. She also set a record as the fastest high school girl in history, running 200 meters in 22.11 seconds. Since then, her best time for the 200-meter has been 21.69 seconds, set in May 2012. Her best time for the 100-meter, which she will run in London, is 10.92 seconds.

To get the latest updates on Felix’s journey, like her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter.

 

Alysia Montaño

When Alysia Montaño is preparing for the race of her life, there are two things she can’t do without: a smile and the trademark flower in her hair.

The 26-year-old Canyon High School graduate can’t remember a time when she didn’t like to run.

“My oldest cousin did Track and Field; and when I was still too young for even a kiddie program, I’d just hang out with my cousins and run in circles around the infield. I couldn’t wait for my turn,” Montaño comments on her website.

While at Canyon High School, Montaño was named Santa Clarita Valley Athlete of the Year. After graduation she was recruited by the University if California at Berkley, where she studied theater and trained with hopes of entering the 2008 Olympics.

Montaño’s course seemed free of obstacles, and she was poised to tryout for her dream, until an unforeseen injury surfaced early in 2008. It started as minor foot pain and when an MRI came back negative, Montaño decided to push through the pain for the U.S. National Championships. Instead, her “foot gave out,” as she put it.

Unfazed, she returned full-force in 2010 and is now preparing to run the 800-meter in London.

According to Montaño, “The 800 meters is considered to be the ‘longest sprint’: to succeed you have to find the perfect balance of both anaerobic and aerobic fitness.”

At her side are her husband and strength coach Louis Montaño and coach Tony Sandoval.

Montaño’s goals reach beyond competing in the Olympics. She hopes to own a fitness studio in the future, to help families understand that exercise is both important and fun. She also is open to the possibility of using her theater degree to pursue roles in the movies or television.

Whatever the task, she tries to tackle her life with a positive attitude. At the end of 2010, she wrote on her blog, “Reflecting upon this year also had me reflect back on my history in general as a runner, putting my successes in chronological order and seeing a pattern of upward progression… People are without a doubt going to go on a journey of exploration, heartache, pain, love and laughter, but all of those things are life and they mold each person into who they are. One thing many people tend to forget is that life isn’t a destination, nor can the achievement of success be the only goal. Life is, in fact, a journey. We are forever evolving, forever changing, forever growing…”

To learn more about Alysia Montaño, visit her website or like her Facebook page.

 

Anthony Ervin

After a 12-year hiatus, Anthony Ervin is back in the pool and ready to compete in the 2012 Olympics. He is an Olympic gold-medalist turned tattoo artist turned Olympian again. UC Berkeley’s California magazine described him as both a “prodigy” and a “prodigal son.” Despite his time away, it took Ervin less than two years to rise back to the top, swimming the 50 meter freestyle in 22.24 seconds.

Ervin began swimming competitively with the Canyons Aquatics Club and then with Hart High School. He attended college at Berkley, but left before graduating.

In the midst of this, at age 19, he competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Ervin’s team won silver in the 4×100 meter freestyle relay, and he took the gold in the 50 meter freestyle.

But, instead of riding the waves of this success into the 2004 Olympics, Ervin quit and moved to New York.

He told California, “You have to strip away every extracurricular [activity] to be a swimmer. Even in high school, I was always thinking about what I was giving up. Even when I got to college, even after accomplishing my goals, I was thinking about what I was not doing. [I wanted] to have no necessary obligations other than to myself and often to pleasure.”

His break with swimming was so drastic that he even auctioned his gold medal on eBay and donated the proceeds to victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. It was not until he returned to Berkeley in 2007 to complete his Bachelor’s Degree and begin a Master’s that he thought about swimming again.

In the London Olympics, the now 31-year-old athlete will swim the 50 meter freestyle, having placed second in the Trials by one one-hundredth of a second. Ervin’s recent drastic lifestyle change did not stop him from setting a personal record (21.60 seconds) at the Trials. Time will tell if this holds true in the Olympics.

Click here to read the full California article or visit Anthony Ervin’s website for updates.

 

David Smith

According to the USA Volleyball website, he likes to eat shredded beef, watch The Office, and go to Anaheim Angels games. He is also hearing impaired, but that hasn’t stopped Saugus High School graduate David Smith from being named to the USA Olympic Volleyball Team.

Smith played volleyball at Saugus High, and after graduating he attended UC Irvine, where he earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering and excelled as a middle blocker on their volleyball team.

UCIrvineSports.com reports that “he led the nation with a .559 hitting percentage. He is also UCI’s career leader in block assists (471) and total blocks (520).” He was named a first team All-American and played on the NCAA’s All-Tournament team. Smith is one of UCI’s first athletes to attend the Olympics.

Since graduating college, he has played internationally in Canada, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Brazil and France.

Smith’s attitude toward the sport and his dedication to living beyond his disability are best described by teammate and fellow Olympian Brian Thornton: “…he wouldn’t be quite the outstanding individual today if he was a ‘normy’ such as myself. Don’t get me wrong…he would still be an outstanding individual but he just wouldn’t be the same David Smith who never complains about a bad set, yells genuinely at the top of his lungs with excitement after a stuff, falls asleep in 3 seconds flat, can never really get heckled, and shakes his head and gives me a ‘really this joke hasn’t gotten old in 8 years?’ look if I cover my mouth with my hand when speaking to him. Basically the David Smith I have come to know and love over the years. Also, I’m convinced that this thing works out in volleyball as an advantage. He’s the best read blocker I have ever seen and I think some of it is strictly from his ability to pick things up that the rest of us ‘normies’ can’t because we take advantage of having all of our senses every day in our lives.”

Characteristically, Smith is modest about his success, quoted in The Signal as saying, “If someone were to go back and tell the 14-year-old me that volleyball was going to take me to college, around the world, to the Olympics and beyond, I am pretty sure I would not have believed them. This sport that started out as just something fun to do has been a blessing far beyond what I could have ever hoped for.”

Click here to view Smith’s USA Volleyball profile for more information.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


WATCH NOW
Loading...
LOCAL SPORTS HEADLINES
Friday, Aug 18, 2017
The Master’s University women’s soccer team soared to a 7-0 victory over the visiting Eagles from Sierra Nevada College Thursday.
Friday, Aug 18, 2017
Looking to enter the win column for the first time in 2017 on day two of the Summer Slam volleyball tournament, the TMU Mustangs squared off against 11th-ranked Eastern Oregon but lost in straight sets.
Friday, Aug 18, 2017
The Master’s University women's volleyball team concluded their first day of HIU Summer Slam tournament play with a five-set thriller against the Southern Oregon University Raiders on Wednesday evening, dropping the fifth set 15-9.
Friday, Aug 18, 2017
The Master’s University women’s volleyball team lost their 2017 season opener Wednesday at the HIU Summer Slam in straight sets against the Warriors from national powerhouse Corban University (OR).
Friday, Aug 18, 2017
The city of Santa Clarita’s Youth Sports program has seen measured success thus far in 2017.
Keep Up With Our Facebook
-->
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Master’s University women’s soccer team soared to a 7-0 victory over the visiting Eagles from Sierra Nevada College Thursday.
Lady Mustangs Soccer Win Opener 7-0
Looking to enter the win column for the first time in 2017 on day two of the Summer Slam volleyball tournament, the TMU Mustangs squared off against 11th-ranked Eastern Oregon but lost in straight sets.
Mountaineers Spike Mustangs at Summer Slam
The Master’s University women's volleyball team concluded their first day of HIU Summer Slam tournament play with a five-set thriller against the Southern Oregon University Raiders on Wednesday evening, dropping the fifth set 15-9.
Lady Mustangs Fall in 5 to Raiders at HIU
A federal judge on Wednesday ruled against claims by a state workers’ union that California’s pension system unfairly changed the terms of a pre-existing collective bargaining agreement.
Court Upholds Increase in CalPERS Retirement Age
Four annual crime reports, which provide law enforcement agencies and the public with statewide data on crime statistics, were released Friday by California's Attorney General.
AG Releases 4 California Crime Reports for 2016
The Master’s University women’s volleyball team lost their 2017 season opener Wednesday at the HIU Summer Slam in straight sets against the Warriors from national powerhouse Corban University (OR).
Warriors Drop TMU Lady Mustangs in Straight Sets
Here's the Castaic/Val Verde (Zone 2) Crime Information and Public Safety Report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of August 7 to August 13.
Crime Blotter: Assault, Theft in Castaic-Val Verde
Two Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station employees will be recognized at the City Council meeting to be held on August 22 at 6 p.m.
City Council to Honor 2 SCV Sheriff’s Station Employees
The Santa Clarita Public Library invites residents to celebrate the upcoming total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21 with two free events at the Old Town Newhall Library.
August 18 & 21: Solar Eclipse Events at Newhall Library
The city of Santa Clarita’s Youth Sports program has seen measured success thus far in 2017.
Santa Clarita Youth Sports Sees Spike in Participation
The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center’s new building campaign now only has $1.3 million remaining to raise before groundbreaking on the site can begin.
New SCV Senior Center Needs $1.3M to Break Ground
Sacramento County sued the California Department of Water Resources on Thursday over DWR's certification of the California 'WaterFix' delta tunnels project’s “dizzying” and “shifting” environmental review.
Sacramento County Sues to Freeze California ‘WaterFix’
Ashley Olivier, a student worker at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, summited Mt. Whitney with her dad, a lieutenant at LASD's Monterey Park station.
SCV Sheriff’s Station Student Worker, LASD Dad Top Mt. Whitney
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]
' style=
The storewide remodel of the Walmart Supercenter at 26471 Carl Boyer Drive is complete and, in addition to the many physical changes inside, Santa Clarita residents now have access to Online Grocery Pickup.
Walmart on Carl Boyer Drive Celebrates Grand Reopening Friday
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, two people have been hospitalized after a major collision. Plus, an acquisition of land near the 14. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Thursday August 17, 2017
Le Chene French Cuisine, a long-time Santa Clarita local favorite restaurant along Sierra Highway, has announced that they will be hosting a thrilling Murder Mystery Dinner on Saturday, November 4th, 2017.
Nov. 4: Le Chene Murder Mystery Dinner
According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in Santa Clarita Valley Friday.
AQMD: Unhealthy Air Quality Forecasted for SCV Friday
Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, today announces that he is one of the 2017 inductees into the Antelope Valley High School Alumni Hall of Fame.
Sept. 22: Wilk to be Inducted into AV High School Hall of Fame
Signups are under way for the Santa Clarita Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which offers participants an opportunity to take a healthy stroll, experience outstanding live entertainment, honor loved ones who have been affected by Alzheimer’s and raise funds to battle the debilitating disease.
Oct. 7: Walk to End Alzheimer’s; Signups Under Way
Trammell Crow Company (TCC) andand Clarion Partners are pleased to announce the acquisition of 54 acres of land for the development of The Center at Needham Ranch, a state-of-the-art business park in the city of Santa Clarita, CA.
TCC, Clarion Partners Acquire More Than 50 Acres of SCV Real Estate
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration is hosting what will be a highly educational and informative (and free) Tax Seminar for Nonprofits and Exempt Organizations.
Sept. 6: Tax Seminar for Non-Profits and Exempt Organizations
For the first time in 99 years, a total eclipse of the sun will pass over the continental United States on August 21, and Princess Cruises guests sailing on six cruise ships in Alaska will be invited to special viewing parties as part of the cruise line’s exclusive Stargazing with Discovery at Sea program.
Princess Cruises to Host On-Board Viewing Parties for Solar Eclipse
Two people have been hospitalized with major injuries after a collision on San Francisquito Wednesday night.
San Francisquito Road Collision Leads to Major Injuries
Caltrans today announced that 32 major “fix-it-first” transportation projects can be accelerated a year earlier than planned thanks to anticipated funding from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
More Than 30 Caltrans “Fix-it-First” Projects Accelerated by SB 1
Statement from CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison on Recent Events in Charlottesville, Virginia
CSUN President Releases Statement on Charlottesville
The Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to a traffic collision at Bouquet Canyon and Plum Canyon Roads early Thursday morning.
Firefighters Extricate Trapped Person After Early Morning Collision
Brandon Gold allowed a tie-breaking home run in the sixth inning and the Lancaster JetHawks fell to the San Jose Giants, 4-2, on Wednesday night at Municipal Stadium.
Gold, JetHawks Fall Short Against the Giants
In comments submitted Thursday, Attorney General Xavier Becerra expressed his strong opposition to any attempt by the Trump Administration to open California’s coast to new offshore drilling.
Becerra Vows to Protect State from Offshore Drilling
While Charlottesville violence and protests continue divisive dialogue nationally, Santa Clarita residents gathered to create a place “to be able to come together.”
Community Members Hold Vigil for Charlottesville
1920 - Actress Maureen O'Hara born in Ireland; 1961 "Parent Trap" uses Disney Golden Oak Ranch [story]
Farmers and environmentalists are lining up to battle the $16.7 billion California WaterFix tunnels project proposed for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
Farmers, Environmentalists Join to Fight California ‘WaterFix’ Project
There's a new Grizzly at Golden Valley High School as Matt Sorensen has been named the school's new head baseball coach.
Matt Sorenson New Head Baseball Coach at Golden Valley
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Sheriff’s deputies are continuing to conduct burglary suppression operations in our valley. Plus, Representative Steve Knight sat down with local law enforcement to discuss the current state and future role of policing in the SCV. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Wednesday, August 16, 2017