Como High end-of-year sports roundup
The Cougars finished the regular season of St. Paul City Conference play with a 4-1 record and tied for first place. The conference featured a new format this season with a four-team tournament to conclude conference competition and crown a champion. Como dropped its tournament game against Harding. Highland beat Harding to win the title. Como had defeated Highland 11-9 earlier in the season, proving the conference was wellbalanced and competitive. The Cougars were led by seniors Kevin Smith, Patrick Kolias, Jacob Barnard, Alex Ventrelli and Chris Steinhoff.
The young Cougars had a solid season finishing third in the city with an overall record of 10-8. The team featured seven underclassmen starting in the 10 varsity spots. Riley Eddins, a seventhgrader from Murray Middle School, boldly stepped in to play the No. 1 singles spot. Sophomore Gabe Reynolds played No. 2 singles, and both players advanced to the second round of the Section 4AA tournament. The doubles teams of senior Tuomas Sivula with junior Eli Freberg, and freshman Antero Sivula with junior Lah Htoo, also both won their Section 4AA first-round matches.
Senior Tom Fritts was the second-place finisher in the St. Paul City, earning all-conference. He was competitive in the section tournament after a sluggish start on the first day. He finished with a strong surge on the second day, shooting a three under par 33 on the back nine of the prestigious Bunker Hills Golf Course. Senior Eliot Berven was the medalist in a city dual match for the first time in his career and earned allconference honorable mention. Sophomore Ben Williams steadily improved through the season and consistently held the team’s No. 3 spot. The Cougars finished second overall in the conference meet.
Boys Ultimate Frisbee
Como Area Ultimate (CAU) finished their regular season in the Twin Cities Conference with a record of five wins and three losses. Junior Kayode Ajao was selected to the Twin Cities all-conference team, and seniors Vincent Altobell-Velasco and Phil Moulton were nominated for all-conference. In the season-ending Division II tournament, CAU won five games, lost just one and stood out with their spirited, unique spotted-cow uniforms. The team also participated in a huge regional tournament in Joliet, Ill., this spring. CAU was coached by Como alum Jesus Caballero.
Coach John Fischbach led the Cougars for a 25th year and the team celebrated the accomplishment with a “homecoming” game. Alumni enjoyed reuniting at the Como softball field and saw the Cougars defeat St. Agnes 7-0. After an undefeated round of play in the St. Paul City, the Cougars were upset in the championship game by Highland. However, they won the Concordia Academy Tournament, and won two Section 4AAA playoff games to finish in the top three. Seniors Delilah Wolf, Cassie Prescott, Brianna Menssen and Emma Hartmann were allconference, as was junior pitcher Kathryn Proper.
With more than 50 participants, the badminton team had a rewarding and fun season. The varsity team had a conference record of 4-8 (6-10 overall) while competing in the state’s toughest badminton conference. The St. Paul City once again dominated the state tournament with conference members Johnson and Washington finishing first and second, respectively. Como sophomore Tu Lor Eh Paw was the Cougars’ top singles player. She advanced to the semi-finals of the city singles tournament. Senior Thi Dah Aye was a great leader for the team and reached the city quarter-finals.
With no returning players, a group of five sophomore girls stepped up to give golf a try under the guidance of Coach Jackie Larson. The season began with a team score of 253 in the first match at Cedarholm. By the end of the season, the team posted a 206 on the same course. The improvement also led to a victory over Harding after losing to the Knights by a large margin earlier in the season. Team members included Grace Commers, Olivia Mancia-Chavez, Emma Wallisch, Shyann Salverda and Allora Richardson.
Girls Ultimate Frisbee
Coach Kyle Nelson led the “Aurora Ultimate” girls of Como Park in a groundbreaking season. Eleven of 18 girls on the team were new, and Nelson credited senior captains Katie Myster, Patsy Thayieng and Zoe Sblendorio-Giebel for helping guide them. The team beat Cretin for the first time, finished fourth in the eight-team East Metro Conference, and had a 5-1 record in the year-end tournament. Myster earned allconference along with sophomores Ana Caballero and Claudia Patrin. Freshman Anna Erickson was selected as the conference Rookie of the Year.
Track and field
On the girls side, senior Adrian Wilson was the St. Paul City Champion in the 300M Hurdles. Junior Florence Uwajenza finished second in both the 800M and 1600M races at the St. Paul City Meet. Uwajenza also qualified for the Section 4AA Finals in both events, placing ninth overall in the 800M. Innocent Murwanashyaka was second in the conference for both the 1600M and 3200M and was on the Section 4AA podium with thirdplace finishes in the same two events for the boys. Senior Trey Clay added four more city titles this season and was dominant in Section 4AA, qualifying for state in three events (read more here).