10 athletes from Santa Margarita Catholic High School made their futures evident on Wednesday, April 11, as they officially signed letters of intent or celebrated their commitment to attend colleges across the country for their sport.
10 athletes from Santa Margarita Catholic High School made their futures evident on Wednesday, April 11, as they officially signed letters of intent or celebrated their commitment to attend colleges across the country for their sport. April 11 marks the first day that high school seniors could sign scholarship papers for all sports. The letter of intent is a binding agreement between the student-athlete and a college, by which the student-athlete agrees to attend the college for one academic year.
The following student-athletes signed Division 1 National Letter of Intents as part of the NCAA National Signing Day:
Sean Byrne of Laguna Niguel has committed to TCU for track and cross country. Sean is a four-year varsity scholar athlete and two-year captain for both cross country and track teams. Sean broke the school record last weekend at the Arcadia Invitational in the 3200 with his time of 9:15.85, breaking a 12-year old record. Last season, Byrne placed 3rd in the Trinity League in the 1600m with a time of 4:17.08 and finished 4th at CIF Finals. Last cross country season, he placed 2nd at Trinity League Finals, 1st at the Woodbridge Invitational with a personal best of 14:52 for three miles, and is a recipient of the Sarah DeMille Memorial Scholarship. Outside of running, Sean is a member of the National Honor Society, lifetime member of the California Scholarship Federation, is a student ambassador and a four-year member of hand bells. Sean is an active volunteer in the community as a member of Lion’s Heart Teen volunteer organization and is a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Gold and Bronze awards for over 100 volunteer hours per year. Sean is a school peer minister and is a CORE youth group leader at St. Timothy’s Catholic Church, while maintaining a 4.55 GPA. Sean Byrne.
Joelle Weltner of Rancho Santa Margarita has committed to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for diving. Joelle is a four-year member of the girls’ varsity diving team and is regarded as one of the most improved divers not only at Santa Margarita but in Division 1. Joelle has qualified for the CIF Division I championships the past two years, advanced to CIF finals, scoring points toward the Swimming and Diving team championship. Joelle has been a member of the three consecutive CIF Division 1 team championships and placed 3rd in the Trinity League in 2017, while maintaining a 3.86 GPA. Joelle Weltner.
Londen Christensen of Dove Canyon has committed to the University of California, Davis for diving. One of the most decorated divers in Santa Margarita history, Londen is a two-time Trinity League diving champion, has qualified for the CIF Division 1 championships for three consecutive years, and placed 7th in the highly competitive CIF Division 1 category. Londen placed so highly at CIF that she qualified for the California State Diving Prelims last season, and has been a member of three consecutive CIF Division 1 championships teams. Londen Christensen.
Amy Qin of Coto de Caza has committed to Lehigh University for swimming. Amy is a three-year varsity swimmer and will go down as one of the best breaststroke swimmers in school history. Ranked as the #2 breaststroke swimmer in school history, Amy has qualified for CIF in six individual events over her first three years, including the 100 breaststroke three years in a row. Last year, Amy placed in the championship final in the 100 breaststroke and advanced to the California State championships. A member of the school record 200 medley relay team that was ranked in the top 10 in the United States, Amy swam to an All-American consideration time in 2017. Amy is actively involved in Campus Ministry and the International Student Club and maintains a 3.72 GPA. Amy Qin.
Bela Patino of Ladera Ranch has committed to George Washington University for swimming. Bela will complete her swimming career at Santa Margarita as one of the best all-around swimmers in team history. Through her first three years, Bela has qualified for CIF in the 200 IM, 100 butterfly, 100 breaststroke, and competed at the California State swimming championships on the 400 freestyle relay team and 200 medley relay team. Bela has qualified for six individual events at CIF and has advanced to CIF finals in each year of her varsity career. Bela ranks in the Top 25 in school history in all 8 individual events, is a member of three straight Trinity League and CIF Division 1 championship teams, and is a member of the school record 4x50 butterfly relay team. Bela Patino.
Gabby Barcelos of Foothill Ranch has committed to Cal State Fullerton for volleyball. Gabby is a two-year varsity athlete for the Eagles as an Outside and Opposite Hitter. Gabby was a part of last season’s CIF Division 1 championship team as well as this year’s Division 1 California State championship team. In addition to volleyball, Gabby is a member of the SM Pet Project, Fellowship of Eagle Athletes, is camp counselor for the RAD Camp, and maintains a 3.6 GPA. Gabby Barcelos.
Amanda Reeder of Coto de Caza has committed to Loyola Marymount for water polo. Amanda plans to major in biology on the pre-med track, where she can follow a career path to becoming a doctor. Amanda began playing water polo at the age of ten and has spent all four years in high school competing for the Eagles, including a CIF run to the semifinals with this year’s varsity team; additionally Amanda has spent two years on the Eagles swim team. When she is not in the pool Amanda has a passion for helping others, as she was the leader in creating a free CPR training program for teenagers in her community with a goal to inspire others on the importance of bystander empathy. Amanda has been a four year Scholar Athlete and USA Water Polo Academic All American. Amanda Reeder.
The following student-athletes celebrated either their Ivy League, Division 3, or walk-on school commitments. Ivy League, Division 3 schools and walk-ons do not receive athletic scholarships, therefore no letter of intent was signed.
Josiah Norwood of Irvine has committed to UCLA as a preferred walk-on for football. Josiah came to Santa Margarita from Troy High School his junior year, where he was a two-year starter, Freeway League MVP and First Team All-League. This past fall, Josiah was the varsity starting quarterback earning first-team All-Trinity League, where he combined for more than 2,500 all-purpose yards with 28 Touchdowns as he helped guide the Eagles to a first round Division 1 playoff game. After the regular season, Josiah was selected to the OC North-South All-star Game and was selected to the Orange County Scholar Athlete Team, while maintaining a 3.98 GPA. Josiah Norwood.
Aiden Asuncion-Duong of Ladera Ranch has committed to Babson College (Division III) for swimming. Aiden is a three-year member of the boys’ varsity swim team and is in his fourth year with the Eagles. Aiden specializes in the butterfly, individual medley, and sprint freestyles. He ranks in the top 35 all-time in school history in the 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley. Aidan is an honors student and participates on the Robotics team and the variety of STEM classes that Santa Margarita offers. He is a member of and involved at Holy Trinity Catholic parish and maintains a 3.49 GPA. Aiden Asuncion-Duong.
Caroline Needell of Coto de Caza has committed to Amherst College (Division III) for swimming. Caroline is entering her third year as a varsity swimmer and will end her career as one of the top distance swimmers in school history. Caroline has achieved a CIF Division I consideration time 5 times in her career, doing so in the 500 yard freestyle the past three years and the in the 200 freestyle the past two years. Her best times in the 200 and 500 freestyles rank her in the top 30 in school history in each event. She has been part of a three consecutive CIF Division I team championships and three Trinity League titles. Caroline will be named a NISCA Academic All-American this year and holds a 4.84 GPA. Caroline Needell.