Track Athletes Dominate CIF Spirit of Sport Honors

Nolan Torres, a track and field athlete at Corona High School, is one of two statewide winners of the CIF Spirit of Sport Award for the 2019-20 spring sports season, the CIF State office in Sacramento announced in a release this week. 

Torres is one of 11 track and field athletes honored, as the sport dominated these spring awards.

The CIF Spirit of Sport Award recognizes student-athletes who have demonstrated the 16 principles of Pursuing Victory with Honor, are active in school and community service, and exhibit leadership qualities. The principles of Pursuing Victory with Honor are the operating principles of the CIF and have been adopted by the 1,606-member high schools throughout the state, .

Torres, along with girls recipient Justine Navarra, a softball player at Buhach Colony HS (SJ), will each receive an award, a patch, and a $1,000 scholarship.

"These recipients reflect the positive elements of Pursuing Victory with Honor, reinforcing the value of education-based athletics," CIF Executive Director Ron Nocetti said in the release.

Additionally, the CIF selected a boy and girl Section winner in each of the 10 Sections based on submitted applications. Those winners were each awarded $500.

There were 10 track and field athletes selected among the 18 section-specific winners. Those athletes are listed below.

Torres is a senior at Corona (SS) who specializes in the hurdles and the jumps who plans to attend Vanguard University. He also competed in the pentathlon at the CA Winter Championships in February and was able to compete in both the Corona Relays and Roosevelt Invitational and Distance Carnival before the 2020 outdoor season was suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Aside from his participation with the track and field team, Torres is also the President of the California Scholarship Federation (CSF) and is involved in Link Crew and Renaissance Leadership, the release said. Additionally, he volunteers with the Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) as a community ambassador and captains Team Torres, raising funds for CHOC.

"Sports have this mysterious way of teaching us life lessons without us even realizing or searching for them," Torres said in the release. "Running has taught me that you always have more to give, even when you think you're at your weakest point. Being a leader, a good teammate, and supporting those around you will always raise your value to your team both on and off the athletic field."

Michael Lin, Superintendent of Schools for Corona-Norco Unified School District, praised Torres in the CIF release:

"...I have had the pleasure of working with some fabulous students. Nolan Torres ranks among the finest. His dedication and poise are beyond his years. In short, Nolan is a wonderfully balanced young man who will be an extraordinary leader for many years to come."

And this from Corona High School Principal Antonio Gonzalez: 

"Overall, Nolan Torres is a model student. He encompasses the positive attributes that educators love to see in students, intelligent, dedicated, driven, kind, amiable, and altruistic."

In addition to Torres and Navarra, 18 spring sports athletes were selected as section-specific winners. All but two of the state's 10 sections were able to recognize one boy and one girl winner. Those athletes represented seven spring sports, 10 from TF, as mentioned above. Based on limited nominations from the unfortunate premature shutdown and subsequent cancellation of the CIF spring sports season, two sections had only one recipient. 

Follow the link at the bottom of this article to see the full list of winners.

Track and Field Athletes honored By Section

Central Section

Carissa Hall - Immanuel HS

Joseph Ruddell - Morro Bay HS

Central Coast Section

Sonja Dommen - Burlingame HS

Northern Section

Madison Steele - West Valley HS

Brennan Woodward - Fall River HS

Oakland Section

Maya Ades - Oakland Technical HS

Christian Bordell - Oakland Technical HS

San Diego Section

Stephanie Aguiar - Chula Vista HS

San Francisco Section

Mustapha Bhonopha Jr. - Abraham Lincoln HS

Southern Section

Sean Guyton - Sherman Oaks Notre Dame HS