Sports on the Side

Johnson earns call-up

Sept. 1 was a big day for Los Altos High graduate Erik Johnson. He was named the International League’s Most Valuable Pitcher and called up to the big leagues by the Chicago White Sox. Johnson compiled an 11-8 record with a 2.37 ERA in 23 games this season with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights. The Cal product was leading the IL in ERA (2.37) and strikeouts (136) at the time he was promoted.

Tennis lessons in MV

Mountain View Tennis is registering players for group lessons at Cuesta Park. All ages and skill levels are welcome. Fees vary. To register and for more information, visit


LA triathlete takes 16th at national, makes U.S. team

Courtesy of Sophia Steffens
Sophia Steffens gets to her bike at the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships.

Unlike those emails promising wealth from Nigeria or congratulations for winning the Canadian lottery, this message turned out to be a pleasant surprise for Sophia Steffens.

The Los Altos High graduate received an email last fall informing her that she qualified for the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships Aug. 8 in Milwaukee, Wis. Steffens competed in the Santa Barbara Triathlon months earlier but didn’t realize her first-place finish in the women’s 20-24 age group guaranteed her a berth in the national event.


Dean of the badminton court

Courtesy of the Tan family
Los Altos resident Dean Tan and mixed- doubles partner Jenny Gai stand on the podium shortly after winning the gold at the 2015 Pan Am Junior Badminton Championships earlier this month in Tijuana, Mexico.

Dean Tan began playing badminton for fun in the front yard of his Los Altos home at age 9. Four years later, he was competing in the sport for medals in Mexico.

Dean represented the United States at the 2015 Pan Am Junior Badminton Championships earlier this month in Tijuana. The Blach Intermediate School eighth-grader returned with a gold medal for mixed doubles and a silver for boys doubles in the under-15 age division.


Local teen lands grant to teach swim classes to kids in need

Courtesy of Alyssa Hiraoka
Los Altos resident Alyssa Hiraoka, wearing red T-shirt, recently ran a swim camp for children in the InnVision Shelter Network’s summer program. Hiraoka is a senior at Homestead High.

While many students spent their summer break attending camps, Alyssa Hiraoka ran one. The Los Altos resident last month held a swim camp for children in the InnVision Shelter Network’s summer program.

Running a two-week camp for kids might seem like a big undertaking for a teen – Hiraoka is a senior at Homestead High – but to her, the idea simply made sense.


MV lacrosse player Levy named Academic All-American

Conner Levy, who graduated from Mountain View High in June, has been named a 2015 US Lacrosse High School Academic All-American.

He is the first lacrosse player from the school to be awarded the honor and one of only seven boys in Northern California recognized this year.


LA swimmer makes a splash at Jr. Nationals

Courtesy of Albert Gwo
Albert Gwo competed in the Junior Nationals last week.

When Albert Gwo was resting, his mind was racing at the USA Swimming Junior Nationals.

“Even in your sleep, you have to work hard,” he said. “You think of all the little details – eat this bar or drink this much water. You’re always thinking – there’s no time to slow down.”


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