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.


Local club water polo teams finish among top five at JOs

Courtesy of Katie Roper
NorCal Aquatics’ 18U boys took fifth at the Junior Olympics. Front, from left: Scott Cairns, Ryan Fisse, Kyle Sandell, Nick Rodriguez and Patrick Fong. Back: Eric Reitmeir, Logan Whalen, Kevin Bowers, Bryan Kim, Graham Schmelzer, Doug Kurtz and coach Seth Tasman.

An up-and-coming water polo club based in Los Altos faced some of the best teams in the country at the USA Water Polo Junior Olympics this summer, and two of its three teams placed in the top five of their respective divisions.

In only its second year, NorCal Aquatics qualified three teams for the Junior Olympics tournament: the 18-and-under boys, 18-and-under girls and 16-and-under girls. The 16U girls and 18U boys finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in their divisions.


Sports on the Side

Joy secures silver

Former Los Altos Hills resident Joy Upshaw took home a silver medal from the World Masters Athletics Outdoor Championships, a track and field meet held Aug. 4-16 in Lyon, France. Competing in the women’s 50-54 division, Upshaw placed second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 49.03.

Tennis lessons in MV

Mountain View Tennis is registering players for group lessons scheduled to begin Sept. 5 at Cuesta Park. Classes are offered in the daytime and evenings; all ages and skill levels are welcome. Fees vary by class. To register and for more information, call 967-5955 or visit


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.


Golfer reaches regional round of PGA contest

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Joelle Kim, who took up golf a year ago, is a win away from making it to the final of the PGA Drive, Chip & Putt Championship.

At just 9 years old, Joelle Kim has an opportunity many golfers dream of – she gets to compete at Chambers Bay Golf Course in Tacoma, Wash.

After making it through local and subregional eliminations in the PGA Drive, Chip & Putt Championship, the Oak Avenue School fourth-grader has advanced to the upcoming regional final scheduled Sept. 12 at Chambers Bay – site of this year’s U.S. Open Championship.


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.


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