Each week, publications from the Southern California News Group’s 11 properties (Orange County Register, L.A. Daily News, Press-Enterprise, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Long Beach Press-Telegram, The Daily Breeze, San Bernardino Sun, Daily Bulletin, Redlands Daily Facts, Whittier Daily News and Pasadena-Star News) select the Athletes of the Week for their respective region.
Each athlete is then entered into the overall Southern California Athlete of the Week vote.
Click on the newspaper links below the athlete’s name to read about their performance from last week, and then vote for who you think deserves the top honor.
Readers are allowed to vote multiple times. Voting ends at Thursday at midnight, but final totals aren’t always immediately reflected due to processing.
The overall winner will be announced on Friday, May 19.
Voting poll at bottom of the page.
Anthony Flowers, South Torrance: Flowers won two events in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 finals at Moorpark High. Flowers posted a time of 10.35 seconds in the 100 meters and ran a 20.95 to win the 200 final. South also finished third in the 4×100 relay (42.14).
Devin Paton, Monrovia: Paton won the boys long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 5 1/2 inches and finished second in the 300 hurdles with a time of 38.16 seconds at the CIF Southern Section Division 3 track and field finals at Moorpark High. Paton’s personal best in the long jump is 23 feet, which is the fifth-best mark in the state this year. His time in the 300 hurdles at the CIF-SS finals is the year’s eighth-best mark in California. He will compete in both events at the Masters Meet at Moorpark High Saturday and will try to advance to the state meet May 26-27.
Mikel Udengwu, Glenn: The senior won the discus in Division 3 at the CIF-Southern Section Track and Field Finals with a personal-best throw of 193 feet. Udengwu will compete in the CIF Masters Meet Saturday at Moorpark High as the No. 1 seed across all four CIF-SS divisions.
Nathan Sampson, Great Oak: Sampson fired a round of 5-under-par 67 to claim the CIF Southern Section’s Central Region individual title at Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta. He edged teammate Ryan Abuan and Chaparral’s Chayce Frye (both shot 68) to win the championship. Sampson, who has signed with San Diego State, shot 33 on the front nine and 34 coming home. He recorded seven birdies and two bogeys, with four of the birdies coming on each of the course’s par-5 holes. Sampson won the Southwestern League title earlier this month.
Jake Stafford, JSerra: It’s rare when a track and field athlete performs well in events as different as the high jump and the shot put and discus, but that’s what Stafford did Saturday. At the CIF-SS finals, he won the Division 3 high jump at 6 feet, 8 inches, finished fourth in the discus at 64-3 and was seventh in the shot put at 46-4.5 at Moorpark High School. His high jump mark is second-best in Orange County this season. Stafford will continue his track and field career at UCLA.
Nate Johnson, Westlake: After 4.5 hours and 17 innings on Friday, Nate Johnson made his mark in Westlake’s 3-2, 19-inning CIF Southern Section Division 3 quarterfinal victory over South Torrance Saturday morning when he pitched two scoreless innings and hit the game-winning sacrifice fly to center field to score Dillon Marrisett. The saga marked one of the longest games in section history. He has committed to Tulane.