Best of friends on and off the diamond, Caitlyn Campbell and Rhylee Magazinovic got to end their decorated high school softball careers together.
The lone seniors on Ripon’s reigning Trans-Valley League championship club fittingly go out as the Manteca Bulletin All-Area Co-MVPs. Their swan song also marked the end of Robert Vernon’s successful 16-year run as head coach.
Campbell and Magazinovic were freshmen in 2019 when the Indians claimed their second Sac-Joaquin Section title under Vernon. After two seasons wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic, the trio finally got a chance to defend their Section crown but lost to top-seeded Dixon 6-2 in the Division IV semifinals. Ripon finished the year with a 19-5 record.
Campbell and Magazinovic got to enjoy some memorable moments down the stretch. The biggest highlight came on senior night in a non-league game against Big Valley Christian. Vernon was recognized on his final regular-season home game as coach, as was the senior tandem. Also in attendance were several alumnae who played for Vernon over the years.
Campbell stole the show, crushing three solo homers in the 7-0 win. Big Valley didn’t lose another game the rest of the season and captured the NorCal Division V championship.
Magazinovic had her special going-away sequence in Ripon’s 5-1 SJS quarterfinal win over Liberty Ranch, hitting a deep drive down the first-base line and scooting her way to an inside-the-park home run.
The speedy Magazanovic finished as the Section’s leading base stealer with 41 on the season, according to MaxPreps. She was also Ripon’s defensive whiz at shortstop, earning the TVL’s MVP honor. At the plate, she paced Ripon with a .534 batting average, 39 hits and 35 runs scored. She also had 13 RBIs, seven doubles a triple and two home runs — one being a grand slam in a league victory over Hilmar.
Campbell also topped the Section statistically, tying for the most home runs with 14. The versatile infielder is the TVL’s Offensive Player of the Year with a .431 average, 30 runs, 28 RBIs, seven doubles, two triples and 16 steals. She also made the MaxPreps All-Section Team.
Other top honorees from the spring season:
Valerie Chun, Crystallynn Tran, Ripon, Fr.
The Indians dominated on their way to Valley Oak League and SJS Division III frosh-soph championships behind a strong mix of youthful talent and senior leadership.
Spearheading the charge were Chun and Tran. Chun placed third in the SJS frosh-soph 100-yard butterfly final in 58.53 seconds and eighth in the 200 freestyle in 2 minutes, 1.01 seconds. Tran also made the 100 fly frosh-soph final, finishing fifth in 1:00.42. They were also on the seventh-place 400 free relay along with Kennedy Winter and Samantha Scheid.
In the VOL meet, Chun and Tran placed first and third, respectively, in the100 fly. Chun also took third in the 200 free, while Tran won the 100 backstroke. Seniors Taylor Blair and Kennedy Brubaker joined them on the winning 400 free relay.
TRACK & FIELD
Galadriel Mellion, Weston Ranch, Jr.
Mellion was one of just five Manteca-area athletes to qualify for the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships, and she emerged as the lone placer by heaving the sixth best mark in the shot put final at 41-0 ½. She also took seventh in the discus with a season-best 138-4.
A standout at the USA Track & Field youth level, Mellion made school history as its first female to win an event at the SJS Masters Championships and advance to the state. She was actually a double winner at SJS Masters, SJS Division III and VOL meets.
Her impressive junior résumé includes double golds in the Mustang Invitational at Delta, Bear Creek Port City Invitational and Sacramento Meet of Champions. She set her season-best mark of 42 8 ½ in the shot put at the VOL Championships.
ALL-AREA SPRING SPORTS TEAM
Co-MVPs: SS Rhylee Magazinovic, Ripon, Sr.; UTIL Caitlyn Campbell, Ripon, Sr.
Offensive Player of the Year: 1B/3B Elon James, Manteca, Jr.
Pitcher of the Year: Mims Caratachea, Ripon, So.
Team: C Jessica Almeida, Manteca, Jr.; OF Aubree Gann, East Union, Fr.; 1B Kylee Gann, East Union, Jr.; INF/P Mohrgen Kissee, Manteca Sr.; P/3B Layla Molina, East Union, Jr.; OF Peyton Naranjo, Ripon, Jr.; P Nayellys Torres, Manteca, So.; SS Erica Tovar, Sierra, Sr.; SS Baylee Willenbrink, Manteca, So.
Co-MVPs: Valerie Chun (100 fly, 200 free), Ripon, Fr.; Crystallynn Tran (100 fly, 100 back), Ripon, Fr.
Team: Taylor Blair (200 IM, 100 free), Ripon, Sr.; Keira Brink (50 free, 100 free), Sierra, Fr.; Kennedy Brubaker (500 free), Ripon, Sr.; Jennifer Graves (500 free, 200 free), Sierra, So.; Victoria Guzman (200 IM, 500 free), Lathrop, Fr.; Gianna Ramos (100 free), Sierra, Fr.; Mia Sickler-Lopez (200 IM, 100 free), Ripon, Jr.; Kennedy Winter (200 IM, 100 back), Ripon, Fr.
TRACK & FIELD
MVP: Galadriel Mellion (throws), Weston Ranch, Jr.
Team: Gabby Delgado (throws), Ripon, Jr.; LaNicia Ellis (sprints, triple jump), Lathrop, Sr.; Alaba Olaleye (triple jump, sprints), Alyson Schneider (long jump), Manteca, Sr.; Jenna Skavdahl (middle distance), Ripon, So.; Starla Skiles (300 hurdles, sprints), Ripon, Fr.; Taylor Snaer (sprints), East Union, Jr.; Annie Wild (distance), Ripon, Jr.