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Athletes do their best to make DO teams shine

Vote for the May Athlete of the Month
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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The Del Oro High School nominees for Loomis News May Athlete of the Month are a talented trio who will all be back next year to compete and win for the Black and Gold. Weston Landre, 15, of Loomis is a nationally ranked backstroker and was a strong performer for the Golden Eagles swim team. The freshman swam varsity and ended the season at the Sections meet by placing fourth in the 100-yard backstroke and eighth in the 200-yard backstroke. Weston was part of a four-man freestyle relay team that, according to Weston, “destroyed the Del Oro High School and League records” with a 3:13 time. Josh McCormick, Colin Johnston and Alex Obert were the other members of the record-breaking relay team. The team’s time earned them fourth place. Westen swims year-round with the Sierra Marlins swim team in Folsom. Three days a week, he’s up at 4 a.m. to get to a two-hour practice, then six days a week he has a two-hour afternoon practice. The swimmer hopes to set more records next year and is currently less than a second off record times in the 200-yard and 100-yard freestyle events and less than two seconds off for the 50-yard freestyle. Competitive swimming doesn’t allow Weston much time for other activities, but he’s happy to swim for the Del Oro team. “At Del Oro everyone is so nice, they know each other and are very supportive of each other,” Weston said. You might say Annette Merjano, 17, both works and plays softball. She is a utility player and the designated hitter for the Lady Eagles varsity softball team. The Del Oro junior also plays on a competitive year-round softball team and umpires for girls softball games in Loomis. Annette began her softball career with Five Cities Girls Softball where she played for four years. Annette, who lives in Auburn, played on the junior varsity team her freshman year as the starting catcher and in her sophomore started in left field on varsity. Now, she’s a slugger for the team and helped them earn their league champs title. “All I do is bat; I don’t even run. It’s kind of strange, but I’d rather be just hitting instead of being out in the field with no balls getting hit to you,” she said. Annette said she enjoys playing short stop, catcher and second base, but it’s her batting that has caught her coach’s eye. Her overall average of .354 placed her sixth overall in the league. She hit two home runs and eight RBIs and earned the honor of being named All-League First Team. When she’s not on the softball field, Annette is a Del Oro cheerleader and performs on the school’s dance team. Cole Perez, 17, of Penryn, pitches for the varsity baseball team and has been playing since age 4. The junior was the winning pitcher in the Granite Bay game that earned the team a playoff spot. Cole pitched 54 innings in 16 games, with an ERA of 4.12. The opposing team batting average was .248. The highlight of Cole’s season was when he pitched a two-hitter that earned Del Oro an 11-1 game win over Granite Bay. That win took the team to the playoffs. Cole said when he’s not throwing strikes, he enjoys hanging out with his family and friends. Del Oro ended up in third place behind Rocklin and Granite Bay. “We battled Granite Bay the whole season. They just ended up doing more things right than we did,” he said of their loss to the Grizzlies in the playoffs.