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Murrieta Rams News Archive

    Mesa Swim Runner-Up

    RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA — The Murrieta Mesa boys swimming team had a historic day for the program, but the Rams will have to wait a little while to officially receive the reward for their efforts.

    Murrieta Mesa tallied 160 points at the CIF Southern Section Division 2 championship meet Tuesday at Santa Margarita High School. The Rams finished in a second-place tie with Portola, four points behind Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. A coin flip determined which team took home the runner-up plaque. Portola called heads and won the toss. Murrieta Mesa’s runner-up plaque has already been ordered.


    “It’s been a difficult season for everyone,” Murrieta Mesa coach Jenn Beech said. “We started the season off not knowing if this meet was even going to happen. When we got word that CIF was going to happen, these boys went into a different mode. They wanted to win, but we will take second place. This is the best we’ve done as a program, and we’re ready to come back next year even stronger.”

    Justin Schneider was among the stars at Tuesday’s finals. The junior won the 50-yard freestyle in 20.65 seconds, using his 6-foot-4 frame to defeat Caden Noreen of Los Osos (20.79) at the finish. Schneider then added a 500 freestyle title to his collection, posting a winning time of 4:28.34. Winning the shortest and longest freestyle events is extremely rare, a few swimming experts at the meet said.

    “I’ll do whatever my teams needs me to swim,” Schneider said. “I wasn’t expecting to win the 50, but I’m happy I did. The 500 has been rough for me for two years, so that win felt really good.”

    Schneider also anchored a pair of relays that placed second. He teamed with brother Ty, Maximus Dillon and Alex Yang in the 200 medley relay (1:34.22) and the Schneiders joined forces with Dillon and Eryk Elizondo in the 200 freestyle relay (1:26.21). Justin Schnieder turned in anchored splits of 20.19 (medley relay) and 20.17 (200 freestyle) to help the Rams place second.

    Ty Schneider finished fifth in the 500 freestyle, and Dillon placed fifth in the 100 backstroke.

    Three other Inland swimmers, all of them seniors, won titles in their final high school meet.

    St. Lucy’s Marly Lough won the girls 200 individual medley title in 2:02.49, dropping more than two seconds off her entry time. Lough led wire-to-wire and closed with a strong freestyle leg.


    Rams answer back with 10-5 win over Temecula Valley

    Murrieta Mesa clinches Southwestern League title

    05/25/2021, 9:15am PDT
    By Valley News

    MURRIETA — The Murrieta Mesa Rams baseball team only needed to win one game after going 10-0 in league to clinch an outright Southwestern League title. After dropping games to Murrieta Valley, the week prior, and Temecula Valley earlier last week, Murrieta Mesa got the win they needed at home Friday, May 21, taking down the Golden Bears 10-5.


    Five RBIs from senior Makana Olaso, and 6 and two-thirds innings on the bump from Jhayden Raineri, with some solid defense behind him, pretty much sealed the deal in the Rams win. Olaso drove in runs on a home run in the first and a home run in the fourth. Raineri had 9 strikeouts through the course of the game, giving up four hits, one walk and four runs.

    The Rams had a four-run lead going into the fourth inning, but Temecula Valley knotted things when sophomore catcher, Zach Anderson, hit a three-run home run after the Golden Bears got on the board earlier in the inning due to an error.

    Murrieta Mesa pulled away for good with five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning when Derek Hurtado’s sac fly scored one run, then shortstop Carter Garate singled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring one run and Olaso homered on a 2-0 count, scoring three runs.

    Temecula Valley scored one run in the top of the fifth on a Chris Paciolla single, but the Rams answered with one of their own when sophomore right fielder, Lucas Casey, hit a solo homer.

    Jhayden Raineri earned the victory on the pitcher’s mound for Murrieta Mesa, who have now won their second-ever Southwestern League title in the school’s decade-long history. Caden Byers threw one-third of an inning in relief out of the bullpen when a batter reached safely on a pre-celebration, dropped third strike call, which caused the Rams to have to pitch to one more batter for the final out. Raineri had reached his pitch limit on the previous play.

    Harrison Bodendorf took the loss for Temecula Valley. The pitcher surrendered four runs on four hits over two and two-thirds innings, striking out two. Murrieta Mesa hit four home runs on the day, which also included a Colby Moran dinger in the third inning.

    The Rams racked up nine hits in the game. Nate May, Olaso, Garate, and Moran all collected multiple hits for Murrieta Mesa. Paciolla led Temecula Valley with two hits in four at bats.

    Regular season Southwestern League action comes to an end this week as two games remain for each of the six teams before playoff brackets get announced Sunday, May 30, at


    Murrieta Mesa swimmers shine at Southwestern League championship meet

    05/21/2021, 10:30am PDT
    By Press Enterprise

    TEMECULA — The Murrieta Mesa boys and girls swimming teams collected the lion’s share of championship patches at the Southwestern League championship meet held Thursday at Temecula Valley High School.

    Murrieta Mesa’s swimmers and relays won 14 of the 22 championship races, with the boys and girls teams winning seven races apiece. Riley Renaud, Emilee Elizondo and Sonja Aarsvold all won two individual events on the girls side and also were part of one winning relay team. Justin Schneider was a double winner on the boys side, and he also anchored a pair of winning relay teams for the Rams on Thursday.

    “They have continued to work hard despite all of the challenge that have come with this season,” Murrieta Mesa coach Jennifer Beech said. “This is what they wanted. They wanted to come out here, battle and be champions. I couldn’t be more proud of this group.”

    Schneider won the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 1 minute, 53.43 seconds, nearly six seconds faster than the next finisher. He later won the 100 freestyle in 46:07, besting his own league meet record of 46.23 set Tuesday in the prelims. Schneider teamed with brother Ty Schneider, Alexander Yang and Maximus Dillon to win the 200 medley relay in 1:35.65. Justin Schneider, Dillon, Yang and Eryk Elizondo put the final touch on a successful meet by winning the 400 freestyle relay in 3:16.75.

    Eryk Elizondo, Alex Pena, Trevor Haskins and Ty Schneider won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:31.75.

    Elizondo turned in one of the eye-popping moments of the meet, as he won the 50 freestyle in a time of 21.64. Elizondo dropped nearly a second from his preliminary time (22.54) and beat the next finisher by .76 seconds.

    “I have always believed Eryk had that in him. He went out there and slammed it home today,” Beech said.

    Dillon was the other boys winner for Murrieta Mesa on Thursday, winning the 100 backstroke title in 53.00.

    Renaud swept the distance freestyle events on the girls side, winning the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:59.52 and the 500 freestyle in 5:15.95. Aarsvold won the sprint freestyles, winning the 50 freestyle in 23.98 and the 100 freestyle in 51.70. Emilee Elizondo won the 100 butterfly (58.49) and the 100 backstroke (1:00.05).

    Renaud, Aarsvold and Elizondo teamed with Ashley Murray to win the 200 freestyle relay in a time of 1:41.88. Aarsvold had a final split of 23.67 to help the Rams out-touch Murrieta Valley at the finish by .02 seconds.

    “The girls team is a young group, but they showed what the future might be for the program,” Beech said.


    Swim Finals 2021

    05/20/2021, 10:30pm PDT
    By coach

    Four school records broken!

    SWL Swim Finals Today:

    -14 individual event champions (more then any other school in the league)

    -4 school records broken

    1 SWL Record Broken (Justin Schneider 100


    -Boys Swim walking away Co-League Champs!!!

    First time boys swim program has won against MV in school history.


    Boys Varsity Swim won their dual meet against MV yesterday 86-84. This is the first time our program has won against MV in school history.

    New Record holders:

    Boys Records: 

    Justin Schneider- 100 Freestyle 

    400 Freestyle Relay : Alex Yang, Eryk Elizondo, Maximus Dillon, and Justin Schneider


    Girls Records:

    Sonja Aarsvold- 50 Freestyle 

    400 Freestyle Relay- Emilee Elizondo, Riley Renaud, Ashley Murray, and Sonja Aarsvold.


    H.S. Baseball: 15th win gives Murrieta Mesa a two-game lead heading into series play

    04/24/2021, 10:15am PDT
    By Derryl Trujillo with My Valley News

    The first placed Murrieta Mesa Rams remain undefeated in Southwestern League play with a 3-2 victory against Vista Murrieta.

    Win #15 gives Murrieta Mesa baseball a two game lead heading into series play: By: Derryl Trujillo Inland Sports Senior Writer Murrieta, CA (Vista Murrieta HS)- R: H: E: Murrieta Mesa (15-4 O, 5-0 SWL): 0-1-0-1-1-0-0=3 7 0 Vista Murrieta (10-5 O, 3-2 SWL): 0-0-0-0-1-1-0=2 5 2 WP: Raineri, Jhayden>> 5 IP, 4 Hits,1 Run, 4 K, 6 BB LP: Pirko, Lucas>> 4 IP, 5 Hits, 2 Runs, 6 K, 1 BB There's no doubt that Vista Murrieta is the standard bearer program in Southwestern League baseball. So far in 2021 Murrieta Mesa has flown the flag as its only ranked program (#2 by CIF-SS D4 voters as of Monday) and they entered Friday with a one game lead. Standing in their way of a two game lead was multiple time league champion Vista Murrieta… Starting pitcher Jhayden Raineri held Vista Murrieta scoreless until the fifth inning when they got an RBI single from Jerrad Gonzalez (scoring Kade Johnstone who was walked) to make it 3-1 Rams. Prior to that point the senior, bound for Salem University in Virginia, held his opponents to three hits, three K's, and a handful of walks. He was relieved after that inning by Caden Byers, who gave up a lone RBI hit (two out double by Johnstone) but then retired his final four batters to preserve the victory. Raineri said afterwards "Today was an all around team win and we're looking at this season as unfinished business. As seniors we talked during the break about making our final year memorable. We're doing that so far but there's a lot of baseball between us and a Southwestern League championship." Murrieta Mesa got a lone run in their half of the 2nd on Aidan Salcedo's single which scored Nate May who reached on an error by Matt Caldera, who misread a deep flyball in right field. In the 4th it was again Salcedo coming through with an RBI, this time of the sacrifice fly variety, scoring Raineri who led off the inning with an infield single. May also singled but was left stranded as Bronco starter Lucas Pirko escaped more damage. Salcedo added "Our seniors have done such a great job of leading this program through some unique circumstances. During the shutdown they were on everyone to make sure we got our work in, whether that was in a weight room, throwing, or hitting and we're reaping those benefits now." They added an insurance run in the 5th with Byers RBI single. Rams coach Mike Wolford, in his first full year leading the program, said after the win "We're playing some good baseball but if a couple of balls fall differently it's a different story. That's a good team we just beat and know that in this league anyone can be beat at any time. These guys are making me look really good right now with their approaches at the plate and excellent pitching."

    Senior Writer Derryl Trujillo, The Inland Sports News


    Murrieta Mesa baseball team remains unbeaten in Southwestern League

    04/23/2021, 10:45am PDT
    By By ERIC-PAUL JOHNSON | | The Press-Enterprise PUBLISHED: April 21, 2021

    Jack Kelley works out of several jams to pick up his fifth win of the season

    MURRIETA — Jack Kelley was the first to admit he did not have his best stuff Wednesday afternoon.

    But whatever Kelley might have lacked in command, he made up for with plenty of grit and determination.

    Kelley worked out of numerous jams to pick up his fifth win of the season, as the Murrieta Mesa baseball team knocked off Temecula Valley 7-1 to remain undefeated in the Southwestern League.

    “I just had to stick to what I do best, and that is getting ground balls,” Kelley said. “I’m not a big strikeout guy, so I have to trust my defense and let them work for me. They did a great job behind me today.”

    The biggest ground ball Kelley rolled came in the first inning. Temecula Valley took a 1-0 lead on an infield single by Christopher Paciolla. The Golden Bears had the bases loaded with one out, but Kelley got Patrick Carson to hit into a inning-ending double play to prevent further damage

    “He battled and made some big pitches when he needed to,” Murrieta Mesa coach Mike Wolford said.

    Missed opportunities was a theme for Temecula Valley. The Golden Bears (8-6, 2-2 in league) left 12 runners on the base paths Wednesday afternoon and had two more runners thrown out between bases.

    “We really missed our spots and did not execute well today,” Temecula Valley coach Darric Merrell said.

    Murrieta Mesa (14-2, 4-0) did not record a hit against Ethan Warren during the first two innings, but the Rams broke through in the third. Colby Moran singled home the tying run with one out, and Caden Byers later gave Murrieta Mesa the lead with a sacrifice fly that plated Carter Garate.

    In the top of the fourth inning, Temecula Valley’s Matthew Tylman put down a safety squeeze, but Zach Anderson strayed too far off the bag. Murrieta Mesa catcher Makana Olaso fired the ball to Moran and nailed Anderson trying to retreat back to third base for the second out of the inning.

    Murrieta Mesa opened things up in the bottom of the fourth, aided by two Temecula Valley errors to start the inning. Zachary Casey doubled home a run, and another run scored on a groundout by Garate. Moran singled home a pair of runs, and Byers capped the big inning with a RBI double.

    “It took a little while for the bats to get going,” Moran said. “But credit goes to our coaches giving us good tips on what to look for. We put together some good situational hitting today.”

    Kelley scattered eight hits, walked three and also hit three batters. He was lifted with one out in the sixth after innings back-to-back walks. Tyler Wolf came in and struck out the next two batters to end the threat.

    Pacoilla went 3 for 4 for Temecula Valley, and Darin Chapman had two hits for the Golden Bears.

    By  | | The Press-Enterprise

    PUBLISHED: April 21, 2021 at 9:09 p.m. | UPDATED: April 21, 2021 at 9:10 p.m.


    Murrieta Mesa beats Heritage 3-2

    02/26/2020, 12:45pm PST
    By My Valley News

    Advance to IE Classic Championship

    Paloma Valley set to face the Rams in finale for second straight year.

    MENIFEE – The Murrieta Mesa Rams baseball team continued their preseason winning ways against the Heritage Patriots in the semifinal game of the I.E. Classic Tournament Tuesday, Feb. 25. The visiting Rams ran off with the lead in extra innings, claiming a 3-2 victory over Heritage when all was said and done. The game was tied at 2 runs apiece with Murrieta Mesa batting in the top of the eighth. That’s when an error scored one run for the Rams, putting them in the lead with a half inning to go.

    The pitching was strong on both sides as pitchers for the Rams struck out eight, while Heritage pitchers sat down two. Murrieta Mesa (6-0) got things started in the first inning when catcher Makana Olaso grounded out but scored a run. The game was a 1-run showdown as junior two-way starter, Jhayden Raineri, showcased his stamina on the bump by keeping the Heritage hitters off balanced into the sixth inning. Heritage (2-4) tied things up that same inning when Gabe Kristall singled on a misread fly ball to right field, scoring one run.

    Junior reliever and designated hitter in the game, Caden Byers, was credited with the victory for the Rams, allowing two hits and zero runs over two and a third innings, striking out two and walking zero. Paul Pardo took the loss for Heritage Patriots. He allowed one hit and one run over two innings, striking out two and walking zero.

    Raineri started on the bump for Murrieta Mesa. He lasted five and two-thirds innings, allowing five hits and two runs while striking out six. Oscar Ortiz started the game for Heritage, allowing five hits and two runs over four innings. Murrieta Mesa collected six hits in the game. Carter Garate and Olaso gathered two hits each to lead the Rams. Kenny Teter went 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Heritage Patriots in hits.

    The Championship game of the I.E. Classic will take place between both the undefeated Murrieta Mesa Rams and the undefeated Paloma Valley Wildcats (4-0), for the second straight year. Paloma Valley, who won 6-2 in last year’s championship game, defeated Tahquitz 9-0 to get to this year’s final match-up. The championship game of the 2020 I.E. Classic will take place under the lights Friday, Feb. 28, at Elsinore High School. Game time is set for 6 p.m.


    Murrieta Mesa scored 3 runs in the seventh inning to come back and beat Great Oak 4-3 Tuesday. It was the Rams first Southwestern league victory of the season with 7 games left to play.

    In the bottom of the seventh, Murrieta was down 3-1. Kevin Gameros laced a single to get on base.Anthony Salcedo bounced back from a couple rough at-bats earlier and hit a double down the third base line. Coach JP Raineri sent Gameros home on a whim, hoping to make something happen. It worked.


    Murrieta Mesa Edges Temecula Valley 2-1

    04/13/2017, 10:30am PDT
    By ie sports news

    Kiel Palm’s 2-Run Home Run in the First Inning is Enough for the Rams

    The Murrieta Mesa Rams held on to defeat Temecula Valley 2-1 in Tuesdays Southwestern league game. The Rams Varsity took the lead on a home run in the first inning by Kiel Palm off of Temecula starter Austin Baltierra, It would be all the runs the Rams would need as Murrieta Mesa’s Brant Voth shutout the Golden Bears.