Top of the Heap

Mila Barzdukas

Although they may have changed teammates, scenery and jersey colors, Courtney Corrin ’16 and Jack Flaherty ’14 ended their summers the same way they finished their springs: on top of the world.

Reigning state girls’ long jump champion Corrin broke two national records to claim a spot on Team USA, and took fifth in the world at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Youth Championships girls’ long jump finals July 14.

Reigning CIF Division 1 baseball champion and Player of the Year Flaherty made the 20-man USA Under-18 National Team roster Aug. 22 after participating in the New Balance Area Code Games and the Perfect Game All-American Classic. Flaherty will play in the “AAA” 18U World Cup in Taiwan, which starts Aug. 30.

In the United States World Youth Trials on June 25, Corrin bounded 21 feet, topping the event and setting both a Trials meet record and an under-15 national record. Corrin had said 21 feet was her goal during the 2013 track and field season.

At the championships in Dontesk, Ukraine, the rising sophomore finished first in her qualification round by leaping 20-feet, 8.4 inches. In the finals, Corrin finished with a jump of 20-feet, 3.75 inches to take fifth place out of 12.

“It was an amazing experience,” Corrin said. “Not just on an athletic basis, but the fact that I had the chance to meet people from all around the world, and make friendships that will last a lifetime. It was such an honor to represent the U.S. The focus and drive everybody competed and trained with was unbelievable.”

With her qualification and participation in the IAAF Championships, Corrin has now placed in high school track and field events at the league, state, national and international levels, all before starting her second season as a Wolverine.

In her first season last year, Corrin set school records in the long jump, triple jump and the 4×100 meter relay, and won the long jump event at the New Balance Nationals Outdoors meet June 17. After facing rivals from all levels of track, Corrin found her international competitors to be at a higher level, as advertised.

“The competition was definitely a step up, because we were competing against the best in the world,” Corrin said. “This was by far the best experience compared to all the other stages I have been on. It is great competing against people to have the same goal, focus, drive and heart as you.”

Flaherty made the 18-U roster as a third baseman and pitcher after participating in several tryouts throughout the summer. Lucas Giolito ’12 made the team in 2011, but he did not accept a spot.

Previously, he competed in the 2013 New Balance Area Code Games from Aug. 5 to Aug. 10, followed by the Perfect Game All-American Classic on Aug. 11. “It’s a huge opportunity to represent the United States of America,” Flaherty said. It’s a very selective process, so it means a lot.”

The team left for Taiwan on Aug. 24 and Flaherty doesn’t expect to return to the states until mid-September.  At the World Cup, pool play determines playoff seeding in a single elimination bracket.

“We are the team to beat,” Flaherty said.

At the five-day long Area Code Games, Flaherty started at third base for the Milwaukee Brewers, which is made up of top players from Southern California. The annual tournament is a showcase of eight regional teams from throughout the United States competing against each other. Max Fried ’12 and Giolito, now members of the San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals franchises respectively, along with Arden Pabst ’13 participated in the Area Code Games in 2011. “I feel blessed to have been able to play in this tournament for two years now,” he said. “I just look at it as another opportunity to go out and play baseball.”

Flaherty only played two games before leaving for San Diego to take part in the Perfect Game All-American Classic, in which he started at third base for the West team, managed by Wolverines head coach Matt LaCour. Flaherty scored twice to help the West defeat the East, 8-6.

The All-American Classic, which also featured baseball prospects from throughout the United States, took place at Petco Park, home of the MLB’s San Diego Padres, and was televised live on the MLB Network. The rising senior pitcher/infielder was also a finalist for the Jackie Robinson award, which is given to the player selected as the Perfect Game National Player of the Year.

Corrin will return for her second year as a Wolverine in 2013-14 hoping to eclipse her record-breaking freshman year and defend her California State long jump title. Having conquered her first goal of 21 feet, Corrin has her sights set on jumping 24 feet by the end of her senior year.
Flaherty, who committed to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill last year, will return for his final year to defend his Player of the Year titles and help the Wolverines defend their CIF Championship.