Romero’s motivation to put in the extra work actually came last season. After scoring a CIF-SS individual title, he fell just two rounds short of advancing to the state championships by losing in the consolation third round at the CIF-SS Masters Meet. But rather than pout, he went back to work. He’s now considered one of the favorites at 275 pounds to win a state title. “I think I was just overwhelmed by the competition,” said Romero, who will be one of 14 Santa Fe wrestlers who will compete at this weekend’s CIF-SS Inland Division championships, scheduled for today and Saturday at Los Osos High in Rancho Cucamonga. “I kind of just choked. The competition scared me. This year, I’m not going to let that happen.” A main reason for that swagger is Romero simply is better. He owns a 23-5 tournament record and has placed at each of the five tournaments he’s competed in this season. His 2006-07 resume includes a first place at Nogales and second-place medals at Camarillo and Morro Bay. His most impressive performance by far was a fourth-place finish at the Five Counties Tournament, which usually is a solid barometer for the state competition. He gets to continue to prove the point this weekend when he shoots for his second consecutive CIF-Southern Section individual division championship. “He’s really stepped it up (this season),” Santa Fe coach Sal Garcia said of Romero, ranked fourth in California. “It’s exciting to have him there at heavyweight. He just continues to work hard and get better every week.” “He’s really been pushing himself, getting in better shape in the sprints and in practice,” Garcia said. “Last year he had a problem of getting off the bottom. This year, he’s been getting up.” Romero, whose tournament record includes 18 wins by fall, can see the results as well. “My freshman and sophomore years, I wasn’t placing at any tournaments. Now I’m placing at every one,” he said. “I feel I’m really getting better. I’m ranked fourth in the state, and I’m competing with the state-ranked guys. I know I can get them.” But first he has some work to do this weekend. “Everyone’s goal is to be a state champion,” Romero said. “But if I could just place at state, just get there and just place, I would be happy. “I know you can’t let the mental part of this sport get to you. Even if (the opponent isn’t) ranked, I’m not going to underestimate them. I try to just go out and win a wrestling match. I’ve beaten guys ranked ahead of me already. I just want to keep going, keep going.” firstname.lastname@example.org (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3061 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA FE SPRINGS – Who said nothing good comes from losing? Certainly not Santa Fe High School’s Lenny Romero, who has shown the discipline and character this season to turn a negative into a positive by becoming one of the top heavyweight wrestlers in the state.
In a time of great uncertainty, mounting environmental threats and receding political leadership, who will step forward?That was the question on people’s minds as 350 guests gathered for WRI’s Courage to Lead dinner. The dinner recognized two champions— Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, and Feike Sijbesma, CEO of DSM—who have shown an ongoing commitment to improving the world by tackling inequality and advancing sustainability.As WRI President and CEO Andrew Steer noted, “We have amazing people,”—activists, journalists, CEOs, philanthropists and more—”at every table.”A Champion for Sustainable Cities The evening’s second honoree, DSM CEO Feijke Sijbesma, began by telling the audience that the power businesses wield must be accompanied by something more: “When you gain impact, the first word that comes to your mind should be responsibility.”Sijbesma is widely recognized for helping shift DSM – originally created as a Dutch mining company – into a leading health, nutrition and materials company. He also leads corporate climate efforts through the World Economic Forum and the World Bank.WRI Board Member Christiana Figueres recognized Sijbesma’s international climate leadership, including how, during a tense moment in climate talks, she gave Sijbesma a look, hoping he could help her out. He left the room—and shortly returned with 60 CEOs supportive of climate action.Figueres was introduced by former President of Mexico and current WRI Board Member Felipe Calderón, who acknowledged both Sijbesma and Figueres’ global role in forging the Paris climate agreement and mobilizing support for its implementation.DSM’s stock price is up 60 percent since Sijbesma took the helm—which comports with WRI research that finds that smart climate action should be integrated into economic and business growth strategies.Like Walker, Sijbesma linked his work to the fight against inequality. “We cannot blame Bangladesh and Somalia for climate change,” he said, “but they are the first to suffer.” He takes these issues personally: “We need to commit that before we leave the planet issues of climate change and hunger are addressed.”Watch a short video honoring Feijke Sijbesma.Both Walker and Sijbesma received images by Dutch photographer Martin Roemers, whose work focuses on human drama in the world’s megacities, courtesy of Anastasia Photography Gallery.Answering the Knock at MidnightAs West referenced, in 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. preached that “answering the knock at midnight” meant not turning away those in need for one’s own comfort. As the world faces complex, inter-related challenges of inequality, hunger, and climate change, this year’s Courage to Lead honorees carry that message forward and represent a vision of hope for a brighter future.Jennifer Scully-Lerner, another WRI Board Director, reminded guests that the evening’s funds help WRI to advance its missions of creating a more sustainable, equitable planet for all people.As Andrew Steer said in his closing remarks, “We need to focus not on the future we fear, but on the future we want.”Learn how you can support WRI’s work and mission and make a donation today. The dinner’s first honoree was Darren Walker, a leader known for to addressing inequality and protecting the environment. In introducing Walker, WRI Director and dinner co-Chair Afsaneh Beschloss declared that “from the first time I met Darren, I knew he was unafraid of bold choices to help the poor and disadvantaged.”One such choice was forging the decision by the Ford Foundation to direct over $1 billion of its endowment toward mission-based investments—one of the largest investments of its kind.Tony West, general counsel at PepsiCo, called justice, not fame or fortune, Walker’s North Star—he is ready to answer what Martin Luther King Jr called “the knock at midnight” at the darkest times in history. Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof called Walker “a moral leader for our times.”In accepting his award, Walker said, “Inequality is at the root of pernicious challenges which pose a risk to our collective future.”Watch a short video honoring Darren Walker.Business Role in Addressing Climate ChangeFeijke Sijbesma at the podium. One of the highlights of the evening was the announcement of the new WRI Ross Prize for Cities, which aims to highlight transformative urban projects related to pollution, inequality and growth. WRI Board Chairman Jim Harmon introduced the prize and honored the real estate developer and philanthropist Stephen M. Ross, who is the main sponsor of the award. Submissions for the prize will be collected starting in January and the winning project will receive $250,000.A Moral Leader for Our TimesDarren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation.
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.Download Audio Second body recovered from slide, crews hone in on the thirdRachel Waldholz, KCAW – SitkaSearch crews have recovered two bodies from the Kramer Avenue landslide in Sitka. One man remains missing but search dogs have alerted to a third location on the south side of the slide, where work focused this afternoon.To stand a fighting chance, anti-Medicaid lawsuit needs to show irreparable harmAnnie Feidt, APRN – AnchorageMedicaid expansion is set to roll out in Alaska September 1st. It would offer health coverage to 40,000 very low-income adults who don’t have children. The lawmakers suing to stop expansion will ask a judge for a preliminary injunction. That would prohibit the state from implementing the program before the issue is decided in court. Both sides of the lawsuit have specific points they need to prove to win the case.NOAA: whale deaths in the Gulf are three times the averageAssociated PressA federal agency has announced plans for a more intense investigation into what caused the deaths of 30 large whales in the western Gulf of Alaska since May.As fur seal numbers in the Aleutians decline, one population is curiously thrivingJohn Ryan, KUCB – UnalaskaA team of scientists with the National Marine Fisheries Service is on an isolated island in the Aleutian chain. Or, to be more precise, they’re a bit north of the chain. They’re researching an exploding population of fur seals on tiny Bogoslof Island.Flint Hills refinery asks for loosened cleanup standards Dan Bross, KUAC – FairbanksFlint Hills continues to push for a less stringent standard for removal of a spilled chemical from groundwater at the company’s shuttered North Pole refinery.Transforming teaching: Nanwalek School received Apple tech grantShady Grove Oliver, KBBI – HomerFor students and teachers in the village of Nanwalek, this academic year will likely be very different from years past. They are the recipients of a technology grant from Apple that could change the face of education in the village entirely.Storyworks: Refugees share their journeysAnne Hillman, KSKA – AnchorageEveryone has a story to tell, but it may not be the story you’d expect. An Anchorage non-profit called StoryWorks is helping teenagers find their stories, and this summer they focused on students who arrived in the state as refugees.