Looking for a Track and Field jumps Coach in Orange County? Keinan Briggs is one of the best. This season marks his 7th year as the Mater Dei head jumps coach and 6th eason of his LEAP Squad Youth Track Club. As the head jumps coach at Mater Dei Keinan has helped develop 20 collegiate track and field athletes, sending athletes to CAL, UCLA, TCU, UCI, UCSB, SDSU, SFSU, and La Verne. Briggs has coached many of the top CA jumpers.
Briggs’ youth track club, The LEAP Squad Track Club is based in central Orange County and has produced some of OC’s top middle school athletes leading into their perspective high schools. Last year’s LEAP Squad team produced 10 Junior Olympic National qualifiers, 2 triple jump regional champions, and broke 2 meet records. LEAP Squad athletes have been earning a varsity spot when they arrive to their high schools as Freshmen.
Briggs’ philosophy is very simple, when you teach the athletes how to be successful in every aspect of life, winning comes easy. Briggs is very passionate and knowledgeable in all areas and has created a detail year-round training program for ages 6-18.
Briggs is well respected in the community and is on the board on the Irvine Children’s Fund. Briggs offers a yearly track and field clinic for the kids of Irvine and holds a track and field academy in the spring for all kids grades 1-8. Make sure to visit his YouTube Channel for weekly training tips and coaching concepts daily during the week.
Briggs was a standout prep athlete in football, basketball, and track and field. Briggs kept his focus on track and field taking his talents to Orange Coast College where he became the Male Athlete of The Year. Briggs later attended Cal State Los Angeles where he continued is athletic success ranking among the Nation’s best hurdlers and triple jumpers. Later Briggs competed professionally as a triple jumper for 2XU becoming a 2X USA Track and Field National competitor placing 13th in the US Outdoor Championships 2010 and 6th the following year in the Indoor Championships. Briggs has trained under and competed against some of the world best coaches and athletes. Now he is on a mission to pass his knowledge to our next generation.
The LEAP Squad Track Club trains Monday and Wednesday’s at Mater Dei high school 6:30 pm to 8 pm. Join today, season starts January 2018.
The LEAP Squad Track Club, Orange County’s premier track club just got better, expanding to pole vault, distance, hurdles, and relays. Training is offered year-round for ages 6-18. Now through December we train, in the winter we develop, and in the spring we compete. Practices are Monday’s and Wednesday’s 630pm to 8pm at Mater dei high in Santa Ana. Join today! For more info call 657-400-LEAP, email email@example.com or visit www.keinanbriggs.com
Not form anything of the negative but from home-school. This 2017 year Dominique and her brother Titan were stuck with home-schooling because of a family emergency which left them financially unable to attend Mater Dei.
Coaches have asked where she has come from because they haven’t read anything in the paper nor have they seen her at any high school events. Well, the answer I give them is our local prep contributors chose not to shine the light on her but numbers speak loudly.
Dominique competed well hitting huge marks this season at big meets:
CA Winter Triple Jump Champion
Cal State LA Triple Jump Champion
Redlands “Last Chance” Triple Jump Champion
USATF So. Cal. Association Champion
New Balance Indoor Nationals 10th
New Balance Outdoor Nationals 9th
USATF Jr. Nationals 3rd (Pan Am Alternate)
Looking onto next year Ruotolo is set up to do some damage as she is the first Orange County jumper to break 40’ since Michelle Sanford of Woodbridge (2001). Her current marks not only lead the county but are strong in CIF and State. Based on her yearly progressions her possibilities are endless.
Dominique Ruotolo has been around. Ruotolo has attended Mater Dei high school. Her freshman and sophomore year she competed very well but had been in the shadows awaiting for her moment. As a freshman Ruotolo was the Orange County Triple Jump Champion, Trinity League high jump and Triple Jump Champion. Her Freshman personal best marks were 5’3 (high jump), 37’6 (triple jump), and 17’3 (long jump) which are some solid all-around marks. Her sophomore year she improved to 5’6, 37’8, and 18’1 but dealt with a foot injury late in season. Going into her Junior year a family emergency left her family financially unable to cover the cost for 2 kids at Mater Dei and 3 others in college. The decision was made to home-school both Dominique and her brother Titan. Both Dominique and Titan competed for the LEAP Squad Youth Track Club during the high school season, a team which is coached by Keinan Briggs who is also the Mater Dei jumps coach.
The plan to do club track and keep Dominique in a track and field rythym paid off. Dominique improved her marks to 5’7, 40’8, and 19’0. Ruotolo was the CA High School Winter Triple Jump Champion, won two collegiate invitationals, and placed 3rd at the highly competitive Mt. SAC Invitational collegiate section triple jump. Ruotolo placed 10th (39’0) at the New Balance Indoors and 9th (40’6) at the New Balance Outdoors. Today she competed in the long jump championship section placing 5th in her section (18’6). Ruotolo’s final meet is at the USATF Jr. Nationals in Sacramento.
Ruotolo’s 40’ jump is monumental, she is the first Orange County Triple Jumper to break 40’ since Michelle Sanford of Woodbridge in 2001. Ruotolo is just a rising Senior and expects to make a few changes to the history books for the the county, state, and nation.
So, to answer the question of where did she come from? She has been here.
Sophia Chiaramonte, a talented young sophomore took the long jump crown this 2017 season among some stiff competition. Chiaramonte broke the 18 foot barrier at the South county classic early March braking the meet record. A few weeks later she leaped a Mater Dei school record of 18’6.25 at the Arcadia invitational. Chiaramonte kept her winning ways through the season winning the OC Long jump championship. Her only OC Long Jump loss came at the Trinity League Finals where she fell short by ½ of an inch to Santa Margarita’s Elizabeth Weeks. Chiaramonte bounced back qualifying her way through each round of CIF advancing to the State prelims where her magical sophomore season ended. Chiaramonte finished 16th overall in the State. Her mark of 18’6.25 is the number 24 Orange County best long jump of all-time, the 4th best ever by a sophomore all-time and number 6 among all sophomores in CA.
Mater Dei LEAP Squad Sophomore Sophia Chiaramonte had the best long jump mark in Orange County all season and in a head to head competition Chiaramonte proved she is the best with her winning mark of 18’2.50. Chiaramonte’s mark is very impressive because if she were to compete at the Frosh/Soph level she would have smashed the record by over half a foot. Chiaramonte is a vital part of the Mater Dei varsity relay team which had her competing on varsity. This long jump championship is number two for Chiaramonte, she was the Frosh/Soph high jump champion last year at 5’1.
Chiaramonte had a solid meet overall competing in 4 events, she ran on the 4×1 relay which placed second (47.58) behind the powerful Santa Margarita, 5th in the high jump (5’0), 7th in the triple jump 36’1.25, and 1st in the long jump 18’2.50. Now Chiaramonte has her mind on performing well through the Championship season and the CIF State meet.
The Mater Dei LEAP Squad is looking strong yet again, what can we expect out of tomorrow’s Orange County Championship?
Sophomore Sophia Chiaramonte is the leading long jumper in the county with her leap of 18’6.25, she is the favorite to win but Elizabeth Weeks of Santa Margarita 18’3, Madison Lyon of Woodbridge 18’2, and Kellie May of Northwood 18’1 are literally inches away. Don’t forget Mater Dei has two other athletes in the mix, Bianca James 17’7 and Kelli Godin 17’6 are within reach of that 18’ barrier, things could get interesting.
Bianca James is in the conversation of a triple jump championship she is the 3rd seed with a mark of 37’9. The county lead goes to Elizabeth Weeks 38’11 with Emily Garner right on her heels with her mark of 38’6.
(Left) Sophia Chiaramonte and (Right) Bianca James
Mater Dei’s new addition Anthony Salazar (Sophomore) is quickly understanding the triple jump and is the #2 Frosh / Soph jumper with his mark if 43’11. He has a great chance to make a name for himself.
Santa Margarita Senior Elizabeth Weeks lost her first triple jump competition of the 2017 season at the Trabuco Hills Invitational. This first lost was bitter-sweet considering Weeks set two new personal bests in the competition. Entering the long jump Weeks had a personal best of 17’0, exiting the competition Weeks improved her personal best to 18’1.50.
“I’m not that confident in the long jump but I knew a big jump meant I was probably going to jump far in the triple too,” said Weeks.
And jump far she did. Weeks not only set a new personal best at 38’11 she broke the meet record of 38’10.25 by Kimarie Black (Long Beach Poly 2004) however Micah Fulton of Muir high school jumped 39’5 taking the triple jump crown and meet record. When reminded of her 1st loss in the triple Weeks replied, “Yeah…,” with a subtle smirk.
Weeks’ mark of 38’11 ranks her #10 all-time in OC. She is a member of the LEAP Squad track club, led by Keinan Briggs which has now produced 3 of the top 15 all-time county triple jumpers.
Let’s first start by pronouncing her name correctly, Sophia (Sher-ra-mon-tay). Chiaramonte is a Sophomore at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA. She is yet another talent to come out of the Mater Dei LEAP Squad program led by coach Keinan Briggs. Standing at 5’4 Sophia is always one of the shortest athletes in competition but she is a beast, definitely an athlete you need to see compete in person. This year has been her breakout year, the perfect way to bounce back. Sophia was disrupted her Freshman year with a nagging hamstring injury, she still competed but was limited to the high jump and a few long jump competitions towards the end of season. Sophia was the OC Frosh/Soph High Jump Champion with a clearance of 5’1.
Now healthy, Sophia is lighting up the track in every event she touches. Sophia’s marks as of today are, high jump 5’3 CA #14, triple jump 36’0 CA #7, and long jump 18’1 which ranks her CA #2 behind a well known Tierra Cockrell. (Rankings for the class of ‘19 via www.athletic.net)
“This girl is very mature and easy to coach. Sophia is developing very well and understanding what is needed from her on a daily.” said coach Briggs
“I really want to break the school record,” said Chiaramonte.
The Mater Dei School record is 18’4 ¾ set by Ashley Voisinet back in 2003. Sophia Chiaramonte will be competing in the long jump in the Saturday day event at Arcadia, this event should be a great place to do it.
Two weeks after her 10th place finish in the triple jump at the New Balance Indoor Championships, Dominique Rutolo hit another respectable mark but this time in the high jump at the LA Jets Relay Carnival at Cerritos College. Dominique’s clearance of 5’7 ranks her CA #4 and top 10 in the US for the class of (‘18) via www.ca.milesplit.com
“It was really exciting, I almost had 5’9,” said Ruotolo.
Ruotolo’s last high jump was May of 2016, she suffered a high jump related injury which kept her away from the event this winter. Today was Ruotolo’s first time jumping since May 2016 and Ruotolo seems to be back and in better shape.
“I have Domi(nique) set goals every year and this year her goals were to jump 20’ (long jump), 40’ (triple jump), and 6’ (high jump). With her performances thus far I am confident we will hit those marks well before this season is over,” said her coach Keinan Briggs
Ruotolo’s clearance of 5’7 is just 2” shy of qualifying for the US Junior National Championships held June. Ruotolo is one of many athletes excelling on the track, keep an eye on all of Briggs’ athletes via YouTube, Instagram, and www.keinanbriggs.com
Sophomore Sophia Chiaramonte and Senior Bianca James are the next two Mater Dei LEAP Squad jumper standouts. Chiaramonte ranks CA #2 for the class of (‘19) in the long jump with her mark of 5.52m, CA #2 in the high jump with her mark of 1.60m, and CA #3 in the triple jump with her mark of 10.90m. James ranks top 10 in CA for the class of (‘17) in both long and triple. (rankings via ca.milesplit.com). This duo has placed in the top three for both long and triple jump in every meet this season including three very competitive invitationals, The Eagle Invite, The South County Classic, and The Laguna Beach Trophy Invitational.
The Mater Dei jumps team aka the Mater Dei LEAP Squad is led by head jumps coach Keinan Briggs. Briggs has been with the program six years and has virtually had the county’s top jumpers each year.
“I am excited to watch what Sophia and Bianca can do this year, we have our goals set but at this pace we may have to add more.” Said Coach Keinan Briggs
Keep an eye on Chiaramonte and James this 2017 season
March 10th 2017, Dominique Ruotolo (Class of ’18) competed in the New Balance Indoor National Championships in the long jump where she placed 5th overall with a mark of 18’0.50. Ruotolo’s mark moved her into the #2 overall spot for Orange County athletes right behind Ashley Bethel’s mark of 18’6.25 (Mission Viejo, 1992). March 12th, Ruotolo competed in the triple jump, her leap of 39’0.25 also paced her #2 in Orange County behind Michelle Sanford’s mark of 39’7.75 (Woodbridge 2003).
Ruotolo is on a roll and looking forward to move up the outdoor top marks list for Orange County track and field athletes.
Stats based on the 2016 track and field history books (updated 7/16).
Mater Dei LEAP Squad’s Sophia Chiaramonte leaps into the record books at the 4th Annual South County Classic record books. Chiaramonte won the long jump and set the meet record with her first jump of the day, 18’1 ½. The Super Sophomore placed 2nd in the high jump with a clearance of 5’1 and a new personal best of 36’0 ½ in the triple jump which placed her 3rd in the competition. Last year as a freshman Chiaramonte suffered a hamstring injury which slowed her down and limited her to the high jump. Chiaramonte is yet another talented jumper to come out of the Mater Dei jumps program led by Coach Keinan Briggs.
“Sophia is very mature in the sport, she just gets it. Sophia is dedicated in the classroom, in the weight-room, and is a real student of the every event. The exciting part is she is only a sophomore.”