Athletes of the year

by Tim Burt

These Irvine students performed at the highest level in multiple sports

Jadyn Zdanavage

Portola H.S.: lacrosse, basketball, track, cross-country

Coaches call Zdanavage a force of nature for her ferocious play, matched only by her sportsmanship in lacrosse, basketball, track and cross-country. At Portola, she led the cross-country team to its first state championship appearance, helped the basketball team reach its first CIF finals, and led the lacrosse team to its first league title – while breaking numerous individual records. This year in lacrosse, she set school records for goals and points while extending her school record for career goals, points and assists. “Hopefully, I left a legacy they can pass on to future teams,” says the graduate, who will attend the University of Michigan next year.

  • 15 varsity letters
  • 332 career lacrosse goals, a school record
  • 2 PCL titles in cross-country

Adam Harper

Northwood H.S.: football, baseball

Harper finished his Northwood High career dominating two sports. In baseball, the outfielder was named his team’s most valuable offensive player, batting .472 for the season. In football, the running back, linebacker and free safety was named CIF Division 8 Offensive Player of the Year and Pacific Coast League MVP – while leading the team to its second consecutive CIF championship. “I had some great athletes over the years,” Northwood football coach J.C. Clarke says. “But I’ve never, ever seen one person do so much for a team as he has.” Harper plans to attend Brigham Young University after a two-year mission trip in Australia.

  • .472 baseball batting average in 2022
  • 2,020 football rushing yards in 2022
  • 2 CIF football team titles


Moka Saiki, Portola, basketball - Saiki led the Bulldogs, averaging over 20 points a game to become the second player in school history to achieve 1,000 points. She holds every major career scoring record at Portola, including points, and scored a school-record 41 points against Tesoro this season.
Chris Leung, Northwood, swimming - Leung, who is headed to Northwestern University, was voted PCL Male Athlete of the Meet after winning the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke in team-record times at league finals. At the state meet, he was fifth in the 200 free relay and seventh in the 200 individual medley.
Matthew Kuromoto, Woodbridge, baseball - Kuromoto, who has committed to play baseball at Chapman University, was named Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year, while leading the Warriors to their third consecutive league title. He had an 8-0 record during league with an ERA under 1.00.
Katie Liu, Irvine High, softball - Liu batted .542 with four homers in the regular season to lead the Irvine High Vaqueros to the CIF finals for the first time since 1993. “She hit the very first pitch of the season for a double and has been as consistent as one can be,” Irvine coach Jim Knapp says.
James MacDonald, University, tennis - MacDonald, who will attend Harvard next year, won the CIF singles title and led the Trojans to their second consecutive CIF open title this year. “He joined this program and immediately assumed a leadership role both on and off the court,” coach John Kessler says.
Anna Kim, Woodbridge, softball - As co-MVP of the Pacific Coast League, Kim helped the Warriors win the league title with a .660 batting average. “Anna was our steady influence all season,” Woodbridge coach Jerry Rose says. “She did exactly what a lead-off hitter should do – get on base.”

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