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The Top 10 Sports Stories of the Decade:

Tragedy, triumph color the decade

Numerous sports stories, on and off the field, gripped the community at large during the past 10 years.

December 31, 2009

On May 30, the 19-year-old James Jenkins — a 2001 Crescenta Valley High graduate who had just finished his freshman year at San Jose State University — was found dead after an apparent fall while hiking with his father, Dr. Horace Jenkins, in June Lake near Mammoth.

After a search of the surrounding area was conducted by the Mono County Search and Rescue Team, Jenkins’ body was finally located at the bottom of Rush Creek Falls after suffering an accidental fall of approximately 120 feet.

Jenkins, a two-time News-Press Male Athlete of the Year, captured four Division II individual swimming titles and was a member of three team championships, in addition to earning Pacific League Most Valuable Player honors and All-CIF accolades his junior and senior years.

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He also graduated as the sixth-leading scorer in Crescenta Valley basketball program history with 1,548 points.

Former Falcon football standout Pat Kennelly was found dead at age 29 in Kapulua, Hawaii, on Dec. 15.

Kennelly — the 1989 Pacific League Defensive Player of the Year — apparently was swept off a 25-foot cliff and drowned in turbulent surf, according to the Maui Police Department.

2003

An unforgettable summer for a local teenager: At 18, former Glendale High boys’ tennis player Robert Yim basked in the limelight during a five-week run. On July 29, Yim made his Assn. of Tennis Professionals debut at the 77th annual Mercedes-Benz Cup, losing an opening-round contest to Wayne Ferreira, the world’s No. 20-ranked player, 6-4, 6-4.

On Aug. 10, the two-time Pacific League champion capped an impressive seven-match run by defeating Tarzana resident Jamil Al-Agba, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4, to win the United States Tennis Assn. Super National Hardcourt Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich. That earned him a wild-card entry in the U.S. Open Men’s Tennis Championship.

On Aug. 20, Yim passed up an opportunity to play at UCLA. He opted to become a professional.

That came to fruition Aug. 25, when Yim — then ranked No. 802 in the world — faced the world’s No. 93 player, Todd Martin, in an opening-round match of the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadow, N.Y.

Martin picked up a 6-1, 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 victory against Yim, who earned $12,500.

2004

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