Senior athletes dedicate themselves to sports

Class of 2023 Athlete Spotlight


Photo courtesy of Simone Beinlich

Senior Simon Beinlich at the 2022 USA Diving Zones.

Editor’s note: This spring, every sport at FUHS qualified for CIF. The boys volleyball team made history by qualifying for the championships. The FUHS cross-country team was league champions, the first time since 1965. The baseball team was league champions for the second year in a row. The softball team made it all the way to the CIF Championship. The athletics program has continued to expand, and the graduating seniors have contributed significantly to its success. The FUHS girls volleyball team has three players signing to play at the collegiate level. Kaylee Koerth has signed with Chapman, Cassidy Mullens has signed with North Park University, and Havanna Pennington has signed with Life Pacific University. Although the Tribe Tribune was unable to feature all senior athletes, here are highlights about a few of them.

Simone Beinlich, Dive

Simone Beinlich will dive at the University of Iowa. “[Diving has taught me] definitely that hard work is so important, but also finding balance. Finding balance between practicing four or five hours a night and then homework and staying on top of all of that. It’s a difficult thing to learn. But then once I got it down, I feel like that’s been super helpful,” Beinlich said. “You also learn how to get back up. If I get a bad grade, I’ve learned how to work harder and make it better. Same thing goes for diving. If I mess up on something, I just have to work harder to get back to it.” (Photo courtesy of Simone Beinlich)
At the 2022 USA Diving Zone, Simone performed a reverse dive. Simone said that she has been diving for 12 years and has competed in Nationals 7 times. “I used to play tennis with my dad. There was a diving pool next to the tennis court,” Beinlich said. “We would play, and I always was way more interested in diving than I was with tennis. My parents signed me up for a class after that.” (Photo courtesy of Simone Beinlich)
Simone and her dog Stella. Simone B einlich was featured in the Tribe Tribune her junior year.(Photo courtesy of Simone Beinlich)
Simone celebrating her tenth birthday. (Photo courtesy of Simone Beinlich)
(Left to right) Simone’s family including Bruce, Simone, Kyeleen, and Max visit a pumpkin patch to celebrate Halloween. “[My family] has just been so supportive. I definitely couldn’t have done it without them,” Simone said. “No matter what classes I’m taking and how I’m doing, they are always there.” (Photo courtesy of Simone Beinlich)

Abigail Ekstrom, Dive

Senior Abigail Ekstrom will dive Division 1 the Big 10 Conference at Penn State. “Diving has taught me to overcome fears. I mean, it’s a scary sport,” Ekstrom said. “You have to be able to wrap your head around the fact like, ‘hey, this is going to hurt.’” (Photo courtesy of Abigail Ekstrom)

Abigail Ekstrom has been diving for 11 years. “We have a pool in our backyard that I used to dive in. My grandma told my mom, ‘oh, you should sign [Abby] up for diving lessons,” Ekstrom said. “The next day they went to the Beechwood auction, and they were auctioning off diving lessons at one of the teams in Fullerton. My parents won it.” (Photo courtesy of Abigail Ekstrom)
(Left to right) Greg, Abigail, Amy, and Madeline Ekstrom at Abigail’s commitment ceremony. “[My family] has helped me so much. It’s crazy. My mom goes with me to almost every practice. She has for the past 11 years,” Ekstrom said. “She’s a huge supporter. I can’t even say how grateful I am for her continuing to push me and travel with me.” (Photo courtesy of Abigail Ekstrom)

(Left to right) Seniors Aya Eldjoundi and Bryce Tran, sophomore Madeline Ekstrom, and seniors Sophia Gomez, Abigail Ekstrom, and Simon Beinlich before Prom 2023. (Photo courtesy of Abigail Ekstrom)
Abby in 2009. Abigail Ekstrom was featured in the Tribe Tribune her junior year. (Photo courtesy of Abigail Ekstrom)

Ellie Williams, Soccer

Ellie has been on the FUHS soccer team since her freshman year. “I’ve learned how to push myself to get better or just finish a difficult game,” said Ellie. “I feel at home on the field and having the community of a team. It’s hard to imagine my life without soccer.” (Photo courtesy of Ellie Williams)
Ellie had the opportunity to take Theory of Knowledge and History of the Americas with history teacher and IB coordinator Mark Henderson. “Ellie is a phenomenal student. The thing I love about Ellie is she is one of those grinders, the hard workers. Ellie puts her time in and as a teacher you can see that and appreciate that,” said Henderson. “She’s also incredibly bright, so you would think that she doesn’t need to put the time in but she does. She wants to do it right. She doesn’t want to fake her way into something and I love that about her.” (Photo courtesy of Ellie Williams)
Ellie will be attending UCLA where she will major in Bioengineering. “Bioengineers do amazing things for the world, and I’d love to contribute to the healthcare innovations I always hear and read about that are changing lives.” (Photo courtesy of Ellie Williams)

Haley Won, Track and Soccer

Haley plays striker, right wing, holding mid, and attacking mid on the varsity soccer team. (Photo courtesy of Haley Won)
Haley Won (right) has been running track since freshman year. She holds the FUHS triple jump school record with a mark of 33′ 5.75″. “I like track because it’s challenging and has helped push me to become better in all of the other things I am involved in.” (Photo courtesy of Haley Won)
(Left to right) Haley’s family including Brendon, Haley, Abigail, Amy, Emma, Erik, and Lauren Won in their Christmas family photo in 2022. “My family is always there. If I ever need to talk to someone, they’ll listen,” Won said. “My siblings and I go to the mall. Sometimes it just helps getting a little break with them.” (Photo courtesy of Haley Won)
Haley Won celebrates her 18th birthday with friends. “[My friends] have helped me become the person I am and have supported me a lot. [Senior] Victoria Olivas (bottom row, second from the left) has helped support me a lot throughout my high school years. We both transferred from Troy to Fullerton,” Won said. “[Senior] Kaylee Koerth (top row, third from the left) has helped me be confident in myself and is always there for me.” (Photo courtesy of Haley Won)
Haley Won in 2012. (Photo courtesy of Haley Won)

Lillian Kelly, Tennis

Lillian Kelly will attend Valparaiso University and play Division 1 Tennis. Lillian said she is excited to continue to grow in both her education and tennis career. Lillian Kelly was featured in the Tribe Tribune her sophomore year. (Photo courtesy of Lillian Kelly)
Sophomore Abigail Kelly (left) and Lillian Kelly (right) played side by side doubles at this year’s League finals. They won their Semifinal match. Lillian said it was a sentimental moment because it was her last time to play with her sister before graduation. (Photo courtesy of Lillian Kelly)