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Misty the clear choice for No. 1

May-Treanor, Aaron Peirsol lead way on diverse list of top Newport-Mesa sports stories of the decade.

January 02, 2010|By Barry Faulkner

Displaying the diversity that exists on the Newport-Mesa sports scene, the top 10 sports stories of the decade, as chosen by the Daily Pilot sports staff, represent 10 different sports.

Individuals, events and programs, from the professional ranks, college, high school and the youth realm are also represented.

1 Misty May-Treanor: Misty May-Treanor: The Newport Harbor High product has not only established herself as the preeminent figure in her sport, but has also become a cultural icon and international celebrity known to millions who have never even seen her jump serve.

It is her work on the beach volleyball court, however, that has produced the bulk of her fame.

The all-time wins leader and money winner on the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals women’s tour, May-Treanor and partner Kerri Walsh have claimed gold medals at the last two summer Olympic Games in Beijing (2008) and Athens (2004).

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Paired with Holly McPeak, she finished fifth at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Her place in the AVP record books is as noteworthy as men’s legend Karch Kiraly and her unique talents have, at various times earned her offensive, defensive and overall player of the year recognition in a game that, sometimes cruelly, can expose a players’ weaknesses.

May-Treanor, however, seems to have none of those, though now 32, she may be on the downward slide of her career that was interrupted by a torn Achilles tendon in 2008.

In the unlikely event that her competitive days are numbered, May-Treanor’s success to date places her at the top of the pantheon of Newport-Mesa athletes.

2 Aaron Peirsol: Aaron Peirsol: Seven Olympic medals, including five gold, are just a portion of the myriad accomplishments this Newport Harbor High alumnus has produced.

Dozens of world records have fallen at his arrival at the touch pad and his Olympic haul includes gold in the 100-meter backstroke in 2008 and 2004, gold in the 100 back in 2004, as well as gold medals in both of those years in the 400 medley relay.

His collection of titles at the world champions includes 200 backstroke wins in 2009, 2005, 2003 and 2001, as well as 100 back crowns in 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2009.

His national titles are virtually too numerous to mention, but the 26-year-old is also universally revered for his laid-back, California cool.

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