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Fallbrook High School seniors Richelle Stephens, left, and Michel Navarro will play in the seven-on-seven rugby competition for the USA at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China from August 16 to 26.
Fallbrook High School seniors Richelle Stephens, left, and Michel Navarro will play in the seven-on-seven rugby competition for the USA at the Youth O...
Fallbrookís Michel Navarro runs during training for the upcoming Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, where she will be on the USA seven-on-seven ru...

Fallbrook athletes play in Junior Olympic Games in Nanjing, China

Fallbrook High School's Michel Navarro and Richelle Stephens play rugby internationally

Thursday, August 14th, 2014
Issue 33, Volume 18.
Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent

Incoming Fallbrook High School seniors Michel Navarro and Richelle Stephens are closing out their summer vacations in Nanjing, China, where they are playing rugby in the Youth Olympic Games.

Navarro and Stephens were among 12 girls chosen to represent the United States in the seven-on-seven rugby competition which will be the first International Olympic Committee rugby activity since 1924.

"Iím really excited," Stephens said.

"It was a great honor," Navarro said. "Iím really excited and Iím very grateful to be getting this opportunity."

Navarro and Stephens left for China on Aug. 11. The Youth Olympic Games will take place Aug. 16 through 28. Rugby will be played Aug. 17 to 20, although the athletes will stay in Nanjing for the entirety of the Youth Olympic Games and return to the United States on Aug. 29.

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girls sought berths on the Youth Olympic Games roster. "That was really prestigious," Fallbrook Rugby Club co-coach Craig Pinnell said of having two Fallbrook players selected.

"Iím really actually kind of surprised I was chosen," Stephens said.

"Itís so exciting. Weíre providing opportunities for these kids that are just unheard of," said Fallbrook Rugby Club co-coach Marin Pinnell.

Stephens, who plays fly half in rugby matches with a full 15 players on each squad, will be a fly half in the 7-on-7 tournament. Navarro is a flank on the 15-a-side version and will be a center on the sevens team.

The United States Olympic Committee is paying the expenses of the players selected. Rugby, which has not been an Olympic sport since the 1924 games, will return to the Olympic Games in its sevens format in 2016.



Comment Profile ImageUncle Eric
Comment #1 | Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 at 6:52 pm
Great job girls and best of luck this weekend!! Fallbrook is blessed with a WORLD CLASS girls rugby program, coached by WORLD CLASS coaches Marin and Craig Pinnell and a world class staff. Thank you Fallbrook Girls Rugby.

PS- Michel is an incoming JUNIOR
Comment Profile ImageReality Checker
Comment #2 | Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 at 9:36 am
Wow. And looking at these athletes in the photos, al I can say is I never want to make them angry and accidentally run into them in a back alley at night! Holy cow. Talk about in shape!
Comment Profile ImageCoach Marin Pinnell
Comment #3 | Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 at 9:30 pm
You can watch the games on demand at this website:
The Fallbrook girls are Richelle (wearing 10) and Michel (wearing 7). They dominate the game!!!
Comment Profile Imagegrumpy
Comment #4 | Sunday, Aug 17, 2014 at 6:12 pm
great job girls...Fallbrook is so proud of you....
Comment Profile ImageCindy G
Comment #5 | Monday, Aug 18, 2014 at 9:39 pm
Love watching my rugby girls - in China or in Fallbrook or wherever they play!

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Fallbrook Village News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.


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