Free throwers reign at state finalsPleasanton students Nicole Riordan, 10, and Nishanth Palanisamy, 14, won the 2010 Knights of Columbus State of California free throw contest held recently in Fresno.
Nicole, a fourth-grade honor student at Mohr Elementary, is the daughter of Dan and Sarah Riordan. She won the free throw contest in Fresno with a score of 24 out of 25. She is also a Girl Scout, plus plays competitive soccer for the Pleasanton Rage and softball for the Phantom (PGSA). She is a member of the CCOP fourth-grade girls A Team basketball team.
Nishanth, a freshman at Foothill High, is the son of Palanisamy Manickampatty and Kalpana Palanisamy. He is a member of the freshman basketball and junior varsity tennis teams, and holds a black belt in Taekwondo. In Fresno, Nishanth made 24 out of 25 baskets.
The Catholic Community of Pleasanton, Knights of Columbus Council No. 6043, sponsored 10 competitors, one in each division. Two of these students made it to the state finals and won.
Competition begins in each parish, then winners go on to the district, then the region and finally the state. Nicole and Nishanth won at each level leading to the state contest.
Jake Marchi, 11, from CCOP made a perfect 25 out of 25 at the district level but lost at the region. Nishanth's brother, Karthik, won the 10-year-old boys contest at the district but was not allowed to continue because he was only 8. Both of these boys say they will be back.
--Dolores Fox Ciardelli