A few up-and-com­ers who may make mark

Antelope Valley Press - - Sports - By PAT GRA­HAM

Some are al­ready on the as­cent (rock climber Brooke Raboutou). Oth­ers are cur­rently mak­ing waves (surfer Kanoa Igarashi) or shoot­ing for the stars (skate­boarder Poppy Starr Olsen).

The names of Raboutou, Igarashi and Olsen may not ring a bell now. That could change in a few months when their sports make Olympic de­buts this sum­mer at the Tokyo Games.

They’re just a few of the emerg­ing ath­letes to keep close tabs on head­ing into 2020.

Or the Josh Al­lens. That’s right, plu­ral, be­cause it was a good year to be named Josh Allen in the NFL.

The Josh Allen who’s a quar­ter­back in Buf­falo led the Bills into the play­offs af­ter throw­ing for 3,089 yards. The Josh Allen who’s a rookie pass rusher in Jack­sonville fin­ished with 10 1/2 sacks. Bright fu­tures to the power of two.

Two other stars to emerge in 2019 were New York Mets slug­ger Pete Alonso ( 53 home runs, NL rookie of the year) and Tour de France win­ner Egan Ber­nal. The NBA’s No. 1 pick, Zion Wil­liamson, re­mains in a hold­ing pat­tern due to a knee in­jury. The New Orleans Pel­i­cans rookie could be con­sid­ered a car­ry­over with the cal­en­dar about to flip.

Let’s name-drop a few on the rise: —Igarashi, surf­ing, Japan. His fa­ther grew up surf­ing in

Japan be­fore mov­ing to Hunt­ing­ton Beach, Cal­i­for­nia, to be in the heart of surf coun­try. The 22-year-old Igarashi has dual cit­i­zen­ship and elected to com­pete for Japan, where he’s al­ready a house­hold name and been fea­tured on a re­al­ity TV show.

— Raboutou, climber, U.S. She’s the first U.S. fe­male climber to qual­ify for Tokyo. The teenager grew up with world-class climb­ing par­ents and split her time be­tween Colorado and France. She’s a stu­dent at the Univer­sity of San Diego ma­jor­ing in busi­ness.

— Olsen, skate­board­ing, Aus­tralia. The 19-year-old fin­ished fourth at the Park World Cham­pi­onship in Brazil in Septem­ber. There will be two skate­board dis­ci­plines con­tested in Tokyo — park and street.

— Jo Adell, base­ball, L.A. An­gels. Might break spring train­ing as an out­fielder for the An­gels this sea­son and be in the run­ning for rookie of the year. He hit .289 with 10 homers in three minor league stops last sea­son. Was drafted 10th over­all by the An­gels in 2017.

— Rose Lavelle, soc­cer, U.S. She scored a goal for the Amer­i­cans in the World Cup fi­nal win over the Nether­lands. Could be a big fac­tor for the U.S. at the Tokyo Games.

— Matthew Wolff, golf, U.S. Won the 3M Open in July. He spent two sea­sons at Ok­la­homa State, where he was a two-time All-Amer­i­can and won the 2019 NCAA in­di­vid­ual ti­tle.

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