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Trackster Browne, Swimmer To Named PCC 2012-13 Athletes of the Year

Trackster Browne, Swimmer To Named PCC 2012-13 Athletes of the Year image

State champion women's track and field freshman sprinter Omhunique Browne and men's sophomore swimmer Stephen To, a state champion himself a year ago, are the 2012-2013 Pasadena City College Athletes of the Year. Ironically, both are local talents from the same prep sports program at San Marino High. 

The selections made by the Athletic Division are part of the season-ending Elizabeth Jensen Scholarships as well as a few other season-ending award scholarships designated for acceptance by PCC student-athletes. Jensen, a member of the college's Dick Ratliff Court of Champions, spent nearly 40 years as a women's athletic director at Pasadena Junior College then PCC.

Browne was named the PCC Women's Athlete of the Year after becoming the first Lancer women's track athlete to ever win two gold medals at the CCCAA State Championships. Browne, the South Coast Conference Running Athlete of the Year, set national-leading times in both the 100-meter and 200-meter sprint events. She was conference, Southern California, and state champion in both events.

Browne scored 29 of PCC's team points to help the Lancers finish No. 9 in the state meet held at College of San Mateo. Her national best times of 11.30 seconds in the 100 and 23.46 in the 200 are both school records. She also helped the PCC 4x100 relay and 4x400 relay squads earn third and sixth place medals, respectively. Browne raced for PCC head coach Larry Wade.

Named PCC Men's Athlete of the Year, To is a four-time, South Coast Conference champion swimmer, who excelled in the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly events. After winning the CCCAA state title in the 200 fly as a freshman, To settled for a fourth place medal in the 100 fly and took sixth in the 200 event at this year's state meet held at East Los Angeles College. To (pronounced toe) swam his two seasons under Lancers' head coach Terry Stoddard. To holds a 3.57 GPA as well.

Freshman women's swimmer Shannon Cheung received the President's Award for the combination of athletic and school performance plus sportsmanship. Cheung set an amazing nine PCC school records, four individual and five on relays, as she led the Lancers to a program-best eighth place finish at the CCCAA State Championships. She became the first PCC women's swimmer to ever break a South Coast Conference record when she swam 2:08.51 to win the 200-yard individual medley at the conference finals. She was named SCC Swimmer of the Year.

Cheung, who holds an impressive 3.79 GPA, then won the silver medal, the highest finish ever by a PCC women's swimmer at the state meet, in breaking her own school record in the 200 IM at 2:06.58. Cheung also placed seventh in the 100 backstroke while grabbing a fourth place medal (800 freestyle) and two sixth place medals (200 medley, 400 freestyle) in the relay events. 

Women's water polo player Milene Minassians (Glendale High) won the women's high GPA award with a 3.88 GPA in 61 units completed at PCC. The sophomore attacker was an All-SCC Second Team selection who scored 38 goals in 2012. Cross Country runner Brian Sacripanti (Maranatha High) was the men's high GPA award winner with a 3.78 GPA in 78 units. Sacripanti finished in 146th place at the 2012 state meet.

The following student-athletes are sophomores who received transfer scholarships with a minimum 2.5 GPA and completed at least 48 units: Shelby Gregg (women's water polo goalie, 3.83 GPA, Crescenta Valley High, All-SCC First Team, set a school record with 279 saves in 2012); Paige Watroba (women's swimming and water polo, 3.41 GPA, Laguna Beach High, member of five different PCC school record relays); Angie Ortiz (women's badminton, 3.23 GPA, Pasadena High, CCCAA state third place medalist this year after winning both the state title and the 2011-12 PCC Women's AOTY as a freshman, two-time SCC Player of the Year); Caleb Wood (men's track and field thrower, 3.21 GPA, Beaumont High, SCC champion in the javelin and discus, sixth place medal in javelin at state meet); and Jennifer Estrada (women's volleyball libero, 2.88 GPA, Arcadia High, SCC Co-MVP, member of the Lancers' 2012 co-conference champion team).

All of the mentioned award winners receive $1,000 scholarships. Additional $500 Jensen assistance scholarships for sophomores went to women's soccer player Bianca Mercado (defender, Maranatha High, 3.0 GPA), women's volleyball player Viridiana Gallardo (outside hitter, Polytechnic High, All-SCC Second Team), women's softball player Natalie Ficocelli (first baseman, Providence High, All-SCC honorable mention) and women's basketball player Shay Jackson (point guard, Castlemont High, All-State Second Team, All-SCC First Team).

Men's soccer player Michael Alcaraz (sophomore defender, Burbank High, All-SCC First Team) received the Horrell Scholarship for outstanding athletic achievement and sportsmanship. Alcaraz earned a 2.6 GPA as well. The Horrell award is named after the Horrell brothers, who excelled in athletics at PCC and had the previous Lancers' football stadium named in their honor (Horrell Field, torn down in 1995, and replaced by Robinson Stadium). 

Football offensive lineman Jase To'omalatai (Kahuku High, Hawaii) picked up the Thomas O. Mallory scholarship. To'omalatai earned a 3.25 GPA and the two-year lettermen used his blocking skills to help PCC's strong ball-control rushing plan over the team's final games of the 2012 season. The Mallory scholarship is named after the former PCC football coach (coached Jackie Robinson) and athletic director who also is a member of the PCC Court of Champions.

Finally, men's track and field relay sprinter Kameron Burch, who also played basketball at PCC, earned the James P. O'Mara scholarship. The award is specific to a PCC athlete who excelled after also attending Pasadena High. Burch, who has a 3.15 GPA, picked up a sixth place medal at the state meet on the Lancers' 4x400 relay. 

Release Date: 05/30/13
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu