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News: Swimmer Cheung, Hoops' Spencer '13-14 PCC Athletes of the Year

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Double state women's swimming champion Shannon Cheung and All-State men's basketball star Taj Spencer were selected as the 2013-2014 Pasadena City College Athletes of the Year. 

The selections made by PCC Athletics are part of the annual, season-ending Elizabeth Jensen Scholarships as well as a few other scholarships designated for acceptance by Lancers 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.

It is the second Jensen scholarship in as many seasons for the sophomore Cheung, who as a freshman won PCC's President's Award. Cheung, who was raised in South Pasadena, attended the English language-taught International Christian High in Hong Kong, China before returning to the U.S. to attend PCC.

She became the first PCC women's swimmer to ever win a state title with her gold medal victory in the 200-yard individual medley at the CCCAA Championships held earlier this month. Cheung then went on to record her second state title in winning the 1,650-yard freestyle. She shattered six school records this season (she was a part of nine records in 2013), including an amazing four South Coast Conference records. In all she set five conference records in two years and was a two-time selection as SCC Swimmer of the Year.

A model student, Cheung holds the highest GPA of any PCC sophomore women's student-athlete at 3.83. She helped the Lancers to the program's highest finish ever at a state meet as they placed sixth overall. Cheung swam for Lancers head coach Terry Stoddard. 

Named PCC Men's Athlete of the Year, Spencer excelled in his only season here after transferring from Mt. San Antonio College. Spencer signed a playing scholarship to attend California Baptist University (Riverside). He was the team's leading scorer and rebounder at 18 points and 8.2 rebounds a game. An All-SCC First Team choice, he was later recognized to the All-California team. Spencer led the Lancers to their first playoff appearance in a decade and to an upset victory over Saddleback before losing in the region's final 8 round. PCC finished 21-10.

Early in the season in a tournament win over Victor Valley, Spencer recorded the third highest scoring game in school history with 43 points. He later was named MVP of the Imperial Valley Holiday Tournament as he led the Lancers to their first tourney title in nine years. Spencer played his prep ball at Canyon Springs High in Moreno Valley. He played at PCC under head coach Michael Swanegan. 

The President's Award, presented to the student-athlete that combines successful playing performance with classroom excellence and sportsmanship, goes to women's basketball player Tyler Crockom. The two-year letterman and guard-forward was an All-SCC First Team selection on a PCC team that was a No. 4 playoff seed and finished 22-8 overall. She was named MVP of the Glendale Tournament. The local Pasadena High product carried a 3.2 GPA. Crockom played for head coach Joe Peron. 

Men's soccer player Midya Housepian (Hoover High, Glendale) won the men's highest GPA award with a 3.84 average in 85 units during his two years at PCC. Housepian, a midfielder, helped the region's No. 7-seeded Lancers advance to the SoCal playoffs for the first time in six years. Housepian competed under PCC head coach Edgar Manvelyan. 

Because Cheung couldn't receive two awards due to the scholarship rules, the women's high GPA award goes to another swimmer in Arolyn Basham (La Salle High), who holds a 3.62 average. Basham set PCC school records in the 50-yard and 100-yard breaststroke events and was a SCC champion in the 100 individual medley. With teammate Cheung, she is a member of all five of PCC's school relay record squads.

The following student-athletes are two-year sophomores who will receive transfer scholarships:

Breanna Clark (women's track and field, 3.3 GPA, Dorsey High) was the SoCal and SCC 400 meters champion and took home a fifth place medal in the 200 at the CCCAA state meet. Clark raced despite facing the challenges of being an autistic student. Last year, Breanna won state medals as a member of the team's 4x100 (third) and 4x400 (sixth) relay squads. She is the daughter of Rosalyn Bryant (Clark), a U.S. Olympian who won a silver medal in the 4x400 relay at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. 

Cassandra Orozco (women's soccer, 3.5 GPA, Crescenta Valley High) played as an All-SCC First Team midfielder for the Lancers. A two-year letterman, Orozco scored the team's lone goal in PCC's playoff loss v. Santa Monica as a freshman. She was directed this past season by PCC head coach Reggie Rivas.

Tiffany Roesler (women's volleyball, 3.3 GPA, Covina High) helped the Lancers as an All-SCC Second Team setter. She led the conference in assists at 9.97 per set and added 30 service aces. A converted outside hitter from two seasons earlier, Roesler aided PCC to become the No. 14-ranked team in the state as the Lancers made it to the second round of the SoCal Regionals. She was guided by interim head coach Bill Sanchez in 2013.

Allison Lacey (women's softball, 3.25 GPA, Crescenta Valley) was an All-SCC Second Team catcher. Lacey led the Lancers with 31 RBI as she batted .375. She was a SoCal Player of the Week selection early in the year when she made it to the All-Golden West Tournament team. Lacey started for head coach Monica Tantlinger. 

All of the mentioned award winners receive $1,000 scholarships. Additional $500 Jensen assistance scholarships for sophomores with 48 units completed and at least a 2.5 GPA will go to:

  1. Audrey Serna (women's softball, 3.1 GPA, Arroyo High), who played as a two-time, All-SCC selection. She was the team's batting champion in each of her two Lancers seasons as she batted .426 with two home runs and 17 RBI as a sophomore.
  2. Christina Shamirian (women's cross country, track and field, 3.1 GPA, Burbank High), who was 74th overall at the CCCAA state cross country meet and qualified for the state meet in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
  3. Lizbeth Rodriguez (women's soccer, 3.1 GPA, Sierra Vista High), who made it to the All-SCC Second Team as a midfielder. She scored four goals and added three assists. 
  4. Tim Shiba (baseball, 3.1 GPA, Cathedral High), who was a 2-year letterman as a knuckleball pitcher for the Lancers. His best season was as a freshman when he was an all-conference honorable mention and led the team in innings pitched and ERA. 
  5. Kaitlyn Parks (women's basketball, 2.9 GPA, Barstow High), who was an All-State selection and a two-time, All-SCC First Team center. Parks led the Lancers to the SoCal Regional playoffs both of her seasons as the team compiled a 44-15 record.
  6. Nora To'omalatai (women's volleyball, 2.6 GPA, Monrovia High), who finished a brilliant playing career as the program's all-time kills and aces leader. Headed to Northwestern Oklahoma State on a playing scholarship, she was an All-SoCal Region selection as well as a two-time, All-SCC First Team outside hitter. 
  7. Averie-Alice Guzman (women's basketball, 2.6 GPA, Bellarmine-Jefferson High), who was a role player for the Lancers as a reserve forward the past two seasons. Guzman displayed strong sportsmanship and team work. She helped out the athletics program by working home volleyball matches as the scoreboard operator. 

Men's soccer player Eric Chavez (Pasadena High), an All-SCC First Team selection as a forward, received the Horrell Scholarship for outstanding athletic achievement and sportsmanship. Chavez, who earned a 2.99 GPA, led the Lancers in goals scored in both his freshman and sophomore seasons, finishing with 14 overall. Chavez is not only the second men's soccer player in as many years to earn this award but received a playing scholarship to Manhattanville College (New York) where last year's recipient Michael Alvarez also is attending. The Horrell award is named after the Horrell brothers, who excelled in athletics at Pasadena Junior College and had the program's old football stadium named in their honor--Horrell Field.

Football linebacker Bryan Luna (Crescenta Valley, 3.1 GPA) earned the Thomas O. Mallory scholarship. 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. Luna perservered through injuries after a strong freshman season in 2011 when he was a starter and made 51 tackles. He was a medical redshirt in 2012 and returned for several games this past season (25 tackles) before another injury sidelined him. A skilled player and hard tackler, Luna excelled in the classroom with 100 units of work. He was named to the SCFA All-Academic Team. 

Finally, football wide receiver Marcus Green, picked up the James P. O'Mara scholarship. The award is specific to a PCC athlete who excelled after also attending Pasadena High. Green was an All-SCFA Second Team selection after leading the Lancers in receiving (30 catches, three touchdowns) and all-purpose yardage. Both Green and Luna played for head coach Fred Fimbres.

Release Date: 05/21/2014
Contact: Robert Lewis , Sports Information
Phone: (626) 585-7018
Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu