Awards were presented on May 21 to 16 Santa Monica College students who’ve been named 2008-’09 Student Athletes Of the Year demonstrating scholastic achievement as well as athletic talent.The annual event was sponsored by the SMC General Advisory Board and held in the SMC Pavilion.The students and their coaches:Rodney Hudson, men’s basketball, coached by Jerome Jenkins: The captain of the basketball team was raised by his father after his mother passed away when he was young. He has a 2.8 grade point average at SMC.Karla Batalia, women’s’ basketball, coached by Lydia Strong: The freshman point guard from Santa Monica High started every game and led the team in assists.Karissa Gonzalez, womens’ cross country, coached by Eric Barron: Born and raised in Santa Monica, she was named second team all-conference. A nursing major, she has a 3.5 grade point average.Jesus De Lara, men’s cross country, coached by Larry Silva: He qualified for the Southern California Championships and will go on to Cal State Northridge, where he’ll finish a double degree program in accounting and information systems.Charlie Hatchett, football, coached by Robert Taylor: He was an all-conference linebacker in 2007 and 2008 after playing high school football in Connecticut and led the Corsairs in tackles both years (85 and 105). He will graduate in June and is considering North Carolina A&T among others.Sarah Ritz, womens’ swimming, diving, and coached by Steve Contarsy: She grew up in and around Santa Monica and as SMC’s lone diver qualified for the state meets and was named the team’s “most inspirational.” She’s a psychology major and has aspirations of becoming a therapist. Ted Boehm, mens’ swimming, coached by Steve Contarsy: He didn’t do well academically at first but then excelled, becoming a member of the Math Club. He aspires to be a civil engineer. As a swimmer he made second team all-conference.Kelsea Rock, womens’ soccer, coached by Aaron Benditson: She attended Santa Monica High, then Notre Dame Academy, then became all-conference at SMC and was the Corsairs’ MVP, excelling on defense. She’s a business major with a 3.71 grade point average.Anastasia Eliseeva, womens’ tennis, coached by Richard Goldenson: She immigrated to the United States six years ago from her native Russia and was SMC’s No. 1 player, ranking third in the conference with 14 wins and two losses. In doubles she and Julia Cobian were No. 1 in the conference.Leanne Wilder, womens’ track and field, coached by Eric Barron: She was a conference finalist in the discus throw and has a 3.5 grade point average. She’s been accepted by three University of California schools and is deciding where to go.Dominic Jester, mens’ track and field, coached by Larry Silva. The graduate of University High was first team all-conference in the 400 meters. He ran the sprints and was a high jumper. He’s on the SMC Dean’s List and plans to be a neurosurgeon.Rebecca Chase, womens’ volleyball, coached by Nicole Ryan. She was SMC’s captain and first team all-conference. This fall she will attend Holy Names University in Northern California.R.J. Storm Larson, men’s volleyball, coached by John Mayer: He was captain of the SMC team which reached the playoffs and made first team all-conference. He has a 3.2 grade point average and plans to attend Cal State Long Beach.Erin Walker, womens’ water polo, coached by Steve Contarsy: She previously attended Atizona State University and West Los Angeles College. At SMC she made second team all-conference. Her major is architecture.Tyler Contarsy, mens’ water polo, coached by Erik Matheson: He won the Most Inspirational award and maintained a 3.0 grade point average at SMC. An L.A. County lifeguard during the summer, he plans to attend Cal State Long Beach and pursue a degree in Recreational Management.
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