Swimmers Sweep 2017-18 PCC Athlete Of The Year Awards

PCC 2017-18 Athletes of the Year--Melissa Cienega and Samuel Jo.
PCC 2017-18 Athletes of the Year--Melissa Cienega and Samuel Jo.

A double state champion in both of her seasons here, sophomore swimmer Melissa Cienega recorded another double as again she was selected as the 2017-2018 Pasadena City College Women's Athlete of the Year. Men's swimmer Samuel Jo, a state champion for the second straight year in the 100-yard backstroke, was chosen the '17-18 PCC Men's Athlete 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 and later PCC. The awards are designed primarily for graduating sophomores who competed two seasons of athletics at PCC.

Cienega, on athletic scholarship to leave PCC for Cal Baptist University, is the first repeat winner of the AOTY since cross country/track and field runner Tracee van der Wyk in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. A women's swimmer has won the top athlete award in four of the last five years.

This month, Cienega won the state titles in the 200-yard freestyle and became a 2-time champ in the 500 freestyle. She took third place in trying to defend her 2017 title in the 1,650 freestyle. The John Marshall High product is all over the PCC record book as she is in the top 5 listings in 12 different events, including relays. She holds the school record in three events and she was twice namad the South Coast Conference Co-Swimmer of the Year.

Jo, who won two state titles as a freshman, is also a two-time SCC Swimmer of the Year. He helped PCC achieve a first by leading the Lancers to the SCC dual team title with an undefeated 7-0 record and he led Pasadena to sixth place overall at the CCCAA State Championships, the highest finish by a Lancers team since the school's last state champion squad in 1978. Jo smashed school records in the 100 and 200 backstroke as well as in the 200 medley relay, all occuring at the '18 state meet. Jo attended Loyola High before coming to PCC. An accomplished student, Jo holds a 3.44 GPA. Both Cienega and Jo participated here under head coach Terry Stoddard. 

The President's Award, presented to the student-athlete that combines successful playing performance with classroom excellence and sportsmanship, goes to women's volleyball player Paige Clingaman. A two-time, All-SCC selection, Clingaman, an outside hitter from Shorewood High, Wisconsin, helped PCC win the SCC North Division title and achieve a SoCal Regional playoff seed. Clingaman led the Lancers in kills as a freshman (248) and sophomore (236). Statistically in individual points, a figure that rates a player's overall performance, she was second on the team in each of her seasons. In the classroom, Clingaman is just as gifted with a 3.7 GPA in completing more than 70 units. Clingaman was guided by PCC volleyball coach Mike Terrill.

The High GPA Awards also went to a pair of swimmers as Jayson Wilia was the top male with a sparkling 3.93 GPA while Lindsay Jensen's 3.85 mark earned her the women's top GPA. Wilia (from Glendale High) was part of the team's SCC first-place 400 medley relay squad and his wins in the 100 and 200 butterfly events were instrumental in helping PCC win a key double dual meet against Long Beach City and El Camino Colleges. Jensen (Burbank High) aided the Lancers in gaining All-American times in both the 400 and 800 freestyle relays. At the South Coast Conference Championships, Jensen received medals for fourth place in the 1,650 freestyle and seventh in the 500 free while also winning the consolation race in the 200 free.

This year, the AOTY pair will receive $1,500 awards, the President's award a $1,200 award, and the GPA winners each $1,000.  The following student-athletes are two-year sophomores who will receive $1,000 transfer scholarships:

Alisa Shinn (women's basketball, 3.0 GPA, Crescenta Valley High) finished one of the greatest seasons ever for a PCC center-forward. She was named All-State Second Team and this past season selected the 2017-18 SCC North Division Player of the Year after leading the conference in scoring at 21 points a game and finishing sixth in the state in rebounding at 13 boards a contest. She climbed to No. 4 as a 1,000-point scorer on PCC's all-time scoring list and helped the Lancers to consecutive seasons in which the Lancers reached at least the second round of the SoCal Regional Playoffs. Shinn set a school playoff record for most rebounds (23) and tied for most points in a game at 35. She played for head coach Joe Peron.

Natalie Ong (women's badminton, 3.2 GPA, Glen Wilson High) helped lead PCC to back-to-back CCCAA State team championships. She was an All-American doubles player her freshman season and earned a state individual silver medal, advancing to the finals of this year's state tournament. She was the No. 1 singles player this year and played also on two South Coast Conference and Southern California undefeated champion teams. Ong played under head coach Jen Ho.

Jose Jimenez (baseball, 3.1 GPA, Roosevelt High) was the starting third baseman on the 2017 SCC North Division champion team, then moved to shortstop to play as an All-SCC Second Team selection as a sophomore. He helped PCC advance to back-to-back SoCal Regional Playoff appearances and his postseason batting was remarkable as he batted .467 (14-for-30) in all career playoff games. He put together a 28-game hitting streak that spanned the end of his first year and first 21 games of this season. He played under head coach Pat McGee.

Joshua Arevalo (men's soccer, 3.1 GPA, Glendale High) had the distinction of being a two-time, All-SCC First Team selection as a midfielder. Arevalo played on PCC's SoCal Regional finalist team as a freshman and was a team captain this past season. He played under interim head coach Gerry Mora.

Angel Wintercorn (softball, 3.04 GPA, Temple City High) was a top pitcher on back-to-back Lancers teams that earned SoCal Playoff seeds and won at least 25 games. Wintercorn made All-SCC First Team this year with an 11-6 record, a 2.38 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 109 innings. She hurled a no-hitter and pitched one of the greatest games in Lancers history when she set down 23 batters in a row in an extra-inning win over East LA. Wintercorn played under head coach Monica Tantlinger. 

Additional $500 Jensen transfer/assistance scholarships go to two-year Lancers as follows:

Jocelyn Jo (women's swimming, 3.8 GPA, South Pasadena High) was the SCC Co-Swimmer of the Year as a freshman, sharing the award with Cienega. Jo scored four top 8 state medals (three in 2017) and was SCC champion her first year in the 100 and 200 backstroke as well as the 200 individual medley. She was on three conference champion relay squads, including this year's 200 medley title. She was a member of four All-American relay swims and broke the school record in the 200 breaststroke. Another top student-athlete coached by Stoddard. 

Alex Howard (softball, 3.7 GPA, Glendale High) was a key starting infielder on both of PCC's playoff teams in 2017 and 2018. She led the team in RBI as a freshman with 34. This year, she was the Lancers leader in stolen bases with 30. Howard was a slick fielder as both a second baseman and shortstop in her two seasons. Howard played for Coach Tantlinger. 

Art Rios (football, 3.6 GPA, Roosevelt High) was a two-year starting offensive lineman for the Lancers. He was a right guard as a freshman and continued to help stabilize the line as a top blocker in his sophomore campaign. PCC put together a 5-game win streak during the '17 regular season. Rios played for head coach Steven Mojarro.

Emily Matthiesen (women's soccer 3.5 GPA, Monrovia High) was named All-SCC First Team as a midfielder and led the Lancers in assists with nine. The two-year starter played under head coach Reggie Rivas. 

Christy Lam (women's water polo, 3.45 GPA, Temple City High) played as a two-year starter at utility. She was an All-SCC Second Team choice as a sophomore when she led the Lancers in assists (33). A strong defensive player, Lam made 111 steals in two seasons. Lam played for Coach Stoddard.

Amad Andrews (football, 3.2 GPA, Alemany High) was an All-SCFA Second Team fullback for the Lancers in his sophomore season. He rushed for 512 yards and four touchdowns and caught 16 passes with an additional TD. He was also a strong blocker in PCC's rushing game. Andrews played under Coach Mojarro.

Amy Huang (women's badminton, 2.8 GPA, San Gabriel High) was PCC's No. 2 singles player this year and was the other half of PCC's state runner-up doubles pair with Ong. Huang also earned medals on back-to-back state champion teams. She played for Coach Ho.

Emily Leung (women's volleyball, 2.7 GPA, Maranatha High) was the Lancers setter and the SCC North Division MVP in helping her team win the conference title. Leung led the entire conference in assists at 9.24 a game. She was an All-SCC First Team selection as a freshman. Leung played under Coach Terrill.

Football player Matt Terlizzi earned the Horrell Scholarship for outstanding athletic achievement and sportsmanship. The Horrell award is named after the Horrell brothers, who excelled in athletics at Pasadena High School (part of then the campus of Pasadena Junior College) and had the program's old football stadium named in their honor--Horrell Field. Terlizzi (3.2 GPA, Bishop Amat High) was underated as an All-SCFA Second Team selection. He was second on the team in tackles this season after making a team-high 43 solo tackles as a freshman. He accumulated 111 tackles in his two years. Terlizzi played under Coach Mojarro.

Baseball player Nico Martinez picked up the Thomas O. Mallory Scholarship. The Mallory scholarship is named after the former PCC football coach (coached 20th century sports legend Jackie Robinson) and athletic director who also is a member of PCC's prestigious Court of Champions. Martinez (3.04 GPA, Alta Loma High) completed 80 units in the classroom and was a 2-year starter for the Lancers, first as a leftfielder, then as a third baseman. His play helped PCC to consecutive postseason appearances and 49 victories over two seasons. He batted .272 with 24 RBI this season and was a team captain. Martinez played for Coach McGee.

Men's soccer player Alexander Hernandez is winner of the James P. O'Mara Scholarship. The award is specific to a PCC athlete who excelled after also attending Pasadena High. Hernandez was a starting defender and stalwart player on PCC's SoCal No. 7 Regional Playoff team as a freshman. He returned to play his sophomore season. He played under Coach Mora.