Athletes Get a Little ?Country?

Athletes Get a Little ?Country?
The men's basketball squad is awarded the Team Service Award at the Spring Bash for the most community service performed by a team.

Sports Information Director Paul Helms rides the Bronco with son Drew during the Celebration of Excellence in Academics and Athletics gala on June 5.

Country western was the theme at the Athletic department?s annual Spring Bash held June 5 on the Kellogg Gym patio. Students, coaches and staff were tossed about by a mechanical bull after many were enticed to ride by an offer of a free straw hat. Student-athletes and guests also enjoyed an old-fashioned country barbecue served on tables sporting red and white checked tablecloths.

Bronco teams enjoyed an outstanding 2002-03 athletic season, capturing the NCAA Division II West Region championship in men?s basketball for the first time in nearly 40 years and winning three playoff games for the first time in the program?s history. Women?s tennis also captured a CCAA championship and had four individual conference champions. Thirty-seven student-athletes were All-CCAA award winners, three were conference Freshmen of the Year, five earned All-West Region honors and three picked up Verizon Academic All-American All-District VIII awards.

The Broncos also excelled in academics. The department was honored with a USA Today-NCAA Academic Achievement Award for finishing in the Top Ten for Division II in the category of Highest Student-Athlete Graduation Rate Improvement.

In addition, men?s and women?s tennis coach Sandy Kriezel was named CCAA and NCAA Division II West Region Coach of the Year in 2003.

The Athletic department and the Bronco Athletic Association hosts the Spring Bash to praise and acknowledge student-athletes for their academic and athletic achievements. This year?s event was titled the 20th annual Celebration of Excellence in Academics and Athletics.

Jeff Bonds, the 2003 NCAA Division II West Regional Most Outstanding Player in men?s basketball, and Michelle McConnell, a first-team All-CCAA and second-team All-West Region women?s soccer player, were named Cal Poly Pomona?s Male and Female Athletes of the Year. Also honored were departing seniors, Academic All-stars and service award recipients.

Bronco men?s basketball won the team service award for its work in the community for the second straight year, while women?s cross country picked up the honor for having the highest team GPA. The Freshman Scholar-Athlete of the Year was Ike Njoku, men?s track & field; Sophomore Scholar-Athlete of the Year was Jillian Burdwell, women?s soccer; Junior Scholar-Athlete of the Year was Holly Rife, women?s soccer; and Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year was Randall Quick, men?s soccer.

Receiving Academic All-Star Awards with a 3.2 cumulative GPA or better were: Burdwell, Rife, Quick, Njoku, Cynthia Hohlstein (women?s track & field), Kimberly Van Beek (women?s volleyball), Billie Maldonado (women?s track & field), Nico Cifarelli (men?s tennis), Jeni Grob (women?s cross country/track & field), Joy Simpson (women?s cross country), Derek Wilson (baseball), Shaun Dinkle (men?s track & field), Julie Johnson (women?s cross country), Katie Price (women?s cross country/track & field), Andy Bratt (men?s basketball), Katrina Holmberg (women?s tennis), Jamie Ray (women?s cross country/track & field), Geoffrey Smith (men?s track & field), Kelly Singer (women?s cross country/track & field), Andrew Bellis (men?s soccer), Jamie Venegas (women?s soccer), Vanessa Richardson (women?s soccer), Matthew Lopez (baseball), Tara Chance (women?s soccer), Elizabeth Defoort (women?s volleyball), Benjamin Miedema (men?s track & field), Jason Carpenter (men?s track & field), Timothy Gregory (men?s track & field), Amie Beard (women?s cross country/track & field), Kimberly Bullock (women?s volleyball), Kevin Rogers (baseball), Rachel Hastert (women?s volleyball), Tom Hummel (men?s cross country/track & field), Jeffrey Holder (men?s track & field), Tristan Edwards (men?s tennis), Aimee Randall (athletic training), Kim Akman-Zollinger (women?s soccer), Geoff Bachanas (men?s soccer), Kristina Ravenkamp (women?s volleyball), Matt Teasley (baseball), Tami Swanson-Cades (women?s basketball), Chris Sotro (baseball), James DeBruhl (men?s cross country/track& field), Kory Felix (men?s soccer), Kenneth McCarthy (baseball), Priscilla De Vera (women?s tennis), Deidre Echevarria (women?s track & field), Carmen Franklin (women?s track & field), Matthew Case (men?s cross country/track & field), Mark Batres (men?s cross country/track & field), Richard Burleson (baseball), Efren Lira (baseball) and Jenna Sanders (women?s soccer).