Baseball Makes Conference in Winning Year for Sports

El Vaquero Staff Writer

It’s been a very good year for GCC sports, and especially for baseball.

The all-Western State Conference team for 2001 features four GCC players on the first team, seven on the second, and one chosen for honorable mention. The conference also named coach Jon Strauss “Coach of the Year.”

First baseman Fernando Valenzuela Jr., shortstop Jimmy Stone, left fielder Evan Shahak, and relief pitcher Ivan Lopez were selected for the first team.

Valenzuela, a freshman from St. Francis and son of pitching great Fernando Valenzuela, hit .370 on conference, and led the team with 30 RBIs. Stone, who last year played for defending state champion Riverside, led Glendale with a .407 average in conference with 36 runs scored and 48 hits. Shahak, a freshman from Arcadia, hit .386 and led the team with 15 home runs. Lopez finished the season with six saves in conference, a 3-0 record, 24 strikeouts, and a 3.11 ERA in 17 innings.

Second team choices were catcher Ryan Noll, second baseman John Manuel, outfielders Jon Horwitz and Matt Friedrichsen, designated hitter Tom Rochin, and starting pitchers Kevin Welch and Scott Weber. Relief pitcher Vic Herrera received the honorable mention.

Glendale won the WSC conference for the third time in four years with a 30-10 record, 20-6 in conference. The 30 wins is a school record. The previous school record was 27, set in 1997.

Sophomore catcher Chrissy Paknik was named to the all-WSC team for softball. Paknik was second on the team with 27 hits and 12 RBIs, batting .274 in conference. First baseman Cece Covarrubia was named to the second team. Covarrubia led Glendale with 31 hits, 15 RBIs, and a .370 batting average. Shortstop Vanessa Vargas and outfielder Aimee Diaz received honorable mentions.

In tennis, the men’s doubles team of Andy Roland and Scott Patterson won the Southern California Regionals that were held March 3 to 5. The victory for Roland and Patterson was the first ever in school history in the Southern California event. The victory was a come-from-behind 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Jon Lippert and Arif Hassan of Saddleback College.

In singles, Roland lost in the quarterfinals, and failed to qualify for the state tournament.

For the women, Karoline Tomicich qualified for the state tournament by advancing to the quarterfinals before losing 6-0, 6-1. Tomicich and doubles partner Jennifer Woolridge lost 6-2, 6-1 in the fourth round of the Southern California Regionals.

The men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the Southern California Prelims April 28 at Mt. San Antonio College. For the women, Stephanie Fabia broke her own school record with a second-place time of 57.76 in heat number two in the 400 meters. Her previous record was set on March 23 with a time of 57:86 at the U.S. Community Track and Field Elite Meet in Chula Vista.

Kim Lorimer qualified for Saturday’s Southern California Finals with a second-place finish in heat number one of the 3,000 meters with a time of 10:44.45. Lorimer also qualified for the finals of the 10,000 meters. Lena Daniels qualified in the 800 meters with a second-place finish in heat number one with a personal best time of 2:21.18.

For the men, Jorge Lopez qualified for the finals by finishing second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a personal best time of 9:28.00. Lopez also qualified for the finals of the 5,000 meters.

Jorge Banuelos qualified in the steeplechase with a sixth place finish. His time was 9:48.00. Daniel Hurt finished second in his heat of the 800 with a time of 1:53.87. Marco Arriaga finished fourth in the 10,000 meters with a time of 31:58.65, and also qualified in the 5,000 meters along with Alejandro Lemus and Henok Mulugeta.