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Around the SCV: Local grads grab notice

Montano, Shults, Homa receive recognition

Posted: February 21, 2013 9:10 p.m.
Updated: February 21, 2013 9:10 p.m.

Canyon High graduate Alysia Montano was named the USA Track and Field Athlete of the Week on Wednesday.

The 2012 U.S. Olympian was announced as the recipient of the award in a press release distributed by USA Track and Field.

Montano, who graduated from Canyon in 2004 before going on to experience a decorated career at the University of California, Berkeley, broke an American record in the 600-meter race at the Millrose Games in New York on Saturday.

Her time of 1 minute, 23.59 seconds easily broke Delisa Walton’s record of 1:26.56, which was set in 1981.

After the race, USATF’s press release quoted Montano as saying, “I don’t have a word for it, and I am usually a very talkative person. But I can’t put a word on how I feel. I’m more than happy, I’m overjoyed.”

Montano, formerly known as Alysia Johnson, competed in her first Olympic Games this past summer in London after missing out on the 2008 Summer Games due to a stress fracture.

She finished fifth in the 800-meter race at the London Games in August.


Hart grad nominated for softball award

University of Oklahoma catcher and Hart High graduate Jessica Shults is one of 30 athletes nationwide nominated for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award, the organization announced Wednesday.

The CLASS Award, which stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, is given each year to an outstanding softball player who also excels in the classroom and the community.

Shults was a National Fastpitch Coaches Association First-Team All-American last year as a junior and was a second-team All-American in both her freshman and sophomore seasons.

In 2012, she started all 64 games for the Sooners, batting .379 with 65 RBIs and 20 home runs. She was part of an Oklahoma team that advanced to the Women’s College World Series championship game.

The Oklahoma senior also participated in the 2012 ISF XIII Women’s World Fastpitch Championship as a member of Team USA.

This was a year after she missed a significant amount of playing time while she had to receive treatment for a major stomach illness during her sophomore season.

She is one of three Oklahoma players nominated for the award, along with Keilani Ricketts and Brianna Turang, which is given only to NCAA Division I softball players.


Homa on watch list for major honor

Valencia High graduate Max Homa has a chance to win the most prestigious award in college men’s golf.

The University of California, Berkeley senior was one of 27 collegiate golfers to make the 2013 Ben Hogan Award Watch List, announced late last month.

The award is given annually to the best college golfer in the nation, covering all levels from Division I, II, III, NAIA and NJCAA.

Nine of the last 12 winners of the award are current PGA Tour players, including 2011 FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas. He won the Ben Hogan Award in 2004.

Last year’s Ben Hogan winner was Patrick Cantlay, who was a sophomore at UCLA last season and the world’s top ranked amateur player before turning pro last June.

Homa is 34th on the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

He’s enjoyed a strong career in three-plus years at Cal, playing in three NCAA Championships, including his ninth-place individual finish last year.

Overall last year, he recorded six top-five finishes and nine top-10 finishes in tournaments.

Homa is one of the key members of a Cal golf team that ranks No. 1 in the nation in the latest Golf Coaches Association of America poll.


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