San Diego Padres rookie second baseman Jedd Gyorko and LPGA golfer Jennifer Johnson topped the list of 15 athletes recognized as Star of the Month by the San Diego Hall of Champions.
Gyorko finished the month with a healthy .278 batting average that included a .434 slugging average, thanks to 14 doubles and six home runs.
Johnson, a Carlsbad resident, collected her first LPGA victory when she carded birdies on four of the final six holes to win the Mobile Bay Classic by a single stroke.
On the amateur front, SDSU baseball standouts Tim Zier and Ty France were honored after leading the Aztecs to the MWC Tournament title and an NCAA berth. USD’s Austin Green received the same recognition for guiding the Toreros to the WCC Tournament championship and into the NCAA playoffs.
Others cited included SDSU triple jump sensation Shanieka Thomas, UCSD’s Sarah Lizotte (water polo) and Nash Howe (track) and Cal State San Marcos golfer Adam Loran.
State track standouts Alex Grigoriev from Rancho Bernardo and Hannah Labrie-Smith of Cathedral Catholic topped the list of six high school athletes who were honored. Madison’s Ian Clarkin, who is expected to be a high major league baseball draft choice and played locally in the 2012 Perfect Game All-American Classic; two-time swimming section record-setter Tommy Anderson of Bishop’s; section golf champion Ben Doyle of La Jolla; and David Nussbaum, who led Parker to the Division III SoCal volleyball title, were also honored.
PROFESSIONAL STARS OF THE MONTH
JENNIFER JOHNSON, Golf, LPGA—A resident of Carlsbad, Johnson captured her first LPGA title when she triumphed in the Mobile Bay (Ala.) Classic. Johnson finished with a rush when she carded birdies on four of her final six holes to win by a stroke.
JEDD GYORKO, Baseball, San Diego Padres—The Padres were hoping their rookie second baseman would have just the kind of season he is having. With a strong month, Gyorko is hitting.278 with 30 hits, a .338 on-base percentage and a healthy .434 slugging average when his 14 doubles and six home runs are factored in.
AMATEUR STARS OF THE MONTH
SARAH LIZOTTE, Women’s Water Polo, UCSD—A junior, Lizotte led No. 12 UCSD to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. She tallied a team-high nine goals in three games, earning a spot on the All-Tournament Second Team. Five of those goals came in a 15-8 victory over Pomona-Pitzer. The junior totaled 92, breaking the school single-season record.
TY FRANCE, Baseball, SDSU—Hitting .508 with a .729 slugging percentage and .600 on-base percentage, the freshman drove in 12 runs and scored 15 times. He was named MVP of the Mountain West Tournament when he went 16-for-21 over six games for a .726 batting average. The 16 hits broke the previous tourney record of 13.
AUSTIN GREEN, Baseball, USD—Green helped lead USD to a 9-5 record, including winning the WCC Tournament championship. The catcher led the team’s offense, as he went 30-for-62 (.482) with six doubles, two home runs and 20 RBI. He had 12 multi-hit games and 10 in the last 11. Green was named to the All-WCC Tournament team, and he was also named All-WCC Honorable mention.
NASH HOWE, Men’s Track, UCSD—The sophomore threw a personal best 221-feet, 4-inches in the javelin to win his first CCAA title. Howe then produced a best toss of 214-11 in his NCAA Division II Championship debut, good enough for a seventh-place showing and All-America status. The distance ranks No. 2 all-time in program history, behind only older brother and 2012 graduate Nick Howe’s 231-3.
SHANIEKA THOMAS, Women’s Track, SDSU—Thomas remained unbeaten in the triple jump this year by winning the Mountain West Championships and the NCAA West Prelims. Her mark of 46-feet, 5 ¼-inches was a school record, MWC, stadium record, the best mark in the NCAA’s this year and is currently 12th in the world. She helped the Aztecs claim their second MWC outdoor title and first since 2003 by also winning the long jump.
TIM ZIER, Baseball, SDSU, Escondido High grad—Earned all-tourney honors at the Mountain West Tournament after batting .444 (12-for-27) over the six games with three doubles, four RBI and five runs scored. He finished the month with a seven-game hitting streak and hit safely in 15 of the Aztecs’ 17 contests during the month. Zier was also named to the all-Mountain West team.
ADAM LORAN, Golf, CS San Marcos—A senior, Loran wrapped up his career at Cal State San Marcos with a tie for second place at the NAIA National Championships at Creekside Golf Course in Salem, Ore. Loran went 70-69-74-72 to finish three under at 285. The highlight was four straight birdies on the final round. He finished the season with a 72.82 average, helping CSUSM to a third place finish.
HIGH SCHOOL STARS OF THE MONTH
IAN CLARKIN, Baseball, Madison—Expected to go high in the major league draft, Clarkin came up a game short in his team goals but with a strong finish, posted very impressive numbers for the season. The pitcher-outfield batted .414 with 22 hits and 21 RBI. On the mound he was 9-2 with a 0.95 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 73.1 innings.
BEN DOYLE, Golf, La Jolla—As if playing in the section championship wasn’t enough stress, Doyle was forced into a playoff after he finished in a five-way tie for first. Doyle and RB’s Brandon Mai opened with birdies and pars. But Doyle’s recovery from a bunker and 10-foot putt on the third playoff hole pulled out the victory.
TOMMY ANDERSON, Swimming, Bishop’s—There was no swimmer faster than Anderson, a senior who set section records and earned Automatic All-American honors in both of his events. He started by lowering the 200-yard individual medley record to 1-minute, 49.13-seconds and then took down the 100-back mark, going 48.94, a second faster than his prelim time.
HANNAH LABRIE-SMITH, Track, Cathedral Catholic—Only a sophomore, Labrie-Smith showed great poise at the state track meet. Heading into the sixth of 10 hurdles in the 300-meter lows, Labrie-Smith clipped the barrier. She maintained her feet and rallied to finish third. She qualified at 42.27 seconds, second by .01 on the all-time section list to Sweetwater’s Gail Devers.
DAVID NUSSBAUM, Volleyball, Francis Parker—With the 6-foot-6 senior leading the way, the Lancers rebounded from two straight set losses in the Southern California Regionals against Torrance Bishop Montgomery to capture the title, 3-2. Nussbaum was credited with a team-high 39 assists to go along with seven kills, including the winner.
ALEX GRIGORIEV, Track, Rancho Bernardo—Summoning a late charge, the Broncos senior raced to a third place finish in the 800-meter run at the state Track and Field Championships in Clovis. After setting a personal best of 1-minute, 51.91-seconds in the qualifying, Grigorviev moved to No. 8 on the all-time section list with a time of 1:51.61.