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19 Matador Student-Athletes Earn Spot on Academic All-Big West Spring Sports Team
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June 18, 2008


Complete 2008 Academic All-Big West Spring Sport Team in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

A total of 19 Cal State Northridge student-athletes made the 2008 Big West Academic All-Conference Spring Sports Team, the Big West Conference announced Wednesday. The Women's Track and Field Team, which captured its third-straight Big West Conference championship in May, led the way for the Matadors with eight selections.

Also earning the distinction for the Matadors were two baseball players, four softball players, a men's and women's golfer and three men's track and field team members. In order to qualify for the Academic All-Big West Team, a student-athlete must maintain a 3.20 cumulative GPA and participate in at least 50 percent of their team's competitions.

On the women's track and field team, Jessica Beach (Sr., Biology), Marissa Crook (So., Kinesiology), Jocelyn Do (Sr., Business), Sherrinna Lofton (So., Business), Lauren Michaels (So., Biology), Krystal Quinn (Sr., Sociology), Nanci Velarde (So., Kinesiology) and Sandra Velarde (So., Spanish) all received the distinction.

The honor caps off an impressive year for Lofton and Quinn, as both took home Big West titles in 2008. Lofton captured the 100m and 200m individual titles and was a member of both the 4x400 and 4x100 meter Big West Conference champions, while Quinn took home the pole vault title.

For the men's track and field squad, throwers Cody Pearce (Jr., Kinesiology) and Nick Saylor (Sr., Sociology) and middle distance runner Kevin Nious all earned the Academic All-Big West distinction. Pearce and Saylor finished second and third, respectively, in the men's hammer throw at the 2008 Big West Championships. Nious finished fourth in the men's 400m and was a member of CSUN's second-place 4x100m relay team at the Big West Championships.

In addition to spurring the Matador baseball team to a 24-32 record overall and an 8-16 record in Big West play, the program's most wins in conference since 2003, Billy Swanson (So., Business) and Billy Ott (So., Political Science) both excelled in the classroom as well. Swanson finished 2008 hitting .288 with three doubles while Ott was 1-5 with a 5.88 ERA.

On the Matador softball program, Alexandria Alvarado (So., Psychology), Sarah Kahn-Shamout (Jr., Biology), Mercedes Lovato (Sr., Communications) and Jaclyn Rymer (So., Journalism) all picked up academic awards to wrap up their 2008 seasons.

For Alvarado, Lovato and Rymer, the awards all come in addition to their All-Big West honors. Rymer earned All-Big West First Team honors for her play at first base, hitting .273 overall and .298 against Big West Opponents. Lovato wracked up a 19-14 record, the most wins by a Matador pitcher since 2001, en route to All-Big West Second Team honors, while Alvarado smacked 12 doubles to earn All-Big West Honorable Mention.

For Jim Bracken's men's golf team, Clint Oleson (Jr., Computer Science) was one of six Big West men's golfers to receive the Academic distinction. Oleson participated in nine tournament for the Matadors in 2007-08 season, finishing with a season low-round score of 70 and a 16th-place finish at the Ogio-Pacific Coast Intercollegiate.

In women's golf, Monique Huijsman (So., Business) was one of seven women's golfers in the Big West Conference to received the Academic All-Big West award. Huijsman participated in five tournaments for Northridge in the 2007-08 season, shooting a season-low round of 76 and finishing 17th at the Elco, Inc. Intercollegiate.


Billy Swanson, sophomore, Biology

Billy Ott, sophomore, Political Science


Alexandria Alvarado, sophomore, Psychology

Sarah Kahn-Shamout, junior, Biology

Mercedes Lovato, senior, Communications

Jaclyn Rymer, sophomore, Journalism

Men's Golf

Clint Oleson, junior, Computer Science

Women's Golf

Monique Huijsman, sophomore, Business

Men's Track and Field

Kevin Nious, senior, Cinema/TV Arts

Cody Pearce, junior, Kinesiology

Nick Saylor, senior, Sociology

Women's Track and Field

Jessica Beach, senior, Biology

Marissa Crook, sophomore, Kinesiology

Jocelyn Do, senior, Business

Sherrina Lofton, sophomore, Business

Lauren Michaels, sophomore, Biology

Krystal Quinn, senior, Sociology

Nanci Velarde, sophomore, Kinesiology

Sandra Velarde, sophomore, Spanish

Sophomore Sherrinna Lofton added All-Big West Academic Honors to her Four 2008 Big West Outdoor Titles.

Sophomore Sherrinna Lofton added All-Big West Academic Honors to her Four 2008 Big West Outdoor Titles.