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Contingent of 24 Matador Student-Athletes Named to Academic All-Big West Spring Sports Team
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June 26, 2009


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

A total of 24 Cal State Northridge student-athletes were named to the Academic All-Big West Conference Spring Sports Team, the league announced Friday. The Matador women's track and field team, who won their fourth-straight league title, and softball team led the way with six honorees each.

Among the academic standout student-athletes on Head Coach Don Strametz's women's squad were Megan Hill, Lauren Michaels, Lilyana Morejon, Haylee Varner, Nanci Velarde and Sandra Velarde. On the men's track and field squad, who also captured the league title, the league office recognized Kevin Nious and Cody Pearce for their work in the classroom.

From Head Coach Barbara Jordan's softball team, Alexandria Alvarado, Sarah Kahn-Shamout, Karla Chaparro, Krystal Raphael, Jaclyn Rymer and Christina Saenz each received the academic distinction. A graduating senior, Kahn-Shamout also earned Academic All-Region honors and Rymer, a senior in 2010, was named the CSUN Female Student Athlete of the Year.

In its first year as a conference sport, the Matador women's water polo had five team members placed on the squad: Renee Gargiulo, Kirra Kylander, Tara McGinley, Kristin McLaughlin and Jillian Stapf. The Matadors tied for the league championship in the inaugural season.

On the Northridge baseball squad, Billy Swanson, Billy Ott and TS Reed all excelled in the classroom to earn the honors. In addition to their work on the tennis court, Sandra Kukla and Whitney Paluch earned academic honors as well.

To be eligible for the All-Academic team, student-athletes have to maintain a 3.2 cumulative grade point average, complete one full year at the member institution prior to the season for which the award is being received (at least a sophomore academically) and competed in at least 50 percent of their team's contests.


Billy Swanson, Junior, Biology-Pre Med, Cypress, CA

Billy Ott, Junior, Political Science, Cypress, CA

TS Reed, Sophomore, Psychology, Murrieta, CA


Alexandria Alvarado, Junior, Child & Adolescent Development, Visalia, CA

Karla Chaparro, Sophomore, Accounting, Pleasant Hill, CA

Sarah Kahn-Shamout, Senior, Biology, Quartz Hill, CA

Krystal Raphael, Sophomore, Management, La Habra, CA

Jaclyn Rymer, Junior, Journalism, Bakersfield, CA

Christina Saenz, Junior, Child & Adolescent Development, San Jose, CA

Women's Tennis

Sandra Kukla, Graduate Student, Journalism, Thueringen, Germany

Whitney Paluch, Sophomore, Psychology, Rapid City, SD

Men's Track and Field

Kevin Nious, Senior, Cinema Television Arts, Alameda, CA

Cody Pearce, Senior, Education, Folsom, CA

Women's Track and Field

Megan Hill, Junior, Biology, Alta Loma, CA

Lauren Michaels, Junior, Biology, Tempe, AZ

Lilyana Morejon, Sophomore, Urban Studies, North Hollywood, CA

Haylee Varner, Junior, Family & Consumer Science, Bakersfield, CA

Nanci Velarde, Sophomore, Kinesiology, Lake View Terrace, CA

Sandra Velarde, Junior, Spanish, San Fernando, CA

Women's Water Polo

Renee Gargiulo, Junior, Undeclared, Clovis, CA

Kirra Kylander, Junior, Kinesiology, Murrieta, CA

Tara McGinley, Senior, English, Villa Park, CA

Kristin McLaughlin, Junior, Political Science, La Canada, CA

Jillian Stapf, Junior, Kinesiology, Hudsonville, MI

The league's 10,000m champion, Lilyana Morejon was one of six Matador women's track and field members named to the team.

The league's 10,000m champion, Lilyana Morejon was one of six Matador women's track and field members named to the team.