Five Point Loma Nazarene University student-athletes were honored as “Stars of the Month” at the 67th annual Salute to Champions by the San Diego Hall of Champions on Feb. 26 at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center.
Sean Lewis, Tiffany Kracy, Wileen Chiu, Kelli LeClair and Josh Dexheimer were each honored as amateur athletes for their outstanding performance during a month in 2012.
Chiu earned the honor for April as she went 3-0 in singles and 4-0 in doubles during the month. Lewis was honored in May after he won the NAIA championship in the 400-meter hurdles with a school-record time of 50.97.
Dexheimer missed a perfect game on a dropped third strike while playing summer ball for the Myrtle Beach Surfriders. He settled with a no-hitter and 12-strikeout performance. Kracy posted a streak of 445 scoreless minutes in September and helped PLNU reach the top of the PacWest standings. LeClair led the Point Loma volleyball team to upsets over nationally-ranked Grand Canyon twice in October, while leading the team with 4.43 kills.
Others honored at the Salute to Champions included professional and amateur “Stars of the Year,” along with Breitbard Hall of Fame inductees Junior Seau, Trevor Hoffman, Brian Quinn and Stephen Neal.
Women’s basketball makes a run
The PLNU women’s basketball team went 7-1 during the month of February. The Sea Lions put together a six-game winning streak, which included a road sweep of the Hawaii schools.
Callie Rhoads and Jessica Escorza each stepped up their play during the month as each averaged 17.0 points per game. The hot streak pushes the Sea Lions past Azusa Pacific into No. 2 in the NCCAA West Region rankings.
Baseball back in action
All seven spring sports teams are back in action for the Sea Lions.The baseball team has won four of its last five games to improve to 5-6 on the season.
It opened Pacific West Conference play with a four-game series against Hawaii Hilo on Feb. 15-16. PLNU and UHH split the opening doubleheader, but PLNU bounced back to take both games on Saturday and win the series 3-1.
Senior pitchers Tyler Garkow and Justin Lawrence each recorded shutouts in the series. Garkow opened the series with a 6-0, six-hit shutout in game one. Lawrence came through big in game three as he delivered nine innings of two-hit baseball while striking out nine. PLNU is currently tied atop the PacWest standings with a 3-1 record along with Fresno Pacific and Holy Names.
Track hits the ground running
The Point Loma men’s and women’s track and field programs completed their second competition last week at the Rossi Relays in Claremont.
Sean Lewis won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.41. Lewis, who is the defending NAIA National Champion in the 400-meter hurdles, also won the 100-meter and 200-meter races at the PLNU-Fresno Pacific Dual Meet to open the season.
Breelan Matranga also picked up a win at the Rossi Relays as she recorded a time of 10:37.76 in the 3k.