Calderon, Wagar earn top athleteic honors at UR

Director of Athletics Jeff Martinez announced yesterday that senior track & field standout Natalie Calderon (Pasadena, CA) and senior tennis player Eric Wagar (Yakima, WA) were named the 2008 Frank Serrao Student-Athletes of the Year. Given in honor of longtime football coach Frank Serrao, this award acknowledges the top male and top female student-athletes who best exemplify strong academic and athletic success at the University of Redlands.

Calderon boasts a 3.797 cumulative GPA while majoring in Communicative Disorders. This season, she helped the Bulldog women’s track & field team win the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championship for the first time since 1978. This Dean’s List member alone accounted for 68 of Redlands’ 131 points by winning the Triple Jump, Long Jump, 100m Dash, 200m Dash, and 100m Hurdles, and contributing to the first-place showing of the 4x400m Relay and the second-place finish of the 4x100m Relay. This member of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honors Society was named the SCIAC Track & Field Female Athlete of the Year for the second-consecutive season.

 In addition, Calderon currently owns the Redlands records as well as the best Division III performances of the season in the Long Jump and Triple Jump, gaining NCAA Automatic Qualifying marks.

Last year, she won the NCAA Championship in the Long Jump while taking fourth in the Triple Jump. She heads to the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, on May 22 to defend her title. Finally, Calderon has been nominated for the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship for spring sports.

With plans to attend dental school in the fall, Wagar offers a cumulative GPA of 3.874 as a Chemistry major and Biology minor. As a four-year member of the men’s tennis team, he has helped the Bulldogs advance onto the NCAA Championships every year of his career.

During the 2008 season, Wagar provided a singles record of 25-4 at the #2 spot and advanced onto the NCAA Individual Championships, which begin Friday at Bates College (ME). In doubles, he competed at the #1 spot, garnering a mark of 17-13. A two-time recipient of the prestigious Jim Verdieck Coach’s Award,

Wagar was honored with the 2008 ITA Arthur Ashe Award for Sportsmanship and Leadership for the West Region with possible national recognition still to come. In addition, this two-time All-SCIAC performer was a finalist for the highly-acclaimed Walter Byers Scholarship and has been nominated for the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. After landing on the Dean’s List every semester of his career, Wagar’s impressive academic accolades culminated in election to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

Calderon and Wagar will be presented with their awards at the University of Redlands Honors Convocation on Friday, May 23, at 10 a.m.

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