Top 10 college athletes of 2012-2013

Well the college sports season is officially over. So in celebration of some great accomplishments, I’m counting down the top 10 individual performances of the last season. There were a lot of candidates and narrowing it down to 10 wasn’t easy.

10. Camille Smith, Sr., Cal State San Bernardino volleyball

Was the  veteran leader and setter on an otherwise very young Coyotes volleyball team that managed to keep its CCAA title streak in tact. If nobody beat them out for a title this year, that may not happen for awhile. For good measure the Coyotes advanced all the way to the NCAA Division II West Region final, AGAIN!

9. Lenore Moreno, Sr., University of La Verne track/cross country

Was named Division III Cross Country West Region Female Athlete of the Year after placing first place at the West Region Championships, becoming the first-ever Leopard to win a regional championship meet. In track she set school records in two events.  Her season best of 17:09.70 in the 5,000 meters established a new La Verne record.  In addition, she set both a school and SCIAC record in the 10,000 meters (35:00.43) and placed eighth at nationals in the 10,000.

8. Vainayaki Sivagi, Sr., University of Redlands track

Won SCIAC titles in the 200 and 400 and contributed to a winning relay, earning conference Athlete of the Year honors. She went on to place second nationally in the 400 meters.

7. Khallifah Rosser, Chaffey College track

Won a state championship in the 400m hurdles with a time of 52:08 seconds and contributed to a fourth-place finish in the 4×100 relay. Next month he is headed to the U.S. Junior Championships.

6.Chandra Lukes, Soph., University of Redlands swimming

Became the school’s first female national champion with a win in the 100 free. She also placed fourth in the 50 free (23.31), an event in which she entered the competition seeded 16th.

5. Mitchel Anderson, Sr., Cal Poly Pomona basketball

He was the CCAA Player of the Year and an NABC All-American and the leader of the best team in the conference by far.  Ranked in among conference leaders in scoring (14.2 ppg), rebounding (8.1), steals (1.9). He’s not flashy but he’s consistent and reliable. Would probably av erage more for another team but the Broncos style of play doesn’t lend itself to huge numbers.

4. Kwame Alexander, Cal State San Bernardino basketball

Led the CCAA in both scoring (16.7 ppg) and rebounding (8.8 rpg), also earning NABC All-American honors. That’s pretty tough to do in a conference with great depth of talent in teams and individuals. He’s also high on the list because we was such great fun to watch.

3. Kristen Lim, Sr., Claremont-Mudd-Scripps tennis

Went undefeated in the regular season and was ranked No. 1 individually much of the year. Finished as national runner-up in singles and teamed with Caroline Ward for a runner-up finish in doubles as well.

2. Jeff Depew, Soph., University of Redlands swimming

It’s hard enough to win a national title but it’s probably even tougher defending it the next year and Depew did that, winning the 400 individual medley. He also gets props for winning an IM which means he’s good at every stroke which is the biggest compliment you can give a swimmer. He goes for a three-peat next year. He also placed 10th in the 100 back.

1. Brad Shigezawa, Jr., Claremont-Mudd-Scripps golf

Not much can trump a national championship and he was the best in all of Division III. In thinking about it, winning a national title in golf might be THE toughest sport to win one. No disrespect to say track or swimming. But in those sports you qualify, then have a prelim and a final. In golf you have to be the best over the course of four days – 72 holes. It doesn’t get tougher than that.

Bradley Shigezawa (Photo by Jack Hancock)