Posted By Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit:
Second best is still very good when measuring the success of Santa Rosa Junior College athletics.
Santa Rosa finished second statewide in overall athletic excellence for the 2010-11 year. Bear Cubs teams were edged out by Mt. San Antonio College for the state cup awarded for 2010-11 by the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators.
Following Santa Rosa were Fresno City College, Sierra College, and American River College in the top five. Both Sierra and American River are in the Big 8 Conference with Santa Rosa, indicating the league’s strength across a range of sports.
Colleges receive points based on where teams finish in state competition following conference play. The top five men’s and women’s teams at each school are counted.
Leading the Santa Rosa effort was the state title winning women’s basketball team. Mia Greco, from Petaluma High, was named to the California Community College Athletic Association first team. Jen Tsurumoto, Analy, made the all-state third team. Greco also was named MVP of the state tournament; Tsurumoto and Ashley Morgan, Maria Carrillo, were named to the all-tournament team.
Reaching the state championship game made women’s soccer the next best finisher among Bear Cubs teams. Santa Rosa’s only loss on the season was to San Bernardino Valley College in the state championship. Santa Rosa won its fourth consecutive conference title.
Leading the all-conference selections was Cara Curtin, from Maria Carrillo, who was selected league most valuable player. Jazmine Whitlock, from Montgomery, was the most valuable defensive player. Katie Deneau, Santa Rosa High, and Whitlock also earned first team All-America honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
The Santa Rosa men’s side reached the state soccer quarterfinals after capturing the Big 8 Conference title.
Earning first team all-league selections were Tyler Hurst, from Piner, Simon Wheatley, from Montgomery, Andy Walker, out of Ukiah, and Mike Marianella, Montgomery. Both Hurst and Walker also received North Region recognition, and Hurst made first team All-America.
Third place finishes by the men’s and women’s swimming teams also boosted Santa Rosa’s overall athletic rating.
The women were paced by former Empire prep swim standouts LuLu Thrower, Santa Rosa High, and Jillian Clark, Ukiah. Leading the men were a pair out of Maria Carrillo, Matt Stuhr and Dan Crase.
In Volleyball, the Santa Rosa women reached the state title match, losing a close deciding game to L.A. Pierce College.
Three Bear Cubs who came from Empire high schools were named to the all-tourney team: Taylor Nelson, Windsor; Sam Siebert, Analy; and Laura Young, Analy.