By Tom Saxe
The Pacific Coast Athletic Conference has selected Southwestern College cross country runner Steven Lepe and Grossmont football player William Abt as its Men’s Athletes of the Week.
Lepe, a freshman from Monte Vista High School, led the Jaguars to the team title in the Rio Hondo College Invitational at Whittier Narrows in El Monte as he captured the race’s individual championship.
Lepe ran the 4.0-mile course in 20 minutes, 8 seconds, defeating a 75-runner field. Southwestern finished 1-2-3-4 in the race to outdistance runner-up Los Angeles Trade Tech by 31 points in team scoring 20-51.
Abt, the Griffins’ red-shirt freshman quarterback who transferred from the University of Houston, threw seven touchdown passes, all in the first half, as Grossmont opened its football season by routing College of the Desert 65-14. The 6-foot, 3-inch, 215-pound Abt, a product of Northland Christian High School in Houston, staked Grossmont to a 47-0 halftime lead against the Roadrunners and came out of the game early in the third quarter. He broke the Griffins’ single-game record of six TDs shared by four quarterbacks, including the late former Cal star Joe Roth. For the game, Abt was 21-for-32 passing for 359 yards.
Honorable mention for the week was shared by Southwestern cross country runner George Martinez, Palomar football player Steven Parks, Mt. San Jacinto football player Styrone Hairston and San Diego
Mesa water polo player Kale Stiverson.
Martinez, a freshman from Sweetwater High School, ran the same time as Lepe, 20:08, as he finished second in the race in what was nearly a dead-heat between the two.
Parks, a sophomore from Escondido High who was a second-team All-Southern Conference selection last season, put up big numbers as Palomar kicked off their 2013 schedule with a 31-14 win over El Camino College on Parks’ old high school field at Wilson Stadium in Escondido. The 6-foot-0, 200-pound safety had 12 tackles (10 solo), two tackles for losses, an interception in the end zone on the final play of the first half and two pass break-ups.
Hairston, a 5-foot, 10-inch, 155-pound freshman from Banning High School, broke the game open with two huge plays early in the second half as he helped lead Mt. San Jacinto to a 31-15 season-opening win over Santa Monica. With the Eagles holding onto a 10-6 lead, Hariston returned the second-half kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown, then caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chad Vigil as Mt. San Jac turned the game into a rout.
Stiverson, Mesa’s sophomore goalie from Cathedral Catholic High School, led the Olympians to three opening victories as they began the season by playing five games in five days. In the first week of the season, Stiverson had 41 saves, including 11 each vs. traditional state powers West Valley and Cuesta in a pair of losses on the second day of the West Valley Tournament that broke the Olympians’ three-game win streak. He’d played a key role in a 24-8 conference victory over Miramar to open the season and back-to-back wins over De Anza 15-6 and Merced 14-6 to begin the West Valley tourney. Stiverson returned to Mesa this fall as a sophomore after helping lead the 2010 Olympians to the conference championship.