Cross Country Runner Miguel Lopez PCAC Athlete of the Week
By Tom Saxe -
The Pacific Coast Athletic Conference has selected Southwestern College cross country runner Miguel Lopez and Palomar soccer player Brian Paleo as its Men’s Athletes of the Week for the week that ended Sunday.
Lopez, a freshman from Hilltop High School, ran the 4.0-mile course in 20:50, beating a field of 186 runners, to win the men’s individual community college title in the 66th Mt. SAC Invitational. Lopez defeated runner-up Michael Rodriguez from Hartnell College by nine seconds. Lopez’ performance led Southwestern to the team championship in a 22-team field at the prestigious meet with 42 points. The Jaguars finished 27 points ahead of runner-up El Camino.
Paleo, a sophomore from San Marcos High School who transferred to Palomar from Cal State San Marcos a year ago, had a big week for the Comets, who for most of the season had experienced nothing but frustration and a string of close losses but went 1-1-1 in a four-day period. Paleo scored a goal on a penalty kick in a 2-2 tie with the second-place PCAC team, San Diego City College. He scored two goals in Palomar’s first win of the year, 3-1 over College of the Desert. And he had two more goals in a narrow 5-4 loss at San Diego Mesa on Friday night as the Olympians scored the game-winner on a penalty kick after time expired.
Honorable mention for the week was awarded to Southwestern soccer player Marco Carrillo-Leon, Mt. San Jacinto football player Sam Schwab and Southwestern football player Daniel Castro.
Carrillo-Leon, a sophomore midfielder from Mar Vista High School, scored two goals as the PCAC-leading Jaguars defeated Mesa 5-0. Then he tallied both Southwestern goals as the Jaguars tied Cuyamaca 2-2. Carrillo-Leon shared conference Athlete of the Week honors two weeks ago. An athlete may receive the AOTW award only once in his sport’s season but may be awarded honorable mention multiple times.
Schwab, a 6-foot-2, 304-pound sophomore defensive tackle from Calvary Chapel Murrieta High School, recorded eight tackles (six solo), 1.5 tackles for losses and .5 sacks in Mt. San Jacinto’s 34-6 victory over El Camino Compton Center.
Castro, a 6-foot-0, 190-pound sophomore defensive back from Sweetwater High School, returned an interception 62 yards for a touchdown in the third-quarter to give Southwestern a three-touchdown lead and break the game open in a 35-0 victory over Mesa. He’s had three interception returns for TDs this season, one of which was called back by a penalty. Castro and his Jaguar teammates continued on track for an anticipated Nov. 7 American Division Mountain Conference showdown with Mt. San Jacinto.