by Tom Saxe
The Pacific Coast Athletic Conference has honored Cuyamaca College track & field athlete Shane Hoagland and Mt. San Jacinto baseball player Johnny Valdez as Men’s Athletes of the Week.
Hoagland, a sophomore from Steele Canyon High School, cleared 16 feet, 4.75 inches to win the pole vault over four-year university opponents in the San Diego Collegiate Challenge at UC San Diego.
Hoagland defeated runner-up Clint Rosser from UCSD, who went 15 feet, 10.75 inches, and three other vaulters who all went 15-5, Cuyamaca teammate Alexander Law, UCSD’s Dan Golubovic and Michael
Bronoforte from the U.S. Naval Academy. The Coyotes placed third in the meet behind Navy and UCSD.
Valdez, a freshman shortstop-third baseman from Hemet High School, went 7-for-11 in a three-game series sweep over San Diego City College as Mt. San Jacinto moved to within one game of first-place Palomar heading into the teams’ three-game series this week. Valdez, hitting .409 on the season and .429 in conference, went 3-for-4 with an RBI in a 7-3 win in game 1 vs. the Knights, 2-for-4 with a home run in a 7-6 victory in game 2 and 2-for-3 with two RBIs in a 5-2 win on Saturday.
Honorable mention went to Sean Esteban (Southwestern track & field), Jeff Kuo (Mesa swim & dive) and Jared Espinoza (Imperial Valley baseball).
Esteban, a freshman from Otay Ranch High school, went 46 feet, 0 inches to place second to Navy’s Khaalif Wolfe (47 feet, 0.25 inches) in the San Diego Collegiate Challenge.
Kuo, a freshman from North High School in Riverside, helped lead Mesa to a 189-80 win over Southwestern as he won the 100 backstroke in 1:04.54, the 50 free (23.84) and the 200 back (2:47.13) and led off the Olympians’ winning 200 medley relay team.
Espinoza, a freshman rightfielder from Imperial High School, went 6-for-11 with two runs scored, a double, a steal and an assist from the outfield in a three-game series with Grossmont.