Lopez, Prokopchuck turn in outstanding performances to garner CCCSIA Athlete of the Month honors

Raymond Lopez (left) and Kseniia Prokopchuk (right).
Raymond Lopez (left) and Kseniia Prokopchuk (right).

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -  Track standout Raymond Lopez from Glendale College and tennis star Kseniia Prokopchuk of Cerritos College turned in outstanding performances during April and were rewarded for their efforts by being named the California Community College Sports Information Association Men's and Women's Athletes of the Month.

Lopez is just the third student-athlete to win the award twice and ironically the second from Glendale College. He also won for his performance in cross country in September of last year. The elite club is now at three with other repeat winners being P.J. Gabayeron of Cerritos for men's swimming in April of 2010 and 2011, and Glendale's Grace Graham-Zamudio, who won for cross country and track and field (September, 2012 and May, 2013).

Listed below are recaps for the month for both the winners and honorable mention selections.

April Female Athlete of the Month
Kseniia Prokopchuk (Tennis, Cerritos, Freshman)
Kseniia Prokopchuk staked her claim at the top of the tennis world when she claimed the sport’s Triple Crown.  She claimed both the CCCAA State Single and Double titles, while also leading Cerritos to the CCCAA State team title. The Ukraine-born freshman was seeded sixth for the CCCAA State Championships, which were held at the 118th Ojai Tournament, and upset the No. 4 seed, No. 1, No. 2 seeds from the South before beating DeAnza’s Sandra DeFrancescu, the No. 2 North, in straight sets for the title.  Prokopchuk is the fourth women’s singles champion in Cerritos history and the first to do it in 32 years. She secured the Triple Crown by joining teammate Lisa Suzuki to claim the CCCAA State Doubles title.

April Male Athlete of the Month
Raymond Lopez (Track & Field, Glendale, Sophomore)
Raymond Lopez had an outstanding month of April. He scored 24 points in the 2018 Western State Conference Track and Field Championship on April 27 to help Glendale repeat as the conference’s team champions.  He led the Vaqueros to the title by winning the 5,000 (15:02.86) and 10,000 meters (32:09.20) races, while also placing 4th in the 1500 meters (4:08.88). Lopez ended the month as the State’s leader in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, as well as the top 10,000 runner in the nation. 

Honorable Mention - Women
Ashley Tse (Swim & Dive, Mt. San Antonio, Sophomore)
Tse shattered three South Coast Conference meet records in the 200-yard individual medley, 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke, while winning all three events. She also took part on four winning relay swims for seven gold medals overall. Tse helped the Mounties win the SCC team championship and was named the Co-Swimmer of the Year.

Torie White (Swin & Dive, Cuesta, Sophomore)
White repeated as the Western State Conference’s “Fastest Women’s Swimmer” by winning the 50-freestyle and also added a win in the 100-freestyle this season- her 100-free time of :52.28 was the fastest time recorded during the 2018 season in the entire State.  She also placed 2nd in the 200-freestyle, however her exhibition time in the 100-butterfly would have won another title, if it counted.  White was honored as Cuesta’s 2018 Female Athlete of the Year. 

Honorable Mention- Men
Austin Barton (Swim & Dive, Cuesta, Sophomore)
Barton continued to accumulate accolades last month.  He won both the 100 and 200-freestyles, in Cuesta All Time Top 10 times, at the 2018 Western State Conference Championships and touched second in the 50-freestyle, despite a slow start off the blocks.  Barton also anchored three winning relays to lead the Cuesta to the program’s first WSC crown in six years.  

Anthony Walters (Baseball, Mt. San Antonio, Sophomore)
In helping the Mounties win the South Coast Conference North Division title, Walters, who was named to the All-SCC North Division First Team, had a monster April.  He batted .500 in 10 games with these stats: 5 home runs, 20 RBI, 7 doubles, 1 triple, scored 17 runs. He slugged 1.132 and his on-base percentage was .600. Walters enjoyed two 4-hit games, including slugging 2 homers with 5 RBI in a win over East LA.

(Pete Schuler, CCCSIA)