The Saddleback athletic department had its annual student-athlete luncheon on Monday in the gymnasium, where 167 athletes were recognized for their success in the classroom. In addition, five individuals received additional praise for their work on and off the field of play.
Saddleback has a rich history of academic success from its athletes and 2017-18 could go down as the best year ever. The Gauchos had 167 of its 308 student-athletes achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher this past year, with a record 54% achieving the goal during the 2017 fall semester. In addition, Saddleback had 26 different student-athletes achieve a perfect 4.0 GPA for fall semester.
Saddleback had six different teams achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for the fall semester, led by the women's golf team (3.48). Women's cross country was second on campus with a 3.33 GPA while women's soccer (3.24), men's basketball (3.07), men's water polo (3.05) and women's water polo (3.05) were close behind.
The scholar-athletes of the year were also recognized with swimmer and water polo player Max Gonter winning the award on the men's side and diver Sarah Duke receiving the award on the women's side.
The character awards were also awarded with scholarships attached. The Dr. Richard McCullough Character Champion Award was given to men's water polo player Austin Hoff and women's basketball and volleyball player Landry Armstrong. The Tom Padberg Memorial Award was given to women's basketball and softball player Haliegh Wilkerson.
A number of dignitaries and administrators were on hand for the event, which was catered by Jersey Mike's Subs. Vice President of Instruction Tram Vo-Kumamoto and Interim President Dr. James Buysse were involved in handing out the awards.
Congrats to all the Gauchos on their success in the classroom, and best of luck in your future endeavors!