The Pioneer

CSUEB spring athletes receive accolades

Marissa Marshall,
Staff Writer

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The California East Bay spring sports teams did exceptionally well this year, breaking school records and advancing to the postseason. This would not have been possible without some key athletes.

Marquise Cherry, Rudy Navarro, Sierra Clark, Chad Hall and Sabrina Hatzer all received accolades for their stellar play in their respective sports.

Senior track standout Cherry was named to the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Association All-West Region. This was Cherry’s second time to receive an all-region honor.

“It feels great to be named All-West again because it shows that I have been performing at a high level and staying consistent as well,” said Cherry.

Cherry’s season best in the long jump is 7.46 meters (23 feet, 9 inches) and is tied for 15th in the nation, just a foot shorter than his career high 24 feet, 10 inches, which is the sixth best in East Bay’s program history. The long jumper has maintained consistency, which has ultimately put him in the position he is now, as he has a chance to jump for the national championship.

“My motto this year has just been to stay patient, I had a hamstring injury I was battling most of the year which caused me a setback, but I just remained patient,” said Cherry on his accomplishments. “I set high standards for myself because it keeps me motivated to give my all, day in and day out, and in order to achieve my goals have to remain patient and focused.”

East Bay baseball had their best season ever this year and though it was a team effort, senior utility player Navarro made history and became the first Pioneer to receive the California Collegiate Athletics Association Conference Most Valuable Player award.

Navarro also captured his second career All-CCAA award making it onto the first team and also won the CCAA batting title with a batting average of .419, which is the best batting average by any CSUEB player ever.

“My one arm single bat and my change of approach helped me with my batting this season,” Navarro explained. The star contributed much of the Pioneers’ success this season with 27 multi-hit games.

Navarro and the Pioneers were focused this season to make a name for themselves after being ranked last in the preseason.

“I was determined all year to not settle for anything,” Navarro said. “If I had one hit then go for two, if I had two go for three. To play hard and do my job to help my team every game.” Navarro had a productive two seasons at East Bay, after transferring from the College of Sequoias, that will go down in history.

Water polo had a few honorees this season, but there was one who stood out: senior Hatzer who was named to the All-Western Water Polo Association Conference first team.

“It is a pretty awesome feeling after working hard all season,” Hatzer said. “It’s surreal, honestly, but since this was my last season I wanted to go out with a bang and push myself to my limits.”

Hatzer scored 76 points this season, averaged 3.17 points per game and ranked second amongst all of WWPA players. She  also placed in the top 10 in assists, goals and steals in the conference and then went to set a school record with 8 goals in one game against Sonoma State.

“Setting that record and scoring 8 goals in such an intense game with one of our biggest rivals was an incredible experience that I will not ever forget,” Hatzer said. “Though I wish we could’ve made it further, I am happy with what I have accomplished this year and how I ended my career as a water polo player.”

The Pioneers softball team struggled this season, but senior pitcher Clark made a name for herself when she was named to the Division II Conference Commissioners Association Softball All West Region Second Team.

“I did not really believe I was recognized as an all-West region athlete at first, I was so shocked because I felt like I could have done better this year,” said Clark. She also was a First Team All CCAA honoree and finished fourth in the CCAA with a 1.68 ERA and had 116 strikeouts.

“It was my final season and I just did my best to lock in every pitch,” said Clark. “Whether I was batting or pitching I did my best to give my all, but keep things simple and do what could to control the outcome. I evolved this year, because of the effort I put in.”

Clark finished her career in the top 10 in program history with 24 wins, 310 innings, 2.15 ERA and 192 strikeouts.

“I can hang up my cleats with a full heart, my coaches and teammates helped me achieve so many things and have raised the bar for women’s athletics at East Bay,” she said.

Last but not least, junior golfer Hall was named as the CCAA newcomer of the year and also was a First Team All CCAA honoree. Hall led the team’s scoring average with 73.1 and also earned all-tournament honors at CSUEB’s home tournament. Hall was a key to East Bay’s first CCAA Championship.

The Pioneer spring athletes had a successful run this year and their accomplishments will be standards for current and upcoming athletes to live up to.

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CSUEB spring athletes receive accolades