Ochoa and McClain Named Scholar-Athletes of the Year

April 18, 2005

Los Angeles, CA (April 18) - Cross Country senior Bernie Ochoa and women's crew senior Caitlin McClain highlighted the 2005 Student Service and Leadership Convocation held on April 15 as they were named the Male and Female Student-Athletes of the Year.

Each year the Division of Student Affairs selects a male and female student-athlete that have excelled within the athletic venue, within the academic environment and within the community. Ochoa and McClain were two of seven student-athletes honored at the annual Convocation.

Ochoa completed his final season with LMU's cross country team this past fall and was a two-time WCC Fall All-Academic selection. True to his character, Ochoa did not want to sit out his final opportunity to run in a WCC Championship. He ran in the final race of his college career on a broken leg, causing his head coach Scott Guerrero to say that "it was the gutsiest performance" he ever witnessed.

The four-year senior will receive his Bachelors of Science in Physics with Chemistry and Math minors and he will graduate with a 3.77 GPA. As part of his field of study, he did research at the Rice Quantum Institute over the Summers of 2003 and 2004, doing 10-week research projects where he contributed to the Fe-Mo catalyst for the Carbon Nanotube growth. During his tenure at LMU he was also a Physics research assistant to Dr. Jeff Phillips and Dr. Jeff Sanny, doing work in studying earthquake models and organizing satellite data.

He is currently a teaching assistant in the Physics Department, helping with general Physics, Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism. Ochoa has earned the Mexican American Alumni Association (MAAA) Merrifield Scholar Award, he was inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu - Jesuit Honor Society and into Sigma Pi Sigma - National Research Honor Society.

One of the more recognized faces at LMU, Ochoa is a member of ASLMU, serving on the Programming Committee. He is also the founder and chair of the Student-Athlete Mentor (SAM) Program, a program directed at identifying and helping resolve issues within the student-athlete body. The program also acts as a "Big Brother" program to the freshman student-athletes. Bernie is also on the Executive Committee of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). He is also LMU's representative to the West Coast Conference SAAC, serving as Chair this past season.

Caitlin McClain was the female Student-Athlete of the Year.

Co-Captain of the crew team, McClain will complete her fourth and final season at LMU as the Lions will compete in the West Coast Conference Championships on April 29. McClain rows in the eight seat for the Lions Varsity 8, the seat usually reserved the top rower on any team. She led Lions to first ever appearance in the Jessop-Whittier Cup race at the San Diego Crew Classic, the race reserved for the top 16 boats in the nation. The Lions earned a win over Purdue in the Petite Final.

She was a first-team All-WCC and All-WIRA in 2004 while also earning First-team CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII honors. In addition, she was a CRCA Academic All-West Region selection.

McClain will earn a double major, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in both Urban Studies and Political Science and she will graduate with a 3.93 GPA. She has been a consistent member of the Dean's List since she got to LMU in 2001 and is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu - National Jesuit Honor Society. She was a research Team Member at the Baldwin Hills Conservancy. She worked with a team of three other students and two faculty advisors on the Ballona Creek Bike Path Environmental and Recreational Enhancement Study. She presented the study at the Southern California Conference On Undergraduate Research.

This past academic year she was the Chair of the LMU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, serving as liaison between the student-athletes and the athletic administration. She is also a member of the Lions' Fund Council, the official donor organization for LMU Athletics. She is a member of the SAM program, mentoring freshman and sophomore athletes in their transition to college. She was the Resident Housing Association Vice President and Publicity Chair for McKay Residence Hall and a Collegiate Search Organization Tutor.

Also honored during the annual convocation was the service and leadership awards for individual by class. Freshman are given the Sr. Peg Dolan, RSHM, award; sophomores are give the Dr. Renee L. Harragnue Award; juniors are give the Fr. Alfred Kilp, SJ, Award; and seniors are given the Sr. Raymunde McKay, RSHM, Award.

Five student-athletes were given these awards. Sophomore Kathryn Holzberger (crew) and Rosanna Tomiuk (women's water polo) earned the Harrangue Award. Jevay Grooms of the women's basketball team took home the Kilp Award, while Ochoa and Jacquekyn Woods of women's basketball earned McKay awards.





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