June 12, 2001
Los Angeles, Calif.- Loyola Marymount cross country runner Michael Cortez earned the West Coast Conference 2001 Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award as announced Tuesday afternoon by WCC Commissioner Michael Gilleran.
Cortez, a 2001 LMU graduate, was a four-year letterwinner for the Lions' cross country team while also serving as team captain in his last three seasons. A Brea, Calif. native, Cortez ran a personal best 27:48 at the 2000 WCC Championships, finishing 19th overall. He was LMU's top finisher at the championships for the third straight year.
Cortez' mental toughness on the course translated into his studies in the classroom. A three-time WCC All-Academic team member, Cortez was the chairman of the 2000-01 WCC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) while also serving as the WCC representative on the NCAA SAAC. The LMU senior finished his tenure with a 3.50 cumulative GPA in accounting and graduated with honors.
This marks the second time in league history an LMU athlete has garnered the male scholar-athlete award. Clemens Philippi (men's soccer 1997-98) was the first Lion to receive the honor in 1999.