SAN DIEGO–Mesa College graduate and Cross Country and Track athlete, Albert Gamez, Jr., has been selected as the 2014 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Male Scholar Athlete.
Nominated by Mesa College faculty and coaches, Gamez was selected from 26,000 other candidates for his athletic, academic, and community achievements. He is the fourth Mesa College student to win this prestigious award.
Brianna Massey (West Valley College Softball, 3.86 GPA) was selected as the 2014 Female Scholar Athlete Award winner. The Scholar Athlete award is the highest student achievement honor awarded by the California Community College Athletic Association. Gamez and Massey, along with the 2014 Honor Roll and Scholar Team Awardees, will be honored at the Celebration of Scholar Athletes Luncheon, during the 18th annual CCCAA Convention April 1 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Ontario.
Gamez, now a kinesiology major running for the Mustangs at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, was a top Cross Country and Track athlete at Mesa. In 2013, he won two Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Championships in 800 and 1500 meters, a feat he repeated in 2014. He also placed an impressive third in the 2013 CCCAA Cross Country Championships, facing off against the best in the state. A 2012 graduate of Mira Mesa High School, Gamez competed in cross-country, finishing third in state championships, and fourth in track.
Off the field, Gamez was just as spectacular. As an honors student, he left Mesa with 71.0 units and a 3.96 GPA. He also presented his original research at the Honors Transfer of California Conference at the University of California, Irvine. He won both the Mesa College Hunter Harris and San Diego Track Club Scholarships.
Additionally, Gamez played a big role in the San Diego community, logging 215 hours of community service as both an instructor at the Boys and Girls Youth Club and a volunteer for “Sports for Exceptional Athletes,” which organizes a track meets for children with disabilities.
“Personally, I am so impressed by this caring and humble young person, and so pleased that he won this prestigious award.” said Dr. Pamela T. Luster, President and top sports fan at Mesa College. “Albert is a shining example of the student athlete experience at Mesa College.”
The prestigious CCCAA Scholar Athlete Award recognizes the student-athlete with the highest level of athletic and academic achievement, as well as community service involvement. Awarded annually, the winners are selected by the CCCAA Awards Committee from nominations made by California community colleges.
Since 1984, San Diego Mesa College has led the state with the most CCCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year award winners, including Josh Denz (2009), Pieter d’Arnaud (1992), and Frank Klopp III (1984).
Cross Country — Finished third at last fall’s State Championships (at 20:16.88); track — 1,500: 3:55.74 (was also fourth at this year’s state finals) / 5K: 14:58.04. Entered Cal Poly in fall 2014, where he competes for the Mustangs in track and field.