Following his junior season at Illinois, former Lemoore High wrestling standout Isaiah Martinez was named the Big Ten college’s Male Athlete of the Year for the second straight year.
Martinez becomes just the eighth person in the school’s history to win the award, named the Dike Eddleman Award, for a second time. One of those two-time winners include NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus.
"It's a pleasure and honor to represent the University of Illinois," Martinez said. "I am grateful for this recognition."
The award dates back to 1940 with other two-time winners including Andy Phillip (1942-43, basketball), Eddleman (1948-49, football/basketball/track), Butkus (1964-65, football), Dave Scholz (1968-69, basketball), Tony Eason (1982-83, football), Justin Spring (2004, ’06, gymnastics) and Andrew Riley (2011-12, track).
Going into his senior season, Martinez could become the first athlete in school history to win the award three times if he continues to have the success he’s had in his first three seasons with the Illini.
In 2017, Martinez finished runner-up at the NCAA national champions in his weight class, earning All-America honors for the third straight season.
Martinez was ranked No. 1 in his weight class throughout the year, beginning the season 31-0 before being upset in the final. That win tally included six pins and 10 technical falls.
In his first two seasons, Martinez won NCAA titles in his respective weight classes. In his freshman year, he become the first freshman to go undefeated in the NCAA in more than a decade.
For his career, Martinez ranks first all-time in Illinois history in win percentage (.980) and is 25th all-time in school history in wins (98).
This past month, he also competed at the USA World Team Trials, where he finished third.
In his time at Lemoore High, Martinez was a three-time CIF state champion and a four-time state medalist. He was the Sentinel’s Wrestler of the Year in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
TRACK AND FIELD
Burke 12th at NCAAs
EUGENE, Ore. - Former Lemoore High standout Michael Burke finished his sophomore season at UCLA by finishing in 12th place the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field national championships this month in the men’s high jump.
Burke cleared the third highest mark on the day at 6-11.75, but fell to 12th in tiebreakers depending on previous jump attempts.
Kansas State’s Christoff Bryan won with a jump of 7-3.
The height of Bryan’s winning jump is also Burke’s personal best, which he cleared earlier in the year during the indoor portion of the season. That mark put Burke No. 5 on UCLA’s all-time list.
Burke qualified for the NCAA national championships with a sixth place finish at the NCAA regionals, where he cleared 7-1.75. He was second at the Pac-12 championships with a jump of 6-11.5
While at Lemoore High, Burke won the CIF state high jump title as a senior. He was also the Sentinel’s 2015 boys track and field Athlete of the Year.
Moore named All-American
BRADENTON, Fla. – Former Sierra Pacific High standout Courtney Moore was named an All-American this past week after her finish in the women’s 1,500 meter race at the NCAA Division Track and Field National Championships.
Moore, who was the Sentinel’s 2013 girls track and field Athlete of the Year, finished her senior year at Fresno Pacific by finishing in sixth place at the national championships in a time of 4:21.89, lowering her school record by nearly four seconds.
"Courtney ran a tactically perfect race, and it was an honest fast race right from the gun," said Fresno Pacific head coach Ray Winter. "She closed with great strength, splitting what I think is her fastest last quarter-mile ever in a 1500. Third through sixth place ended up being separated by only about sixth-tenths of a second, so Courtney truly was among the class of the field and ran as well as she ever has."
Moore's sixth-place finish earned her All-American honors, as the senior became FPU's first student-athlete to earn the such distinction on the track.
"Courtney will be leaving the program as one of the most successful track athletes in the history of the program," noted Winter. "She has been a foundational piece of the distance program in both cross country and track and field in our transition to the NCAA and elite competition we strive for at this level."
Moore graduates from Fresno Pacific with school records in the 800, 1,500 and 3,000.
Gomness earns academic honors
Former Lemoore High standout Kayla Gomness was named to the Southland Conference All-Academic second team after finishing her senior season at Central Arkansas.
The honor was the first time Gomness was named Southland All-Academic team.
This year, she was also second team All-Southland Conference while leading the conference in innings pitched (241.1). She tied for the conference lead in appearances (43) was tied for second in wins (18) and saves (3), was second in walks per seven innings (1.51), fourth in ERA (2.23) and eighth in strikeouts (111).
Gomness was also named to the All-Southland Conference tournament team after going 2-2 with a 2.02 ERA in 27.2 innings, leading the fifth-seeded Bears to a third place finish.
Gomness has a 3.41 GPA while pursuing a degree in nursing.