Moreno, Watkins Named 2014 Scafani Award Winnners

CLAREMONT, Calif. — A total of 67 University of La Verne senior student-athletes were honored at the 2014 Senior Blanket Awards last Friday evening at the Double Tree Hotel in Claremont.

Lenore Moreno earned the Jesse Iles Scafani Athlete of the Year Award and Chancise Watkins as honored as the Anthony P. Scafani Award winner. Alysse Thummel of track and field and Daniel Hargis of men’s water polo were named the 2014 La Verne Scholar Athletes of the Year.

After becoming the first La Verne woman to earn All-American honors in cross country in 2012, Moreno captured two national championships this year to become La Verne’s first-ever two-time individual national champion. After winning the indoor 5,000 meters at the 2014 NCAA Division III Indoor National Championships in March, Moreno won the 10,000 meters to claim La Verne women’s first individual championship since 1997 (Stacey Williams, long jump) this past weekend at the 2014 outdoor championships.

Moreno was named the 2014 Division III West Region Indoor and Outdoor Female Track Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association and was voted as the 2014 SCIAC Women’s Track Athlete of the Year.

A six-time All-American in both indoor and outdoor track and field, Watkins just capped off his illustrious career with a national title in the men’s 4 x 100 meters relay and two other All-America honors (200m, 400m) at the 2014 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In addition, he took third in the 200 meters at the 2014 indoor national championships to garner La Verne’s second-ever indoor All-America status. Watkins was an All-American in 2013 (200m) and in 2012 (400m)

For his extraordinary efforts this season, Watkins was named the 2014 Division III West Region Indoor and Outdoor Male Track Athlete of the Year by the USTFCCCA and was tabbed the 2014 SCIAC Men’s Track Athlete of the Year.

Thummel has improved every year she’s been at La Verne and she has become one of the best middle distance runners in program history. After posting the program’s second fastest time in the 800 meters last year, Thummel broke the school record in the event at the 2014 SCIAC Championships, surpassing a mark set by Leti Arroyo in 2002. Thummel has collected a total of five All-SCIAC honors in her career, including a pair of runner-up finishes in the 4x400 in 2012 and 2013. A kinesiology major, Alysse has maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.94 and has been a definition of a student-athlete.

Hargis earned the American Collegiate Water Polo Coaches Association All-Academic Award in each of his four years at La Verne, getting recognized for “Outstanding” Achievement for a grade point average of 3.71 or higher all four years. Daniel was also named to the SCIAC All-Academic Team the past three years.

A journalism major, Daniel has been active with extracurricular actives as well. He has written sports articles for both the Campus Times and La Verne Magazine and several of his stories were featured on LeopardAthletics.com. As of this past fall, Daniel had a cumulative GPA of 3.94 and he has truly embodied the spirit of Division III athletics.

Former men’s soccer coach and current assistant athletics director Crescencio Gonzalez was also recognized for his many contributions to the department and the University.

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