OF LOCAL NOTE . . . Palo Alto High graduate Allison Whitson, a member of the UC Davis women's volleyball team, was named one of her school's two Big West Scholar-Athletes of the Year. She received her honor last week in Anaheim. Whitson was among the male and female representatives from the other nine Big West schools who were recognized for outstanding academic and athletic achievements during the 2012, calendar year. Whitson, a 6-foot-1 outside hitter who completed her senior season this past fall, earned All-Big West first team accolades three times as an Aggie and is ranked among the top five all-time UC Davis players in four career categories. Whitson is majoring in managerial economics, is ranked in the top 15 percent of her class and plans to pursue an MBA after playing professional volleyball in Europe. Besides the Big West Scholar-Athletes of the Year, UC Davis was well-represented on the Big West's Scholar-Athlete roll. A total of 121 student-athletes, representing all the conference sports, were named to the list for outstanding academic achievement . . . Another UC Davis senior, Kevin Meisel of Atherton and a Sacred Heart Prep grad, was a recipient of Western Water Polo Association's Men's All-Academic honors for the past fall season. The All-Academic rolls consist of students who compiled at least a 3.0 cumulative gradde-point averaged, played in at least 50 percent of their team's contests and who had completed a minimum of one semester of two quarters at their institution prior to the season. Meisel, a senior history major, has earned WWPA All-Academic status for the maximum three seasons. UC Davis went 14-18 in water polo and finished fourth at the WWPA Championships last November.
QUITE A SPLASH . . . Stanford sophomore Kristian Ipsen won the platform event and Stanford secured an unprecedented four divers into the NCAA Championships to wrap up the NCAA Zone Diving Championships last Saturday hosted by Air Force at Cadet Natatorium. Ipsen was one of three Cardinal divers to finish in the top five off the platform, winning the event with 856.60 points. Arizona State's Rafael Quintero (828.25) was second. "This was our greatest meet in over 35 years," Stanford diving coach Dr. Rick Schavone said. "Kristian was great in all events and still not fully rested, but the team effort was exceptional. I absolutely could not be more proud of how Connor (Kuremsky), Noah (Garcia) and Taylor (Sishc) competed. Four men qualifying for the NCAAs is unbelievable." Ipsen's win was his third in as many events at the NCAA Zone meet as the All-American also claimed the 1- and 3-meter titles.Sishc (698.10) was third and Garcia (635.45) was fifth in the platform finals. Ipsen trailed Quintero, 438.20-430.70, after the prelims but made up ground with an outstanding performance in the finals. Sishc moved up one spot from his fourth-place 325.60 in the prelims and Garcia's 320.40 in the opening round was good for fifth. The eight NCAA qualifiers from the Zone E meet include Ipsen (Stanford), Harrison Jones (Arizona State), Riley McCormick (Arizona State), Rafael Quintero (Arizona), Garcia (Stanford), Josiah Purss (Utah), Sishc (Stanford) and Kuremsky (Stanford). The NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships will be held March 28-20 at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis.