Baseball’s Jakob Guardado and softball’s Jaimie Harris were deemed the best of the best in the South Coast Conference in their respective sports this season as league most valuable players. The pair were selected as the Pasadena City College Athletes of the Year for 2022-2023.
The selections made by PCC Athletics are part of the annual, season-ending Elizabeth Jensen Scholarships as well as a few other awards designated for acceptance by Lancers student-athletes. Jensen, a member of the college’s Dick Ratliff Court of Champions, spent nearly 40 years as a women’s athletic director at Pasadena Junior College and later PCC. The awards are designed primarily for graduating sophomores at PCC.
As the PCC Men’s Athlete of the Year, Guardado, a sophomore pitcher-rightfielder, batted .305 overall with three home runs and 34 RBI and pitched his way to six wins (one save) in a team-high 83 innings with 65 strikeouts and a 3.80 earned run average. Guardado twice was selected as a CCCBCA State Player of the Week and he had the distinction of throwing two, 9-inning complete game victories in a span of six days, one a shutout. A righthanded thrower but lefthanded hitter, he was twice an All-SCC selection and this year was chosen South Coast MVP to become the first Lancer to win the award in a 9-team conference.
Guardado helped Coach Pat McGee’s Lancers to a 25-16 overall record, a second place finish in conference with a school-record 17 league wins, and the program’s fifth straight appearance in the Southern California Regionals. Guardado is also solid in the classroom with a 3.53 grade point average.
Named the PCC Women’s Athlete of the Year for all sports, Harris is the first SCC MVP in softball in 18 years as she set both the single season and all-time school records for home runs (12 this year) while also setting the single-season runs batted in record with 48. The sophomore helped the Lancers (24-18) to the SoCal Regional Playoffs and her play was recognized by the 3CFCA as an All-State selection.
In the postseason, she hit a big home run that gave PCC a late lead in an eventual loss to Cypress, a team that went on to win the 3C2A state championship. Harris led the Lancers a number of offensive categories, including batting (.409), doubles (14), and hits (56). Carrying a 2.9 GPA in the classroom, Harris was guided by head coach Monica Tantlinger, who recently retired from coaching.
The President’s Award, presented to the student-athlete that combines successful playing performance with classroom excellence and sportsmanship, goes to baseball sophomore first baseman Jake Trabbie. A straight A, 4.0 GPA student, Trabbie could have just as well been the conference MVP if not for Guardado’s dual success as a pitcher and hitter. An All-SCC First Team selection, Trabbie broke the school record for doubles in a season (20), batted .343 with two home runs, and led the Lancers in hits (59) and RBI (46). Trabbie also was a gold glove selection from the SCC with a .991 fielding percentage.
The High GPA Awards went to another baseball player in third baseman Toshiki Kuriya and women’s badminton sophomore Basil Kintanar. Kuriya, from Japan, hit a team-best .347, had a team-high .468 on-base percentage and tied for the Lancers lead in home runs with six to go with 38 RBI. Kuriya, named to the All-SCC First Team, carries a cumulative 3.92 GPA. As a middle-ladder singles player, Kintanar helped the Lancers win the South Coast title with a 10-0 conference record as the team finished state runner-up. She has a solid 3.9 GPA. She persevered in the program as she played as a freshman on the 2019 SCC champion and state runner-up Lancers, played in the 2020 COVID-19 shortened season, took the ’22 season off, and then returned for her final year this season. Just 4-foot-11 in height, Kintanar played for PCC head coach Jen Ho.