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May 19, 2003

Sport clubs make strong showing

While fans of Hornet athletics are familiar with this year’s successes by the volleyball, tennis, and men’s basketball teams, there are some lesser-known student athletes who are making their mark – through the University’s sport clubs.

There were a number of outstanding performances among this year’s sport clubs. The men’s junior varsity volleyball team placed second in the nation for the second year in a row. The coed racquetball club finished seventh in the nation with the mixed-doubles team of Melissa Borgwat and Mark Salinas placing first in their division.

The traditionally strong CSUS water ski club finished eighth in the nation with Celeste Eckerman, Jamie Hansen and Jason Wollman all making the regional all-star team.

The CSUS Olympic weightlifting club also continued its recent string of successes, sending four members to the upcoming national finals. Team member Paul Bowling placed first in his weight class at the prestigious Arnold Olympic Weightlifting Championships, held in Columbus, Ohio in April.

About 300 students competed on CSUS sport club teams this year, which included coed ice hockey, water ski and Olympic weightlifting, along with men’s and women’s rugby and volleyball.

Unlike intercollegiate sports, sport club athletes receive no scholarship funds. About 15 percent of this year’s nearly $300,000 budget came from Associated Students, and although sponsor donations have increased in recent years, most of the remaining 85 percent came from student participants, said Ken Morton, recreational sports coordinator.

Because each club is dependent upon student interest and participation, students learn valuable leadership and organizational skills, Morton said.

With collegiate sport clubs increasing in popularity throughout the country, Morton said, the CSUS program serves as an ambassador for the university. It also helps as a recruiting tool for prospective students and promotes higher retention and graduation rates, he added.

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