A pair of freshmen, women's basketball's Amanda Lee and wrestling's Diego Sanchez, have been named the 2018-19 Rio Hondo College Athletes of the Year after impressive debut seasons for the Roadrunners. The pair were honored at a ceremony on campus earlier this week.
Lee, out of Gabrielino High School in San Gabriel, played a key role in the success of the Roadunners basketball squad that compiled a 16-15 overall record and earned a spot in the Southern California Reginal Playoffs.
"Amanda played an integral role with turning our basketball program around," said Rio Hondo women's basketball head coach Rene Herrera. "She is a true student athlete, one who maintained a 4.0 GPA in the fall semester and prioritized school and basketball. She was one of our leaders on the court and contributed in every game with her high basketball IQ, scoring mentality, and playmaking ability."
She was a first-team All-South Coast Conference North Division selection at guard after averaging 16.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Both marks ranked third in the division.
Lee was named the Mt. SAC Tip Off Classic Most Valuable Player after leading the Roadrunners to the tournament championship. Rio Hondo set the tone for the season as it upset then No. 1 state-ranked Mt. San Antonio College on the Mounties' home court in the final in the season-opening tourney.
Sanchez capped a standout first year with the Roadrunners by placing sixth in the 285-pound weight division at the CCCAA Wrestling State Championships.
On his way, he compiled a 32-9 overall record, placing in every major tournament on the season. His third-place finish at the Southern California Regional Championships secured his spot at the state tournament.
"Diego's hard work, dedication, and leadership warranted him being elevated to team captain even as a freshmen," said Rio Hondo wrestling head coach Mike Tellez.
Like Lee, Sanchez was a standout in the classroom as he earned Academic All-American honors as well. He also holds the distinction of being the first in his family to attend college.
Sanchez is the second consecutive wrestler to earn the honor. James Schmidt was the 2017-18 Athlete of the Year while women's soccer/beach volleyball standout Madison Mader was last season's female selection.