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Athletics

VIEWS: 12 PAGES: 2

									                                                                                                                             AT H L E T I C S

                                                                                            Help Wanted Ad Pays
                                                                                            off for Soccer Team
                                                                                            by Eric Yates (02)




                                                                                            the season, Lee was sidelined for       It’s something we’ve all been
                                                                                            health reasons. Suddenly, Cissy         doing since we were little kids,’”
                                                                                            was thrust onto the pitch in a          she said.
                                                                                            new role, with new pressure.
                                                                                                                                    Now, with Lee back healthy,
                                                                                            “It was kind of scary at first,”        Halpert has the luxury of two
                                                                                            she admits. But all told, Cissy         quality goalkeepers. He plans
                                                                                            became one of the main reasons          on alternating them as starters
     Junior Cissy Butler came up big for the women’s soccer team last year as goalkeeper,   Point Loma reached its first-ever       during the 2007 season.
     leading the team to its first-ever NAIA National Tournament berth.                     NAIA National Tournament.
                                                                                            By year’s end, she had started                         ”
                                                                                                                                    “Both are solid, he said. “It’s a
          elp Wanted. One goalkeeper.             who encouraged her to try out,            seven games, making 33 saves            huge thing. We know we have a
          Inquire on the soccer field.            and then contacted Halpert.               and posting three clean sheets          chance to win with either one of
                                                  Halpert then contacted Pace               and a microscopic GAA (goals                          ”
                                                                                                                                    them out there.
     Okay, it wasn’t quite that                   and the two discussed Cissy’s             against average) of 0.52. She led
     simple, but according to                     prospects as a goalkeeper.                the Sea Lions to their first-ever       For Cissy and Grace, who are
     women’s soccer coach Mark                                                              national tournament victory, a          friends on and off the field,
     Halpert, desperate times call                “The whole process took four              2-0 win over St. Xavier (Ill.).         the healthy competition only
     for desperate measures. Last                                    ”
                                                  hours it seems like, said Cissy.          PLNU would eventually lose              benefits the team.
     year, before the start of the                                                          to Lindsey Wilson (Kent.), the
     season, Halpert found himself                She admits that when she                  national champions.                     “We both want what’s best
     in such a state. Having no one               first joined the team, she was                                                    for the team. Obviously, we’d
     to back up starting keeper Grace             understandably nervous, not               While Cissy’s performance may           both like to play because we’re
     Lee, Halpert decided to put                  having played soccer in more              be a surprise to some, Halpert                     ”
                                                                                                                                    competitive, she said. “But just
     an announcement in The Alert                 than a year and having spent              observed something early                because I finished the season
     (PLNU’s weekly e-mail sent to                only one season as a goalkeeper.          on that he knew would breed             doesn’t mean I should start this
     students), hoping to spark some                                                        success: her poise.                     year. [Grace] started last year,
     interest and get lucky.                      “It was a little hard at first.                                                   and that’s just as much of an
                                                  The team had already bonded               “She’s cool back there. Her                           ”
                                                                                                                                    accomplishment.
     Thankfully, for Halpert, and for             through training camp and it              thinking is ‘I’m the goalie. I’m
     the rest of the Sea Lions squad,             took a month or so to feel a part         gonna stop the ball,’” said             Many players return to this
     luck arrived in the form of                             ”
                                                  of the team, she said. “It was            Halpert. “She doesn’t get too           year’s side, a team loaded with
     sophomore Cissy Butler.                      also tough trying to balance              hyped up and is pretty calm.            talent and experience, and one
                                                  soccer and school. I was tired all        She seems to give the team that         that has tournament aspirations
                                    ”
     “I don’t always check The Alert,             the time. I guess I wasn’t used to                 ”
                                                                                            same calm.                              once again.
     admitted Butler, “but for some                                        ”
                                                  exerting that much energy.
                                    ”
     reason, that day I looked at it.                                                       That poise is something that            “I think we have a really good
                                                  Just as Cissy was beginning               comes naturally to Cissy.                   ”
                                                                                                                                    team, said Cissy. “I want to go
     Butler saw the ad, called her                to adjust to her role as Lee’s                                                                      ”
                                                                                                                                    to nationals again.
     high school coach Frank Pace,                backup, she got a true baptism            “I try to tell all the girls, ‘It’s a
                                                  by fire, when midway through              game. We’re just playing soccer.


22
The World’s Fastest                                                                                               “I wanted to show them


Armenian                      by Eric Yates (02)
                                                                                                                  who I was and that I was
                                                                                                                  a good sprinter. I thought
                                                                                                                  the games could be a good
Johnny Der-Yeghiayan (03) has a few monikers. Ask those at his                                                    stepping stone for the
church in Pasadena, and he is known as “Youth Pastor.” But ask                                                    Olympics,” he said.
some in the track and field community, and Johnny Der-Yeghiayan is
known as “The World’s Fastest Armenian.”                                                                          With his wins, he has done
                                                                                                                  more than “become familiar”
Last month, Johnny won gold in both the 100-meter and 200-meter                                                   with the committee. He’s
events at the Pan Armenian Games, held August 18-26 in Yerevan,                                                   been invited to be a part
Armenia. Held every four years, the games feature thousands of                                                    of the Armenian national
spectators and Armenian competitors from more than 90 cities from                                                 track team. His next goal is
around the world. He beat some tough competition, including the                                                   to continue training and to
country’s 100-meter record holder and national champion. Johnny                                                   possibly represent Armenia
ran a personal best of 10.3 seconds.                                                                              in the World Championships
                                                                                                                  in March, which will be held
“I ended up beating their national champion. It was a trip because                                                in Spain.
he’s very well known there. Winning the 100 meters was awesome.
It was like a dream come true,” he said. “With about 20 meters left,                                              “The next year or so is going
I didn’t see anyone around me and thought ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going                                                  to be exciting, and I think
to win this!’ All these dreams were going through my mind. God                                                    he has a good chance to
opened so many doors and everything came together.”                                                               represent Armenia in the
                                                                                                                  Olympic Games,” said Arvin.
The success that he is experiencing now seems a far cry from when        The difficulty is that he’s here, not in Asia, but at least [The Armenian
he started at PLNU. Johnny had always talked to head coach Jerry         Olympic Committee] knows who he is.”
Arvin about coming out for the track team, but didn’t decide to do so
until his junior year, when he walked on.                                Johnny acknowledges that he still has a lot of work to do to be
                                                                         considered for the Olympic team, including continued training,
“It was an adjustment year, but by the end, he was running very          putting in hours upon hours on the track, as well as maintaining
well,” Arvin said.                                                       proper nutrition, working out, and getting plenty of rest. He knows it
                                                                         will be a long, arduous process, but it’s all worth it.
Upon his graduation in 2003, Johnny still had another year of track
eligibility remaining, so he decided to run again while taking courses   “I was a walk-on at Point Loma. I just fell in love with it,” he said.
at PLNU toward a master’s degree in theology. Arvin described him        “Through His grace, I found something that I really enjoy. I don’t
as “definitely one of the top sprinters I’ve coached.”                   mind the pain; I don’t mind the throwing up in training.”


When his PLNU track career was over, Johnny moved to Pasadena            He admits that the support he’s received is almost overwhelming.
to be closer to family and to complete his graduate degree at Fuller
Theological Seminary. He now works as a youth pastor for the             “My coaches saw the dream inside of me,” he said. “Seeing their
Armenian Nazarene Church.                                                hope in me gives me hope, as well. When coaches and family and
                                                                         friends, and sometimes even strangers, are encouraging you, their
He never lost the desire to run, and in 2005, Johnny began training      support is truly a blessing.”
with the So Cal Cheetahs, an Olympic development track club. His
win at the Pan Armenian Games went a long way toward getting
some familiarity with the Armenian Olympic Committee.




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