The CCCSIA/CCCAA Athlete of the Year program is coordinated by the California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA) and the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA). The award recognizes one male and female student-athlete each year for their on-field accomplishments.
2015-16 Athlete of the Year Awardees
Marissa Kneisel | College of the Canyons | Soccer/Track & Field |Sophomore
College of the Canyons sophomore dual-sport student-athlete Marissa 'Mari' Kneisel had a sophomore season for the ages. During the 2015 soccer season the standout forward registered 31 goals, 12 assists and 74 points to lead Canyons in all categories, while serving as a team co-captain and starting all 21 games for the Cougars. Additionally, Kneisel led the entire Western State Conference and State in goals, points, shots, shots on goal and finished 19th in the State in assists. Included in her season totals were 11 game-winning scores. In posting such numbers, Kneisel essentially rewrote the Canyons women's soccer program's record book, by establishing a new single season mark for goals scored and becoming the college's all-time career leader with 51 career goals and 129 points in her two years as a Cougar. As a result, Kneisel earned 2015 WSC, South Player of the Year Honors for the second straight year, and was later named to the CCCAA All-Region and All-State teams. She also helped Canyons (14-2-5, 11-0-3) clinch its fifth straight WSC South Championship. In the spring, Kneisel also participated on the Canyons track & field team, where she displayed tremendous athleticism in the long jump, high jump, sprints and relay events. She won the WSC title in the women's long jump with a mark of 5.37m, and was later crowned the 2016 CCCAA SoCal Champion in the same event with a leap of 5.64m. Kneisel would eventually place fifth at the CCCAA State Championships with a distance of 5.39m. Kneisel prepped at Canyon High School in Santa Clarita, CA, and has since accepted a scholarship to continue her soccer career at Gonzaga University.
Cravon Gillespie | Mt. San Antonio College | Track & Field | Sophomore
Sophomore sprinter Cravon Gillespie was the premier sprinter in community college athletics during the 2016 season. He captured Southern California and California State titles in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and as a member of the 4 X 100 meter relay. Nationally, he produced the fastest community college times in the 100 (10.04) and 200 meters (20.20), the latter automatically qualifying him for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials and surpassing the Olympic Entry Standard of 20.50. He is one of only four California Community College student-athletes to have a national community college leading mark and he is the only athlete to post the top mark in more than one event. Coming into the Olympic Trials, his 200 meter time is the 8th fastest time in the nation (overall) and 20th fastest time in the world this year. His 100 meter mark is the 7th fastest mark in the nation, in any condition (overall). Due to his running prowess, Gillespie garnered a number of top honors including; CCCAA May Student-Athlete of the Month, CCCAA State Championship Athlete of the Meet (running events) and South Coast Conference Track and Field Athlete of the Year (running events). Gillespie hails from Monrovia, CA where he prepped at Monrovia High School, and will be continuing his running and academic career at the University of Oregon.
2013-14 AOTY Awards Winners [Press Release]