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Local athletes excel in sports at GCC A group of...

April 30, 2003

Local athletes excel in sports at GCC

A group of locals have found success this season competing at

Glendale Community College.

Former Burbank High and Vaquero men's tennis player Shara Surabi

lost in Saturday's semifinal of the Men's Community College draw at

the 103rd annual Ojai Valley Tournament, falling to the third-ranked

player in the state, College of the Desert's Ryusuki Kashiwabara,

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6-1, 6-2.

Surabi, a sophomore, had knocked off three players ranked in the

top 20 -- according to the California Community College Tennis

Coaches Assn. -- to advance to the semifinals, beating Fresno City's

Sam Gibbs (No. 16), Mount San Antonio College's Ara Sarkissian (No.

5) and American River's J.V. Vallejos (No. 8).

Surabi, ranked No. 14, defeated Vallejos earlier Saturday in the

quarterfinals, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, to meet Kashiwabara, who made it

an all-College of the Desert final by joining teammate Dalibor Ptak,

the top-ranked player in the state, in Sunday's championship.

Ptak defeated Chabot's Dmitri Dzyuba, the No. 2-ranked player,

6-0, 6-1.

In track and field, Burroughs graduate Henry Nunez finished second

for the Vaqueros men's team in the 3000-meter steeplechase in 9

minutes 48.10 seconds at the Western State Conference Championships

at Citrus College.

In the women's competition, Burroughs' Debra Mosombite teamed up

with Naira Bagumyan, Sandra Prado and Stephanie Fabia to win the

1,600 relay in 4:08.93.

In softball, former Burbank and Burroughs standout Kristin Carr

earned a first-team All-WSC award as a freshman. Playing catcher and

pitcher, Carr had a team-best .481 batting average with 25 hits, 18

runs batted in and 12 doubles. She also had a 1.000 fielding

percentage.

Graceffo to be honored for coaching success

Longtime Coach Mike Graceffo has taught and instructed local

athletes from high school to grade school for more than 25 years.

Thursday, Graceffo will be honored for his years of coaching

success in the Catholic Youth Organization. He will be one of eight

inductees into the CYO Hall of Fame at an annual awards dinner at the

Quiet Cannon Restaurant in Montebello.

Along with working for the Burbank Park, Recreation and Community

Services Department for 28 years, Graceffo has been a coach and

athletic director at St. Francis Xavier School since 1991. Before

that, he worked at St. Finbar School.

"This is a great honor for me," Graceffo said. "I was kind of

surprised when I found out."

Approximately 10,000 young athletes participate in CYO sports each

year.

Compiled by Jeff Tully

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