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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Koran, Leake and Lasek honored at Salute to the Champions

 

Last updated 3/10/2018 at 11:27pm



The 72nd annual Salute to the Champions banquet, Feb. 1, at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla recognized stars of the month for 2017 including Braeden Koran, Mike Leake and Bucky Lasek.

The annual banquet hosted by the San Diego Hall of Champions and Breitbard Athletic Foundation honors the previous year’s professional, amateur and high school stars of the month as well as stars of the year and inductees into the Breitbard Hall of Fame. Koran was a March 2017 Amateur Star of the Month, Leake was a Professional Star of the Month for April 2017 and Lasek received May 2017 Professional Star of the Month recognition.

Koran, who graduated from Fallbrook High School in 2013, was a California State University San Marcos junior in March 2017 when he competed in two golf tournaments on behalf of the Cougars. In his six rounds, he averaged 72.17 strokes per round to lead the team.

The Star of the Month honor was the first for Koran.

“It’s just nice to be recognized with all the other names,” he said. “It was pretty cool to see all the names that have been on there.”

A score of 215 in the 76th annual SoCal Intercollegiate tournament, March 27-28, at the Carlton Oaks course in Santee gave him his third runner-up finish of the season.

“That was nice because I felt like I actually had a real good chance of winning,” Koran said.

Koran began the tournament with a double bogey and had a score of 73 for the first round, but he needed only 69 strokes to complete the second 18 holes.

“That was one of the better rounds that I’ve played,” he said. “I was so mentally focused and everything kind of came together.”

He was at par after the first nine holes of the third round before concluding that portion with a score of 73.

“I gave myself some good chances,” he said. “It just didn’t fall.”

As a team California State University San Marcos was in the lead the first day before the Cougars also finished second.

“We had a real young team last year,” Koran said.

Koran shared fourth place with a score of 218 in the California Baptist Invitational tournament, March 20-21, in Corona while the team placed seventh.

“That was a decent tournament,” he said. “I played really well the final round.”

During that third round Koran reached the green with a chance for par on all 18 holes.

“I just didn’t putt well. I didn’t get anything to fall,” he said.

Koran played golf at California State University San Marcos during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons. The school had been in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics but became a Division II member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association for 2015-2016. As a new member, the school could not participate in postseason play for the first two years of NCAA affiliation, so Koran took 2015-2016 off from golf to preserve his eligibility and allow him to compete in the 2017-2018 nationals. “It worked out,” he said.

Leake played baseball for Fallbrook High School before graduating in 2006 and began his professional baseball career with the Cincinnati Reds in 2010. He was pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals in April 2017 when he compiled a 3-1 record and a 1.35 earned run average in 35 1/3 innings while striking out 25 batters and walking only five.

Lasek, who moved from Olivenhain, California, to his new Fallbrook home, July 11, was 44 years old in May 2017 when he mastered a cab heelflip on his final run to win skateboarding’s BMX Vert competition with a score of 88.95 points. The performance qualified Lasek for the summer X-Games.

A Star of the Month selection committee at the Hall of Champions and Breitbard Athletic Foundation studies statistics and achievements, and staff members also speak with coaches, and athletic directors in the case of high school athletes, to obtain recommendations. The awards committee reviews the list of recommendations to select the stars of the month.

 

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