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Category: Sports News

La Jolla, California - The University of California San Diego Department of Intercollegiate Athletics officially inducted four individuals into its Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Great Hall on campus Sunday morning.

The class of 2016 includes J.J. Castner (men's cross country/track and field, 1992-96), Rick Nowak (baseball, 1986-88), Jennifer Watanabe (women's swimming and diving, 1999-03) and Pat Weishan (men's golf, 1983-87).

This year's inductees span the years 1983-2003 and three of the four have won at least one NCAA individual national championship.

"Today, it is our great honor to welcome them to UC San Diego's Hall of Fame," said UCSD Director of Athletics Earl Edwards. "They represent for us the very best of what we all can be. Their achievements speak for themselves. J.J., Rick, Jennifer and Pat are wonderful ambassadors of their sport and this university. You have shown us by your determination and your dedication just what can be achieved."

A two-time All-American and the Tritons' career leader in complete games, Nowak went on to play professionally in the Toronto Blue Jays organization.

"Because of this event, I've been doing a lot of looking back, looking back that I haven't done in a long time," said Nowak. "What I remember most about all of it was the great time it was to be a ball player at UCSD. The great thing about UCSD at that time was our team was made up of guys that just wanted to play and win."

One of the most decorated Tritons in school history, Watanabe won eight individual national titles in swimming.

"Being a student-athlete is one of the most rewarding experiences, there's so much to gain in participating in sports," said Watanabe. "I immediately fell in love with my team and we were really a family. I think any athlete would say that they wouldn't be where they were if it wasn't for the team."

This is the fourth class inducted into UC San Diego's Athletics Hall of Fame. For details on all 23 members, please visit the UCSD Athletics Hall of Fame page.

Also during Sunday's event, UC San Diego's 2006 men's water polo team was honored on the 10-year anniversary of its historical season. That year, the Tritons went 26-6 overall, won their 14th Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) title and went on to place third at the NCAA Championships. UCSD was ranked as high as third in the country.

In attendance from that 2006 squad Sunday were Peter Gresham, Ty Lackey, Ben Miller, Sean Roberts, Kyle Sutterly, Curtis Williamson, Joe Woodring and head coach Denny Harper.

The UC San Diego Athletics Hall of Fame was established in 2013. Its intent is to recognize and honor student-athletes, teams, coaches, staff and others who have made exceptional contributions to the tradition and heritage of UCSD Athletics.

 

To nominate an individual for future Hall of Fame consideration, please fill out either an electronic form or a printable mail-in form. Student-athletes may be considered for Hall of Fame induction 10 years after the completion of their eligibility. Coaches and staff qualify following three years of separation from UC San Diego or 25 years of consecutive service.

Throughout its history of academic and athletic excellence, UC San Diego has won 30 team national championships and 138 individual titles. A remarkable 1,273 student-athletes have been named to All-America teams and 61 have achieved Academic All-America status. The Tritons won their sixth California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Commissioner's Cup in 2016 and placed third of 263 NCAA Division II schools nationwide in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup.

2016 UC SAN DIEGO ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME CLASS

J.J. CASTNER
Men's Cross Country/Track & Field • 1992-96
Oak Park, Calif.
• NCAA DIII national champion in 5k (1995)
• Two-time cross country All-American (1994, 1995)
• 4th at NCAA DIII National Championships (1994)
• Two-time All-American in 5,000 meters (1995, 1996)
• Two-time UCSD Athlete of the Year (1994-95, 1995-96)
• Three-time NCAA DIII Cross Country West Regional champion (1993, 1994, 1995; first time it had ever happened)
• CCAA champion in the 1,500 and 5,000 (1995)
• CCAA Track & Field Championships Athlete of the Meet (1995)
• Former school record holder in 5k and 10k
• UCSD top 10:
      - No. 2 5k
      - No. 3 10k

RICK NOWAK
Baseball • 1986-88
Pasadena, Calif.
• Two-time NCAA DIII All-America First Team (1987, 1988)
• Two-time NCAA DIII All-Region (1987, 1988)
• Selected in 47th round of 1987 Major League Baseball draft by Toronto Blue Jays
• Selected in 26th round (680th overall) of 1988 MLB draft by Toronto Blue Jays
• Member of 1987 squad that posted a then-program-best 32-13 mark en route to first NCAA Division III World Series appearance
• UCSD Athlete of the Year (1987-88)
• UCSD Distinguished Alumni Award (2012-13)
• Team's Co-Most Valuable Pitcher (1988)
• UCSD top 10:
      - No. 1 career complete games (17)
      - No. 2 career strikeouts (283)
      - No. 5 career innings (315.0)
      - No. 6 career ERA (2.77)
      - No. 7 career wins (23)
      - No. 1 single season strikeouts (124, 1988)
      - No. 1 single season innings (128.0, 1987)
      - No. 2 single season complete games (9, 1987)
      - No. 4 single season strikeouts (94, 1987)
      - No. 6 single season wins (10, 1987)
      - No. 8 single season ERA (1.97, 1987)
      - No. 10 single season innings (105.0, 1988)

JENNIFER WATANABE
Women's Swimming & Diving • 1999-03
Monterey Park, Calif.
• NCAA DIII champion in 500 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 400 individual medley and 800 free relay (2000)
• NCAA DII champion in 200 individual medley, 400 individual medley, 200 backstroke and 400 medley relay (2001)
• Eight national titles tie her with Rosanna Delurgio for most in UCSD women’s swimming & diving history
• Four combined national titles are the most by a Triton at one national meet
• Three individual titles match Catherine Capriles for most at one national meet (2000, 2001)
• Teams finished third, third, fourth and third in her four years
• Four-time UCSD Athlete of the Year (1999-00, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03)
• Held school record in seven events at one point
• UCSD top 10:
      - No. 3 500 freestyle
      - No. 3 400 individual medley
      - No. 4 200 backstroke
      - No. 5 200 individual medley
      - No. 8 100 backstroke
      - No. 10 1000 freestyle

PAT WEISHAN
Men's Golf • 1983-87
San Diego, Calif. (Valhalla High School)
• NCAA DIII individual champion (1987)
• Two-time NCAA DIII individual runner-up (1985 in sudden death, 1986 by 1 stroke)
• 11th at NCAA DIII Championships as a freshman (1984)
• Four-time All-American
• NAIA All-District III (1983-84)
• One individual win as a freshman (1983-84)
• Seven individual wins as a sophomore (1984-85)
• 10 individual wins as a junior (1985-86)
• Nine individual wins as a senior (1986-87)
• San Diego City Amateur champion (1986)
• Two-time UCSD Athlete of the Year (1985-86, 1986-87)