SAN DIEGO - University of California San Diego two-sport standout Ciara Franke was announced on Thursday as a San Diego Hall of Champions (SDHOC) Star of the Month for March.
Franke, a San Diego product and true freshman out of La Jolla High School, has excelled for both the nationally-ranked UC San Diego swimming and diving and water polo programs.
Franke helped guide the 11th-ranked UC San Diego water polo team to an impressive 11-1 record in March, highlighted and capped by a three-goal effort in a come-from-behind 13-11 victory at Fresno State on March 31. The Tritons trailed 11-9 heading into the fourth period against the Bulldogs, with all three of Franke's scores coming over the final 5:54 of the contest after fellow freshman Grace Pevehouse had drawn UC San Diego within one at 11-10. Franke, a first-time Western Water Polo Association Player of the Week as of Wednesday, totaled 14 goals for the month. She leads the squad with 55 steals on the season, and has notched 24 goals while contributing seven assists. The Tritons' lone loss in March was an 11-6 decision against fifth-ranked Hawai'i at San Diego State's Aztec Invitational on March 11.
Franke raced to four top-eight All-America distinctions while leading the No. 6 UC San Diego women's swimming and diving squad to a seventh-place team finish at her first NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships, March 14-17. She flew to Greensboro, N.C., a day late to join her swimming and diving teammates, after aiding the water polo team to a 4-1 weekend record. Franke placed eighth individually in the 200-yard freestyle on the meet's second night on March 15, having earlier anchored the seventh-place 200 free relay. She was a member of the fifth-place 800 free relay on March 16, and anchored the eighth-place 400 free relay on the final night.
Each month, the San Diego Hall of Champions honors as many as four professional, six amateur and six high school athletes as Stars of the Month for their outstanding athletic accomplishments. Stars of the Month are recognized in the San Diego Union-Tribune, via the Hall of Champions' app, social media channels and website, and at the annual Salute to the Champions awards dinner. Top-performing Stars of the Month can also earn Star of the Year accolades. Those considered are either from San Diego, or have achieved stardom for local teams.
Franke makes it five Tritons named as San Diego Hall of Champions Stars of the Month for the 2018 calendar year:
• Mikayla Williams, women's basketball (January)
• Tanner Syftestad, men's volleyball (January)
• Alex Eliopulos, baseball (February)
• Christian Bayne, men's basketball (February)
• Ciara Franke, women's swimming and diving, women's water polo (March)
ABOUT THE HALL OF CHAMPIONS
The "Hall" is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating outstanding local athletic achievement and providing sports programming for the community. The Hall was launched by the Breitbard Athletic Foundation, which was founded in 1946 by the legendary Bob Breitbard to recognize significant athletic achievement in San Diego. Through its awards and recognition programs, and vigilant focus on the community of San Diego and its betterment, the Hall is devoted to motivating and inspiring youth of all ages to reach their full potential. For more information, please visit www.sdhoc.com.