Santa Monica College sprinter Michael Tobin, Jr. has received the distinction of being the college’s first overall Student Athlete of the Year.
Tobin was named one of 15 SMC Student Athletes of the Year for 2011-12 in their individual sports, but never before had the college picked an overall winner. All of the student athletes were selected for demonstrating scholastic achievement as much as athletic talent and persistence.
The awards to the diverse group of students were presented at the annual awards breakfast sponsored by the SMC General Advisory Board, a community support group.
Tobin, who was selected for track and field and is coached by Larry Silva, graduated from high school with honors in the San Francisco Bay area. He also received the President’s Educational Award for academic excellence as well as the Outstanding Alameda County Scholar Athlete Award.
He was raised by his single mother who instilled in him dedication to hard work, focus on education and resistance to negative pressures in his environment, an SMC spokesman said.
Track and field has been his focus at SMC, aside from academic endeavors and participation in Black Collegians. He was a state meet qualifier, recognized in the top 20 athletes in both 100 and 200 meters for California Community Colleges, and was ranked No. 2 in both events in the Western States Conference.
With a 3.76 grade point average, Tobin wants to be the first in his family to graduate from a university. He hopes to transfer to Stanford, UCLA or University of California-Berkeley and continue to compete in track while studying biomechanics.
Eventually, Tobin hopes to attend medical school to pursue studies in neuroscience and orthopedics on the way to becoming a university or professional team doctor.