LMU runner is Academic All American; Playa Vista hosts free summer concerts


Stephanie Clark, a 24-year-old assistant editor in the television industry, has launched her campaign to be Miss California 2008, competing in the pageant as Miss Playa del Rey.

The Playa del Rey resident attended Arizona State University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Clark works tirelessly within the community, donating much of her time as a meal preparer for The Salvation Army. Events that she has participated in include UCLA’s Festival of Books and the Reading for Kids Program. Her platform for the Miss California USA pageant will be addressing childhood obesity.

“It’s a serious issue that warrants a dedicated voice,” she says.

Clark says one day she hopes to split her time as an entrepreneur and philanthropist.

The Miss California USA 2008 pageant will be held November 23rd to 25th, the weekend after Thanksgiving, at the historic Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

“Our hope is to grow the pageant here in Los Angeles, making it an important annual event for the city, and a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season,” said Keith Lewis, director of Miss California USA. “We will have lots of activities planned for the hundreds of families coming to Los Angeles for the weekend.”

Clark is currently in the midst of raising funds to help her compete. She will hold a fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 8th, at Truxton’s American Bistro, 8611 Truxton Ave. in Westchester.

Information on the fundraiser or Miss Playa del Rey’s efforts, StephanieLClark@hotmail.com/.

LMU RUNNER NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN — Loyola Marymount junior Laura Mickelson was named an “ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American” in women’s track/ cross-country, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced June 27th. Mickelson becomes the eighth Lion in any sport to earn an academic All-American selection.

Mickelson and water polo player Stacia Peterson both earned academic All-America honors this year, giving LMU two selections in the same year for the second time in the history of the award. In 1973, Dean Jelmini in baseball and Steve Smith in basketball earned the prestigious honor.

Nearly 35 years later, the list remains exclusive — Mickelson (women’s cross-country/track, 2007), Peterson (women’s water polo, 2007), Jeff Kovar (men’s soccer, 2002), Heather Hollis (softball, 1999), Sandor Demosthenes (baseball, 1996), Anthony Napolitano (baseball, 1994), Jelmini (baseball, 1973), and Smith (men’s basketball, 1973).

Mickelson earned the second-team All-American status for her performances in the classroom, on the course, and on the track.

She advanced to the All-American pool after earning All-District first-team honors earlier this month. A fall NCAA National Cross Country Championship berth and spring NCAA West Track Regional appearance highlighted her athletic resume for the year.

Her athletic accomplishments come while maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.95 in a double major of natural science and pre-physical therapy. She is also working toward a minor in business administration.

The El Segundo native was named LMU Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second straight season in April. She is also a two-time West Coast Conference All-Academic selection.

The College Sports Information Directors of America organization selects Academic All-America teams from athletes who meet specific criteria, including a minimum 3.2 cumulative grade point average with sophomore standing and significant athletic contributions to their team.

PLAYA VISTA SUMMER CONCERTS — The soundtrack of summer has officially arrived, and Playa Vista’s 2007 Concert Park Summer Series is in full swing. So grab a blanket or beach chair, pack a picnic and get a front-row seat to all the action.

The concerts are free and open to the public.

From 5:30 to 7 p.m., Sunday, July 29th, the Spazmatics will be banging out tons of ’80s covers, including hits by the Go-Go’s, Oingo Boingo, Duran Duran, Berlin, Madonna and Billy Idol.

The Mark Wood Band is scheduled to perform from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday August 26th, with its rhythm section, exceptional horn ensemble and a 2,000-song repertoire.

On Sunday, September 23rd, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. get ready for plenty of Motown R&B with Stone Soul, which will have you singing along to crowd favorites from artists like The Temptations, Stevie Wonder and James Brown.

See page 13 for details.