Cross country star Olivia Burton was named the Ventura County Female College Athlete of the Year by the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame Tuesday. The sophomore had earlier been awarded VC's Outstanding Female Sophomore Female Student Athlete and men's basketball standout Dayshone Henry was honored as the Pirates' Outstanding Male Sophomore Student Athlete for 2019-20. The two were also recently recognized by the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame for their accomplishments over their careers for the Pirates.
Burton, a Foothill Tech High School product, followed up her third place state finish her freshman season with another outstanding year. She finished in the Top-5 in each of the team's eight meets against community college competition, winning the Ventura Invitational on Arroyo Verde Park's difficult course for the second straight year. She was second at the Western State Conference Championships and finished ahead of the pack at the Southern California Regionals. She saved her best for last, posting a season-best 18:33 over the 5k course at Fresno's Woodward Park to claim second place at the state championships. On the track, Burton finished 10th in the state in the 5000m as a freshman, and had posted top times in the 1500m, 3000m, and 5000m early in 2020 before the season was halted in March. With her eligibility restored, Burton plans on returning to VC in 2021 to compete in track and field.
Henry, a graduate of Fremont High School in Los Angeles, was named first team All-WSC and earned honorable mention All-State honors. He led the Pirates averaging 18.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. The sophomore shot 51.1 percent from the floor on the season. He scored over 30 points on four occasions for Ventura, including a career-high 34 points on two occasions. He helped lead VC to its fifth straight WSC North Division title. He will transfer with a basketball scholarship to Concordia University in Irvine, an NCAA Division II school. The Eagles were 20-12 last season, 14-8 in the PacWest Conference.
The Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1983 to acknowledge and honor the many athletes, coaches, organizers and media who have contributed to and enriched the athletic fabric of Ventura County. Each summer they honor outstanding student athletes from all of the county's high schools and colleges. This year, the annual awards banquet was canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the honorees were recognized on the organization's Facebook page.