Craig, Krumpholz take home honors

For the second consecutive season, USC water polo standouts and 2008 Olympic silver medalists Kami Craig and J.W. Krumpholz took home collegiate water polo’s highest individual honor, as the graduating seniors were named 2010 recipients of the Peter J. Cutino Award at a ceremony held last week at The Olympics Club’s City Clubhouse in San Francisco.

Back to back · Two-meter Kami Craig becomes the first woman to win the Peter J. Cutino Award in successive seasons with her latest honor. - Courtesy USC Sports Information

Craig edged out Stanford’s Jessica Steffens and teammate and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Year Tumua Anae, who led the Women of Troy with 270 saves, for the award. Stanford’s Jimmie Sandman and Drac Sigo were named the other male finalists for the Cutino Award, but finished second and third to Krumpholz.

The award, which is named after legendary California water polo coach Peter J. Cutino, is presented annually to the nation’s top male and female collegiate water polo player, as voted on by Division 1 coaches including USC’s own Jovan Vavic.

Craig, an outgoing redshirt senior two-meter who finished with 36 goals on the year, helped lead the Women of Troy to a 25-3 mark and its first national championship since 2004 last month.

But Craig, who becomes the first woman to win the award in successive seasons, will be remembered for more than just her 2010 campaign, as she is coming off one of the most prolific careers of any player in school history. With a career total of 152 goals, the senior two-meter is presently ranked eighth all-time on USC’s career scoring list and was recently named a first-team all-American for the second straight season.

On the men’s side, Krumpholz becomes just the third male all-time to have won more than one Cutino Award during his career. In 2009, the outgoing senior two-meter served as USC’s third-leading scorer with 37 goals en route to leading the Trojans to their second consecutive national championship – a first in program history. Krumpholz also became the first Trojan to be named National Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons and also earned first-team all-American honors as well in 2009.

As with Craig, Krumpholz will further be remembered for his body of work that stretched over a span of four seasons. Presently, he is ranked eleventh all-time at USC with a career scoring total of 138 goals — an indication of the offensive prowess that he often displayed.

Craig and Krumpholz remain USC’s sixth and seventh recipients of the prestigious award. Furthermore, the sweep of both the men and women’s awards marks the third in program history after Juraj Zatovic and Lauren Wenger took home the hardware in 2006 and Craig and Krumpholz did the same in 2009.

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