Alumni Athletes Inducted Into Pomona-Pitzer Athletic Hall of Fame
For their extraordinary athletic exploits, six individuals were inducted into the Pomona-Pitzer Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday, October 4 in a ceremony at Frank Dining Hall. Brittany Burch (Pomona 1992, Women’s Track & Field), José Cortés (Pomona 1953, Men’s Tennis), Chris Davis (Pomona 1991, Men’s Soccer), Debbie Kennedy (Pomona 1992, Women’s Volleyball), David Mason (Pomona 1984, Men’s Wrestling), and Kelly Redfield (Pomona 1992, Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field) were inducted in front of family, friends, coaches, students and other Hall of Fame members. The event was the 46th annual induction ceremony.
Brittany Burch ‘92
Burch enrolled at Pomona in the fall of 1988 as the MVP of her high school tennis, basketball and track and field teams in Nashville, Indiana. Burch intended to play basketball for the Sagehens, but changed her focus to the track and field team mid-way through her first year. An all-around athlete, Burch excelled in individual events, and in the two-day, seven-event heptathlon.
During her four years on the track and field team, Burch earned All-SCIAC honors 16 times in six events: the 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, javelin, high jump, long jump, and shot put. As a junior, Burch won SCIAC titles in the high jump and shot put, and as a senior won SCIAC titles in the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles. Burch also helped lead her team to the 1992 SCIAC title, which was Pomona-Pitzer’s first in the sport.
Burch qualified to the NCAA National Championships three times in the heptathlon during her final three seasons, and she earned two All-America honors. After taking 13th place as a sophomore, Burch improved to 8th place as a junior, and 3rd as a senior. During her final competition, Burch set the still-standing heptathlon school record of 4699 points.
A team captain as a senior, Burch still stands on Pomona-Pitzer’s track and field top-10 lists in seven events.
Burch earned her MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 2000, and is now enjoying hiking, biking, mentoring, and traveling, Burch lives in San Francisco and works as a Senior Product Manager for Siebel Systems, Inc.
José “Joe” Cortés ‘53
A four-year tennis star at Pomona after arriving on campus from Colombia, José “Joe” Cortés was Pomona’s #1 tennis player for four years: 1950, 1951, 1952, and 1953. He earned First Team All-SCIAC honors for the final three years – only because freshman didn’t play on varsity teams then.
Cortés earned First Team All SCIAC honors three years, and was SCIAC Singles Champion once and runner-up twice. In doubles, Cortés was also conference champion once and runner-up twice.
After receiving his master’s degree in 1955 Cortés returned to Bogotá, Colombia, and started to compete again—training either at 5:15 in the morning or in the evenings after work at his full-time job with an insurance company. Cortés won over 150 trophies in various Colombian tournaments.
Most notably, Cortés won Colombia’s National Singles Championship four years (1961, 1962, 1963, 1964), and was Colombia’s National Singles Runner-up three times. In addition, Cortés was a six-time National Doubles Champion and six-time National Mixed Doubles Champion.
A member of his nation’s Davis Cup team for many years, Cortés also won the singles and doubles titles at the 1962 South American Amateur Tennis Championships in Lima, Peru.
Cortés played against some of the all-time greats such as Rod Laver, Luis Ayala, Fred Stolle, Barry McKay, and Manuel Santana, and he even won a set from Neal Frazer, (considered the best player at the time) and he beat Don Candy, one of Australia’s top players, and Orlando Sirola, the Italian Davis Cup member whose team had won the Cup for Italy.
Cortes and his wife Nancy (Kotal) Cortes ’53 live in Bogotá, Colombia. Cortés is president of a cluster of family-owned companies involved in banking, insurance, investment banking and construction. His wife is the General Director of the Colombian American Cultural Center in Bogotá and is trying to start the first bilingual university in Colombia (projected opening date Feb. 2004).
Chris Davis ‘91
Arriving at Pitzer College in the fall of 1987 after playing on a State Championship team at North Olmsted High in Cleveland, Chris Davis quickly jumped into his starting goalkeeper role as a Sagehen frosh.
Davis didn’t miss a game the next four years, and tallied an impressive list of accomplishments. Davis was twice named First Team All Conference, and was the 1990 SCIAC Most Valuable Player in Soccer. A team captain his junior and senior years, Davis helped lead his Pomona-Pitzer squad to a co-championship in 1990 during his senior season.
Also during his senior year, Davis was named to the NSCAA All Far West Region Team, and the NSCAA All America team. Davis set a team record for fewest goals allowed in a season in 1990, along with a team record for average goals against. Finally, Davis was named the 1990-91 Pomona-Pitzer Most Valuable Athlete in all sports.
Davis is the Executive Director for CommenSpace, a non-profit conservation organization, and lives in Seattle, Washington with wife Heather Moss. Davis enjoys climbing, mountaineering and kayaking.
Debbie Kennedy ‘92
Coming to Pomona from nearby Lakewood High School in the fall of 1988, Debbie Kennedy joined the Pomona-Pitzer volleyball team as a setter with two all league MVP accolades.
As a Sagehen, Kennedy earned First Team All Conference honors as a junior and a senior, and she earned All West Region honors both years, as well. After her junior year, Kennedy was named to the NCAA III All America Second Team as a setter.
During Kennedy’s four years, she helped lead her squad to NCAA Championship berths in 1988, where the team made the final 16, and 1990, where the team made the final 8.
In the Pomona-Pitzer volleyball record book, Kennedy holds marks in Single Match Set Assists (for 3-game, 4-game, and 5-game matches), Single Match Service Aces (for 4-game and 5-game matches), season Set Assists (1048), Set Assists per game (11.1), season Service Aces (65), and Service Aces per game (0.8). Her career Set Assists mark of 2440 was a school record in 1992, and still stands third all-time.
Kennedy currently lives in Long Beach, where she enjoys cooking and traveling. She has earned an M.S. in Gerontology and M.A. in Public Administration. Kennedy worked for many years as an information technology consultant for major health plans such as Aetna, PacifiCare, and Blues plans before joining PacifiCare Health Systems last February as a Director in Information Technology.
Dave Mason ‘84
A successful Maryland high school wrestler at the Gilman School in Baltimore, David W. Mason arrived at Pomona College in the fall of 1980 and made an immediate impact on both the campus and the wrestling squad.
Competing one year under coach Mike Steinhour and the last three years with coach Walt Ambord, Mason compiled an outstanding SCIAC, NCAA Regional and NCAA National history.
At the SCIAC Level, Mason was a four time finalist in the SCIAC Tournament and won the conference title in 1981, 1983, and 1984. Mason's loss in the1982 title match would be the last time he lost to a SCIAC opponent. Overall, Mason lost matches to a total of three different SCIAC wrestlers while competing in four different weight classes (142 lbs., 134 lbs., 126 lbs., and two tournaments at 118 lbs.).
At the NCAA Division III West Regional, Mason took fourth as a freshman and second as a sophomore. Mason then won two straight NCAA West Regional titles as a junior and senior to qualify for the NCAA Division III National Championships in 1983 and 1984. As a senior in 1984, Mason was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the NCAA Division III West Region. That year at the NCAA tournament, Mason was one win from All-American honors. He wound up losing a close match to Shawn Sheldon, who in later years would become a multiple National Champion and two-time Olympian.
On campus, Mason was a Sponsor in 1982, a Resident Advisor in 1984, wrote for both the Collage and the Student Life, and was the wrestling team captain in his final two seasons.
After graduating from Pomona, Mason worked as an English teacher and coached on two high school wrestling staffs from 1984 through 1991. He coached one Senior National Champion, a few National Prep Champions, and several conference champions. He also continued to wrestle occasionally in freestyle and folkstyle tournaments and won the Maryland Open title in 1988.
Mason and his wife, Jenny, have two sons, Jake and Sam, and live in Millersville, Maryland, where they are all preparing for their green belts in Tae Kwon Do under Master Apolo Ladra. Dave Mason works in Baltimore, Maryland for UBS and has been in the financial services industry since 1992.
Kelly Redfield ‘92
A state meet runner-up for Helena High School in Montana, Kelly Redfield immediately became the #1 runner for Pomona-Pitzer’s women’s cross country team in the fall of 1988. For the next four years, Redfield would remain the top runner for both the track and cross country teams as she accumulated a raft of honors.
In cross country, Redfield earned four First Team All-SCIAC honors, including one individual conference title that was the first-ever earned by a Pomona-Pitzer runner. At the NCAA West Region meet, Redfield earned four All Region honors with finishes of 5th, 4th, 3rd, and 2nd. Redfield qualified to the NCAA National Championships four straight years, and as a senior in 1991 earned Pomona-Pitzer’s first All America honor for women’s cross country. She is still the only woman in team history to earn All America honors. In addition, Redfield led the women’s team to two SCIAC titles in 1989 and 1991, and was team captain her final three years.
In track and field, Redfield won two SCIAC titles in the 3000 (1990 and 1992) and one in the 1500 (1992). As a senior, she qualified to the NCAA National Meet in the 10,000m, where she finished 13th. Redfield still stands on the track and field all-time lists in the 1500m, 3000m, 5000m, and 10,000m. A team captain as a senior, Redfield helped lead her team to the 1992 SCIAC title, which was Pomona-Pitzer’s first in the sport.
Redfield was selected as Pomona-Pitzer’s Athletic Excellence Award winner in 1992 for success in more than one sport. Now in her Internal Medicine residency at Stanford after earning her MD and MPH degrees, Redfield lives in Menlo Park, and enjoys running, cooking, eating, reading and sleeping whenever not at the hospital.