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Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Updated: May 7, 1:35 PM ET
RISE National Athletes of the Week

ESPNRISE.com

Baseball player K.C. Hobson from Stockdale High (Bakersfield, Calif.), and new national steeplechase record holder Shelby Greany from Suffern (N.Y.) High, have been chosen as this week's ESPN RISE National High School Athletes of the Week for the 2009 spring season.

Shelby Greany
Shelby Greany takes home the Player of the Week honors after setting a national steeplechase record.

Hobson is the son of former Boston Red Sox manager Butch Hobson and has made a name for himself in California after starting out his high school career at Nashua (N.H.) High.

It was an almost unheard of performance by Hobson last week in a 14-1 win by Stockdale over Frontier of Bakersfield. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound left-handed pitcher and first baseman smashed three home runs and pitched a one-hitter.

After Hobson had already connected for his three homers, he came up again and ripped another shot toward the fence that was nearly a fourth homer but instead bounced off the fence for a double. On the mound, meanwhile, he took a no-hitter into the final half-inning before giving up a hit.

Hobson's three homers and the double accounted for a school record eight RBIs. He also broke another school record by improving his season home run total to 12.

Last season, Hobson, who is regarded as one of the top 100 possible picks for the upcoming Major League Baseball amateur free agent draft, batted .505 with seven homers and 17 doubles while going 10-0 on the mound with 84 strikeouts.

Hobson has signed with Texas A&M and said that he'll be happy to head to College Station if the draft doesn't pan out.

"I might like to launch my pro career right after high school, but if I'm not drafted or don't sign, A&M is a great program," he said. "I look forward to going there."

Greany set her U.S. record in the girls 2000-meter steeplechase on Monday at the Cornwall New York Steeple Fest with a winning time of 6:33.7. She already has a national title in the event after her performance last June at the 2008 Nike Outdoor Championships.

Earlier this school year, Greany was a standout in cross country and ended up with a top 10 finish as the Foot Locker National Cross Country Finals. She also won the 3,000-meter run and was second in the 1,500 at the New York state indoor championships.

Greany will run in college at Providence, but before that may have some more record-breaking to do at Suffern.

Athletes of the Week Week 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 |

The full list of this week's ESPN RISE regional boys and girls athletes of the week follows:

East Region Athletes of the Week

Justin Shirk (Central Dauphin, Harrisburg, Pa.) Track & Field
The senior, who has been at or near the top of the national javelin lists since his sophomore year and recently won the prestigious Penn Relays, is now the nation's second greatest ever in the event. His throw of 235-03 at the Cedar Cliff Relays last weekend ranks No. 2 with the "new" javelin, in use since 1986. He has signed with Div. II Bloomsburg State to play football and compete in track.

Shelby Greany (Suffern, N.Y.) Track & Field
Also named the ESPN RISE National Boys Athlete of the Week.

Southeast Region Athletes of the Week

Malcolm Tate (Madison Central, Madison, Miss.) Baseball
Southaven had only lost three times in 25 games entering last week's second round of the MHSAA Class 5A tournament but ran into Tate's hot bat that demolished the Chargers' pitching. Tate's two-run homer in game one opened the scoring and he later added a bases-clearing double in the fifth inning for the game's final runs as the Jaguars rolled to a 12-0 win. Tate then had an even better game to make sure the best of three series wouldn't go the distance as he hit three homers with six RBIs in a 10-4 triumph. In the two games, he combined to go 6-for-8 with four homers and 11 RBIs helping power the Jaguars into the ESPN RISE FAB 50 rankings for the first time this season. He also raised his batting average to nearly .400 for the season.

Lauren Wilson (Belle Chasse, La.) Softball
It would be hard to argue that anyone on the Cardinals wanted a state championship more than Wilson after they defeated West Quachita, 2-1, in an extra-inning game that couldn't have had a better finish for Wilson. In leading Belle Chasse to the Class 4A state title, she not only picked up the win in the circle but drove in both of her team's runs, including the walk-off game-winner in the eighth inning. The Cardinals had advanced to the semifinals the last two years before being eliminated. Wilson, whose wild pitch allowed the eventual go-ahead run to reach base in last year's 1-0 semifinal loss, made sure all season long to help motivate the team to win it all as she printed photos of the team being upset from the last two years to make sure they wouldn't give less than their all. Belle Chasse's last state championship in softball was back in 1987.

Midwest Region Athletes of the Week

Chris Anderson (Hopkins, Minn.) Baseball
Going into last Thursday's game against Benilde-St. Margaret's, Anderson had only hit one career high school home run so even one home run last week would have been a bit of surprise for a senior more known for his line-drive hits than his power at the plate. In his first at bat of the game, Anderson came up with the bases loaded and hit a grand slam, which he followed with a two-run homer and a solo shot in a mercy-rule shortened 12-0 victory. The stage was set for Saturday against Coon Rapids as his first plate appearance came with two runners on base. You guessed it. Anderson proceeded to hit his fourth-straight home run and complete the home run cycle in consecutive at bats over a two-game span.

Shelby Houlihan (Sioux City East, Sioux City, Iowa) Track & Field
The standout sophomore had another big day at the Howard Wood Relays in Sioux Falls, S.D. She won the 1600 in 5:07, but better yet she was in on two of her team's relay efforts, including the pivotal anchor in the sprint medley relay as her team clocked a 4:02.27, the second fastest time in the nation this year.

Southwest Region Athletes of the Week

Curtis Beach (Albuquerque Academy, N.M.) Track & Field
The new U.S. record holder in the high school decathlon, the Albuquerque Academy senior continued to show progress toward national class marks in more and more individual events. In the Albuquerque City Championships last week, he improved his pole vault to 15-06, his 200 to a hand-timed 21.0, and ran a 46.6 4x400 relay leg.

Ashley Washburn (St. Thomas Aquinas, Overland Park, Kan.) Soccer
Washburn scored two goals and assisted on three others as St. Thomas Aquinas routed Lake Forest (Ill.) by 5-0 in the third-place match of bracket play in the adidas Tournament of Champions. The junior midfielder finished the event with three goals and three assists.

West Region Athletes of the Week

K.C. Hobson (Stockdale, Bakersfield, Calif.) Baseball
Also named the ESPN RISE National Boys Athlete of the Week.

Nicole Vanni (Sierra, Manteca, Calif.) Soccer
Vanni topped the 50-goal mark for the season last week in Sierra's 8-0 victory over Weston Ranch of Stockton. In the match, the San Francisco State signee also tallied four assists, bringing her season totals to 50 goals and 17 assists. Vanni has scored goals in 22 of the team's 26 matches, and she has had at least one goal or one assist in 25 of 26 matches.

Mark Tennis, Doug Huff, Christopher Lawlor, Sheldon Shealer, Garland Cooper, Ronnie Flores and Steve Underwood contributed to this story.