By Victor Munoz
In the 50 years of Toro athletics, CSUDH has seen 95 athletes earn All-American recognition, scores of athletes who made it to the professional ranks, including MLS and MLB, but only three have made it to the CCAA Hall of Fame.
Those three individuals seat as the most decorated athletes at CSUDH. Carmelita Jeter who was inducted in 2014 has six-first-team All-American awards with record times still standing in the indoor 55-meter dash
“No one worked harder or had [more] enthusiasm and love for track and field [than Chanel],” said Edmonson. “She is without question one of the best athletes I have ever coached.”
With that kind of recommendation, it’s little wonder that Parker is one of seven athletes or coaches part of the 2019 class of the California Collegiate Athletic Association Hall of Fame. Joining Parker are women’s track and field athletes Petra (Juraskova) Babbitt from Cal State LA, Stanislaus State’s men’s basketball Joel Stallworth, Cal State San Bernardino volleyball player Samantha Middleborn, Chico State men’s soccer player Chris Wondolowski (now playing for MLS side San Jose Earthquakes) and Humboldt State softball coach Frank Cheek.
Parker said that she owed a big part of her success at CSUDH to the faith “Coach E” had in her.
“I’ve always been someone that if someone believes in me I don’t want to disappoint them,” said Parker. “So that probably had to do a lot with how hard I would push myself at practice, and at meets. Mostly because I wanted to prove to him that I could do exactly what it is that he thinks I could do.”
Parker is one of the most decorated athletes to ever wear the cardinal and gold, earning All-American status six times in her three years at CSUDH. She earned two All-Americans in 2009, her debut year at CSUDH, in both the 60 and 100-meter hurdles. In 2010, she earned her third All-American in the 4X400 relay. Her fourth and fifth honors came in 2011 in the 100-meter hurdle and in the 4X400 relay (teammates: Breionna Jackson, Dora Baldwin and Nancy Blake). The sixth and final All-American honor came in 2012 in CSUDH’s indoor season.
Parker still holds four school records. She holds the first three record times in indoor 60-meter hurdles and in 4X400 relay. She also holds the record in outdoor 100-meter hurdle with a time of 13.57, as well as the first two record times in the 4X400 outdoor relay.
“[At CSUDH] I was in the best environment, I had the best team and the best coaches,” said Parker. “CSUDH was home.”
Parker also excelled in the classroom as she graduated from CSUDH with honors and a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies. And she says part of her student-athlete success is also thanks to Coach Edmonson.
Parker said Edmonson’s practices were short but very well thought out and efficient, so that allowed athletes time to dedicate the time to their school work.
Parker said she feels blessed for the success and honors she received during her time at CSUDH, but her time as a Toro impacted her in many other ways.
“Being an athlete has made me a better person,” said Parker. “In general, I noticed that the things that I learned as an athlete have always helped me in the [real world], getting a job, keeping a job, gave me integrity, and hard work. It has helped me have moral standards and be able to give it my all in no matter what it is that I’m doing.”