Rackov earns Cutino Award as top male collegiate water polo player

The Cal men’s water polo team may not have ended 2010 as the nation’s top squad — falling to USC in the national title match — but the Bears do now boast the country’s top collegiate player.

This past Saturday, Cal attacker Ivan Rackov was honored with the 2010-2011 Peter J. Cutino Award, given annually to the country’s top male collegiate water polo player. A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Rackov earns the award after a stellar junior campaign for Cal.

The MPSF’s leading scorer with 79 goals over 28 contests, Rackov also paced the Bears in assists (82) and steals (70) in 2010. A two-time conference Player of the Week, Rackov never turned in a scoreless game last fall and performed as the top goal-scorer in 18 of his team’s matches.

Rackov becomes the first Cal player to receive the award since John Mann won it in 2007 after the Bears captured the 2006 national title — both have played under current Bears coach Kirk Everist.

“It is a privilege to be a part of such a great award in the name of Pete (Cutino),” said Everist told Calbears.com. “We are very proud of Ivan and the 2010 team to be a part of such a prestigious honor.”