Westmont Magazine Spring Sports Summary
The appearance by the men’s basketball team in the NAIA National Champion-ships kept Westmont in the top 10 in the Sears Directors’ Cup NAIA winter standings. At the end of a successful fall sports season, Westmont was number one.
The men’s basketball team finished the year 21-11, and capped off the season with a GSAC Tournament championship and return trip to the NAIA National Champion-ships. They lost in the first round. During their Cinderella GSAC tourney run, the Warriors upset #1 Azusa Pacific and #3 Pt. Loma, making Westmont the only team to win three GSAC titles since the tournament began in 1993. Senior Chris Gonzales led in scoring (18.5 ppg), rebounding (7.6 rpg) and was honored as a second team NAIA All-American. A fine quartet of freshmen who played key roles will return next year.
In just its second season, the women’s basketball team continued to build a successful program. Despite an overall record of 6-20, the young Warrior squad showed improvement in most statistical categories from the previous season and doubled their number of wins in the GSAC. They just missed making the playoffs.
A disappointing finish overshadowed a record-breaking year for the Warrior baseball team. After starting the season with 4-1 record, and hitting a hot streak in March, Westmont seemed assured of a post-season playoff spot. In the closing weeks of the season, the Warriors dropped from 3rd to 5th in the GSAC, and narrowly missed a playoff berth. They ended 26-20.
The team set new school records for batting average (.342), runs (340), hits (536), doubles (95), home runs (39) and RBIs (315). Senior Mike Murphy established a new single-season mark by pounding 13 home runs.
All nine regular players for Westmont hit .300 or above for the season. Junior outfielder Mike Clifton led the way with a .391 batting average and junior Jadon Lavik was next with a .375 average and paced the team with 46 RBI. Murphy ended at .367 and a school-record .687 slugging percentage. Clifton, Lavik and Murphy were each selected to the All-GSAC and NAIA All-Region teams.
Track and Field
Both the men’s and women’s track teams came in fourth place in the 2000 GSAC Championships. On the men’s side, senior Josh Wyper claimed the only GSAC individual title, winning the decathalon. George Wheeler set a new school record in the javelin.
Sophomore Allison Knode led the women and set new personal and school records in her fourth-place, pole vault finish. Rebekah Reynolds finished second in the shot put.
Twelve athletes represented Westmont at the NAIA national meet. The men’s 4 x 800 relay squad finished fourth, the first Westmont men’s relay team to earn All-American recognition.
Reynolds, a junior, earned the fifth All-American award of her career by placing fourth in the shot put. Wheeler finished seventh in the javelin.
Although the men’s tennis team began the season ranked #19 in the NAIA national polls, and finished the season at #18, their 8-14 record and fourth place finish in the GSAC was not enough to earn them an invitation to the NAIA National Tournament.
The women’s team finished #25 in NAIA, and advanced to the NAIA Region II semifinals, ending the year 9-13, with seven of those losses coming to NCAA Division 1 schools.