Westmont Magazine Warrior Teams Advance to Nationals, Capture GSAC Championships
All five spring Warrior teams competed at their national tournaments this year.
The baseball team (38-17) defeated No. 7 San Diego Christian (39-18) twice to win the GSAC Tournament and earn an automatic berth in the NAIA National Championship. After losing the first game to San Diego Christian, the Warriors won four straight games to eliminate the other three teams. In the final two games against San Diego Christian, Westmont scored 30 runs and had 41 hits. It’s the fourth GSAC title for the team and the first since 1994. The team also set a college record with 38 wins. Nine senior baseball players missed Commencement to compete in the GSAC tournament, so the college honored them at the annual faculty-staff appreciation brunch. Wearing their robes, the seniors marched in and received their diplomas from President Gayle D. Beebe, also dressed in academic regalia.
The No. 7 men’s tennis team (14-6) received an at-large berth to the NAIA Men’s Tennis National Championships in Mobile, Ala., and had a first-round bye. Last year, they reached the semi-finals. The Warriors competed in this event for the 17th time this year.
The No. 11 women’s tennis team (11-12) received an at-large berth to the NAIA Women’s Tennis National Championship also held in Mobile, Ala. This year marks the Warriors’ 25th trip to the national championship. In 1982, they won the NAIA Women’s Tennis National Championship.
A year after securing its first GSAC title, the men’s track and field team repeated as the 2014 conference champions. They scored 298 points to Concordia’s 219 and Biola’s 169. The women claimed second place, scoring 206.25 points to Biola’s 249.5. Concordia finished third with 155.75 points. For the second straight year, Russell Smelley was named the GSAC Men’s Track and Field Coach of the Year.
The men’s and women’s track and field teams sent 19 athletes to Nationals: Elysia Hodges, 400 meters; Becky Collier, heptathlon and high jump; Kristan Holding heptathlon; Karlie Storkson, Ceci Adams, Lorien Patmore and Kaylin Koopmans, 4 x 400 relay; Heidi Nicholls, marathon; Ben McCollum, decathlon; Shane Rowan, triple jump; Evan Kramer, David Donner, Evan Bradford and Nathan Evans, 4 x 800 relay; Tyler Moore, Bryan Avendano, John Nealon and Christian Hatchett, 4 x 400 relay; Daniel Erickson, marathon.