Turner Wiley: First Falcon man to break 15 minutes for an indoor 5K.
Men’s soccer team wins second-straight GNAC championship
The men’s soccer team put together a 14-1-4 record on the way to winning its second straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship. In so doing, the Falcons also qualified for their fifth straight NCAA West Regional tournament. They forged an eight-game unbeaten streak to start the regular season (including five straight wins), then were unbeaten in their last nine heading into the playoffs.
Huesers wins top honors
Hannah Huesers tallied 14 goals to win her second straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s soccer scoring title. She was named the GNAC Player of the Year and the West Region Player of the year. Her play helped the Falcons earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the 13th consecutive season and ultimately advance to the regional semifinals.
SPU’s Hundley and Harger win national titles
Senior gymnast Maria Hundley won the sixth and seventh national titles of her career, taking the all-around crown for the first time and the vault for the second time at the USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships, April 8–10, in St. Charles, Missouri. Her all-around score of 39.400 broke her own school record, and this was the first year she competed all-around.
All-American Track & Field Honors for SPU women
SPU’s women raced to three All-American honors on March 11–12 at the NCAA indoor track and field meet: the distance medley relay, the 4x400 relay, and Lynelle Decker in the 800. Decker, who finished second in the 800, factored into all three, as she ran on both relays. Jahzelle Ambus also ran on both relays.
New Athletic Director Jackson Stava
On July 5, Jackson Stava from Azusa Pacific University was named the new SPU athletic director. He worked in various capacities at Azusa Pacific, including senior admissions counselor, campus athletics liaison, assistant director of undergraduate admissions, executive administrator for athletic student enrollment, athletic department compliance administrator, and eventually associate athletic director. Jackson began his new role at SPU in August. He succeeds Tom Box, who has been serving as interim athletic director since August 2015.
Smith named Assistant Coach of the Year
Audra Smith was named the West Region Assistant Coach of the Year for women’s indoor track on March 8 by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Her SPU sprinters accounted for 58 of the team’s 136 points at the conference championship meet. She is the second straight Falcons assistant to win it, following Chris Reed’s 2015 award.
Twelfth-straight NCAA tournament for men’s basketball
The men’s basketball team earned its 12th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, the longest active streak among Division II schools. After an overtime loss to start the season, the Falcons put together a nine-game winning streak, and later won another eight in row on the way to a final record of 22–9.
Ambus wins two Track & Field titles
In about an hour at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships on February 20, senior Jahzelle Ambus won two titles (the 200 and 400), setting school records in both. Her 54.87 in the 400 was a GNAC meet record and an overall GNAC record. Both times were national top-10s, and she later anchored the 4x400 relay that also posted a national top-10 time.