Ground Broken
for New Soccer


Construction continues on the Falcons' new home soccer facility at Interbay, and Coach Cliff McCrath hopes to play the season-opening game there September 6. A ground-breaking ceremony was held May 16, with President Philip Eaton, McCrath and representatives of Seattle Mayor Norm Rice and the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust taking part.

When the $3.3 million facility opens this fall there will be seating for more than 900 spectators, a state-of-the-art soccer field with SportGrass playing surface and field lighting for night games.

Adjacent to the soccer field will be improved softball, little league baseball and T-ball fields. Seattle Pacific University will have priority scheduling during the soccer season.

"This is a wonderful example of a partnership between SPU and the city that benefits everyone," says Philip Eaton.

Seattle Pacific soccer has played its home games at a variety of rented facilities over the past 29 years, and since 1990 the majority of home games have been played east of Lake Washington. "If you have any concept of what an orphan might think of a permanent home, then you have an idea of what this means to SPU soccer," says McCrath.

Also under construction this summer is a track and field training facility on Wallace Field, adjacent to Brougham Pavilion. Both the soccer and track facilities were partially funded by a $2 million grant from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust.



Names Athletes
of the Year



National champion Mindy Lee Ferguson and basketball standout Linnea Jarvits, both seniors, were named Seattle Pacific University's 1996-97 Athletes of the Year at the annual Athletics Banquet June 3.

Ferguson won nine of 12 meets, including the national crown, on the uneven bars, and also broke her own school record in that event. Jarvits was the top scorer and most honored player on the most successful women's basketball team in SPU history.

Six seniors -- gymnast Gina Bolenbaugh, high-jumper Ronelle Lamkin, basketball's Erica Lindberg and Geoff Ping, and volleyball players Sarah Oltmans and Beth Palmer -- received the highest honor for career achievement in athletics and academics, the Falcon Award for Excellence.



Gymnasts Claim National Crown



Buoyed by a big and boisterous home crowd, Seattle Pacific University came from behind in the final rotation to win the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships April 11 at Brougham Pavilion. The Falcons scored a school-record 192.250 points, ending the four-year reign of Texas Woman's University, which finished 0.725 points behind.

For good measure, two SPU gymnasts won individual event titles on the closing night of the meet. Mindy Lee Ferguson won the uneven bars and Amanda King was first on the balance beam. In what was a near-perfect season for the team, they also won their first conference championship and earlier upset Washington, one of the top teams in Division I.

The accomplishments were recognized statewide, with Coach Laurel Tindall -- who was voted national Coach of the Year -- and her team invited to the State Capitol in Olympia. There, a state resolution was passed in honor of the team. Governor Gary Locke issued certificates to each of the team members as well.


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