Athletics The Scholar-Athlete
Runner, Gymnasts Earn National Crowns
Spring Sports Update
By Mark Moschetti
A six-time All American, McKayla Fricker crossed the finish line at the NCAA meet in Allendale, Michigan, a full second ahead of the next runner. Photo by Kyle Terwillegar / USTFCCCA
Whether on the track or in the gym, Seattle Pacific University athletes have been piling up the titles.
The latest of those came at the end of May when McKayla Fricker ’14 ran to the 800-meter crown at the NCAA meet, clocking a personal-best 2 minutes, 6.18 seconds.
Fricker, a senior from Canby, Oregon, who finished second in the NCAA indoor 800 in March, also had a hand in three of SPU’s four titles at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference outdoor meet in May 2014. She came from behind to win the 800 and 1,500, then teamed with Kishia Mitchell ’14, BryAnne Wochnick ’14, and senior Tasia Baldwin to win the 4x400 relay. Mitchell also won the 400 meters.
On a highly successful April weekend in Rhode Island, Maria Hundley and Kai Tindall ’14 combined to give the Falcons all or part of all four individual event titles at the USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships.
Hundley won the vault and balance beam crowns outright, and gained a share of the title on the uneven parallel bars. Her score on all three events was 9.85.
Tindall capped her career by tying for first with three others on the floor exercise, putting up a score of 9.875.
In the 41-year history of the program, Falcons gymnasts have won national championships for all four events — but never in the same year.
SPU also brought home the third-place team trophy, tallying 194.550 points in the finals. Twice during the season, the Falcons broke the school scoring record, the new mark now being 194.575, scored at home against UC Davis on February 21.
The SPU rowing teams stroked to victories in three different regattas this spring. That included a sweep of the men’s varsity 4, lightweight 4, and novice 4 in the Raptor Cup against Seattle University. The men's varsity lightweight 4, women’s novice 4, and women’s second novice 4 were second at the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference Championships.
This year, SPU’s Ron Grady Athlete of the Year award was shared between Maria Hundley and David Downs. And Falcon teams finished in the top third of NCAA Division II programs for the all-sports competition Learfield Sports Les Habegger Directors Cup.