Soccer, Cross Country Among the Best in Nation


This past fall, Seattle Pacific University was once again among the nation's top 10 teams in both women's cross country running and men's soccer.

For the eighth year in a row, Coach Cliff McCrath guided his soccer team into the NCAA Division II playoffs. The Falcons defeated Colorado's Fort Lewis College 4-1 in the first round before a sun-splashed crowd at Interbay Stadium. In the West Region championship game, SPU extended California State Bakersfield to four overtimes on the Roadrunners' home field before falling 4-3. Bakersfield went on to win the national championship.

During a rigorous regular season schedule, Seattle Pacific defeated the likes of Division I powers Portland and Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV), and the Falcons were the last team to defeat Bakersfield, winning 3-2 at Interbay November 1.

The coming years promise even greater potential since this year's squad loses just three seniors and the team's top two scorers are underclassmen: sophomore Dana Garner finished with 16 goals, and freshman Vadim Tostolutsky had 11.

Cross country also featured a relatively young team, but still was successful in taking its second straight Pacific West Conference championship, placing second at the West Regional and ninth at the NCAA Championships in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Sophomore Heather Wallace ran to victory in the PacWest race for the second year in a row. Freshman Julie Swann was the team's top scorer in three regular season meets, but was hampered by injuries in the three postseason meets.


Rated Higher
Than Ever; Men
End Unbeaten


Off to the best start in school history, the Seattle Pacific University women's basketball team was rewarded with its first-ever top-10 ranking in December. Featuring a fast-paced, high-scoring offense, the Falcons handily won their first ten games. The most significant of the victories was by a 28-point margin at California Davis, the team that had knocked Seattle Pacific out of last year's NCAA playoffs.

Debbie Miller, honorable mention All-America selection as a junior, is once again the catalyst for Gordy Presnell's team. Shana Ray, a Lynnwood, Washington, native who transferred from Eastern Washington University, is the team's top scorer.

In men's basketball, SPU's two-year, 26-game home unbeaten streak came to an end in November against Azusa Pacific, one of the six nationally ranked opponents on the early-season schedule. The Falcons, 5-4 through the first nine games, still figure to contend for the Pacific West Conference title and an NCAA tournament bid in February. The Homecoming game February 7 will feature SPU and another regional power, Montana State Billings.


Defend Crown


In its silver anniversary season, the Falcon gymnastics team hopes to settle for nothing less than gold. Seattle Pacific University begins defense of its USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championship at home January 24 versus Sacramento State, the 1997 bronze medalist.

Among the 12 returnees are four All-Americans and three past national champions. Deni Boswell won the uneven bars as a sophomore, Lisa Smith the vault as a freshman, and Stephanie Andrews the balance beam as a freshman. Andrews and Boswell are now seniors, Smith a junior.

Brougham Pavilion, site of the national championships the past two years, hosts the Western Independent Championships March 21.

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