Athletics

Spring 2019 sports roundup: Darian Burns takes gymnastics title, and more

Darian Burns has done it again.

The Seattle Pacific junior won her second national title, this time in the all-around competition, at the USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships.

Burns racked up 39.225 points for her four events on April 12 at the Wheeler Recreation Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It included a 9.825 on both the vault and uneven parallel bars, a 9.725 on the balance beam, and a 9.850 on the floor exercise.

In the individual finals two days later, Burns finished second on the vault and floor, and tied for sixth on the bars.

Burns was the fifth SPU gymnast to win a national all-around championship. It was the fifth USAG crown of Burns’ career. As a freshman in 2017, she shared the gold medal on the floor exercise.

She also became the final national champion for legendary Falcons coach Laurel Tindall ’75, who announced March 26 that she would be retiring after 44 years at the helm. Tindall first came to Seattle Pacific as a student competitor and helped start the gymnastics program in the winter of 1974. She took the head coaching role in 1976 and subsequently won three national team championships. Her gymnasts have won 31 individual national titles, including Burns’ all-around crown in April.

spu mens basketball team celebrate

On the basketball court, the SPU men won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament in March, defeating Western Oregon in the championship game, 78-66.

That gave the Falcons an automatic berth in the NCAA West Regional. They began play with a dramatic 77-75 victory against Chaminade of Hawaii, coming from 13 points down in the final eight minutes. The season ended with a 67-63 loss to Saint Martin’s in the regional semifinals. But the Falcons still wound up with a 22-7 record, including a 13-game win streak.

spu woman basketball player dribbles down court

The Seattle Pacific women, with a very young squad, finished 8-19. One of those wins was a dramatic come-from-behind effort on January 17 to beat arch-rival Western Washington, 61-59.

The women’s track and field team won its third straight GNAC indoor championship in February, edging Central Washington, 154-150. Scout Cai won the pentathlon for the third year in a row, Grace Bley took the 200-meter dash, and freshman Peace Igbonagwam set a meet and overall conference record of 19 feet, 7.5 inches to win the long jump.

Visit the Falcons website to read the latest news about SPU’s sports teams. 

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