Loggers wrap up another successful winter season
Dominating in each of their individual conferences, the swimming and basketball teams proved their strength against opponents in conference championships and in the progression of each respective season.
As both the swimming and basketball seasons are incredibly long, lasting six months and more including pre-season training, the men and women’s teams have shown their determination and commitment to their sport, be it in the water or on the court.
Commencing their competitive season in early November in the Northwest Conference Sprints, the Logger women’s swim team took fifth, scoring 106 points, and the men fourth, scoring 115.5 points.
Among the top female contenders of the conference spring meet were Loggers Melissa Norrish (Denver, Colo.) who took third with a time of 1:03.28, Auri Clark (Juneau, Alaska) who took 15th place with of a time of 1:05.03 both in the 100 yard individual medley and Caitlin Fuller in 50 yard freestyle taking 27th with a time of 26.72. Additionally Norrish took second with a time of 27.36 and Clark took seventh in the same event with a time of 27.77 both in the 50 yard butterfly.
Taking sixth was Derek Frenzel (Moscow, Idaho) with a time of 24.61 and tying for 16th was Evan Hamamoto (Lihue, Hawaii) with a time of 25.07 both in the 50 yard butterfly. Jared Fisk (Elko, Nev.), Mitch Kilgore (Conifer, Colo.), and Clayton Jacobson (Newport, Ore.) finished right behind the leading Loggers in 19th, 23rd and 25th places respectively.
Directly after the Northwest Conference Sprints, the Logger swim team shut out Willamette in the first NWC home duel of the season, as the women’s team won 138 to Willamette’s 66 and the men 113 to 91.
The Loggers also defeated Linfield the same weekend. The women dominated 137-68 and the men 149-53.
On Dec. 8 at the Husky Invitational, the Logger men confidently secured first place and the women second.
In overall standings, the Loggers finished in ninth place out of nearly 75 teams and more than 1,000 swimmers in total.
Though the late months of 2013 projected a promising 2014 season, the Logger swimmers fell just short of the University of Redlands Bulldogs host with a final score of 106-103 on Jan. 8.
Winning the first mixed 200 yard medley relay event of the meet with swimmers Teale Kitson (Durango, Colo.), Anne Shirey (Edmonds, Wash.), Clark and Kilgore the Loggers battled until the final race.
Though the Loggers had a rough start to the 2014 portion of the strenuous season, they were able to persevere, as the women placed second and the men fourth, watching as Whitworth won the conference title for the 11th straight year (Loggerathletics.com).
The men’s basketball team also showed their perseverance and resolve consistently through the season as they ended their season with a final record of 10-6.
The Logger men unexpectedly persisted and progressed to the Northwest Conference Championship against six-time NWC winner Whitworth, falling short by only three points with a final score of 71-68.
“We were predicted to finish 6th. It’s awesome to finish second,” 6’7” wing guard Nick Holden (Pasadena, Calif.) said. “This is the closest team I’ve ever been on.”
Through a summer trip to Cabo, Mexico and other team-building exercises, “team unity” has grown exponentially, guiding the team to greater success.
“We all work hard together; we all bought into a common wealth. We all want to do well. We all did better together,” Holden said.
“Committed, highly determined to succeed, and unselfish,” Holden said.
Reflecting back on the season, the men have truly united and cultivated an intimate, distinct relationship.
“Looking back, it was going well. It started with ups and downs, then we got out team identity, and then it ended suddenly,” said Holden.
The men’s basketball team, now out of season and in a recess, hopes to keep improving this team harmony and success.
“We’re just looking to keep the trend going. Starting after spring break, we continue to go hard,” Holden said.
Though the women’s basketball team did not progress all the way to the conference championship, they had quite a successful season and have consistently “grown as a unit,” Amanda Forshay (Moraga, Calif.) said.
Advancing to the Northwest Conference semi-final match, the Logger women fell by only 13 points to the Whitman Missionaries, ending with a final score of 77-60.
The women’s basketball team has continued to build their strength with each incoming freshman class, setting higher goals and expectations each new season.
Though the women’s team didn’t progress further in the Northwest Conference Championship games, they still are able to provide a confident, determined attitude and atmosphere for the incoming freshmen and transfer students so as to “build on (the team’s) play” and technique in the coming future seasons, senior captain Taylor Jones said (Keizer, Ore.).