Cowley Tiger Athletics
The Cowley College softball team had another stellar season as they captured its third straight Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division title, second straight region title, and finished fourth at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament for the second consecutive season. The Lady Tigers, who finished with a record of 47-11 overall, defeated Highland 7-0 to win the region championship and advance to the national tournament in Normal, Ill. Cowley opened the national tournament with a 10-2 run-rule win over Blackhawk Community College. The Lady Tigers then lost a 2-1 10-inning heartbreaker to three-time defending national champion Phoenix College in its second game of the tournament. Cowley bounced back to defeat Kankakee Community College 4-1 before losing to Parkland Community College 4-0. The fourth place national finish tied the best finish ever achieved by the Lady Tiger softball program. Cowley's six sophomores, Miranda Johnson, Cortney Channell, Mandy Elder, Justina Way, Lacey Pendry, and Ashly Bright, finish their two years at the school with a school-record 100 wins over a two-year span. Pendry broke the school-record for home runs in a season with 14, while Bright (37-8) broke 13 pitching and seven hitting records during her two years at Cowley. All nine Cowley starters received all-conference honors, while Bright, Pendry and Kaci Haney earned All-American honors.
With just two returning position players from last year’s team, the Cowley College baseball team finished an unfamiliar second in the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division. The Tigers, winners of 10 of the last 12 Jayhawk East titles, would have won their third straight conference title had it not been for having to forfeit three games. Cowley instead finished with a record of 36-22 overall and 24-12 in the Jayhawk East. Cowley lost both games at the Region VI Tournament played at Wichita’s Lawrence Dumont Stadium. The Tigers opened with a 5-4 loss to Butler, and then lost to Hutchinson 8-3. Cowley will say goodbye to 10 sophomores. The sophomores are, Brad Miller, Ryan Engel, Brett Becker, J.J. Dellinger, Bryce Bartelson, Kyle Dotson, Kendall Cogan, Jeremy Sheehan, Kyle Thornton, and Pat D’Aoust. Miller, Thornton, Sheehan, and Thornton were named first-team all-conference, while freshmen Mike Dabbs, Nick Troilo, and Kent Williamson were named second-team all-conference.
MEN’S TRACK AND FIELD
Led by Daniel Maina winning the national championship in the 5,000-meter run (14:21.85), and 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:05.93), the Cowley College men’s track and field team placed eighth at the NJCAA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships held in Coffeyville. Cowley freshman Stanley Mugo finished second behind Maina in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and earned NJCAA All-American honors, while sophomore Cameron Traxson finished fifth in the javelin (185-2), and sixth in the pole vault (14-6 ¼) to earn Coaches Association All-American honors. Sophomore Scott Olson also earned Coaches Association All-American honors by placing 12th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:34.74), while David Starnes earned Coaches Association All-American honors by placing seventh in the pole vault (14-6 ¼).Maina was the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division champion in the 1,500-meter run (3:49.62), 5,000-meter run (14:44.71), 10,000-meter run (32:44.35) and 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:34.55). Jimmy Nelson was the conference champion in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 54.24, while Cameron Traxson was the conference/region champion in the javelin (204-11). The men's 4x800-meter relay team of Ryan Stittiams, Larry Hill, Ferrien Harris and Johnny Thomas also were conference champions. Cowley will lose Jace Darnell, Austin Hamilton, Chris Hough, Nelson, Stittiams, Olson and Traxson from its men’s team.
WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD
Fresh off capturing the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division outdoor title, the Cowley College women’s track and field team placed ninth at the NJCAA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Coffeyville. Freshman Courtney Gougler, the indoor national champion in the shot put, added the national outdoor title in the discus (153-3) to her list of accomplishments. Gougler and Veronica Anderson earned Coaches Association All-American honors by placing fourth and fifth, respectively, in the hammer throw. Other Lady Tigers earning Coaches Association All-American honors were, pole vaulters Angela Welch (10-2 ¾) and Lauren Kirsch (9-9). Gougler, who was the conference champion/region champion in the shot put (42-4), discus (144-6) and hammer throw (149-02). La-Nation McCray was the conference champion in the 100-meter dash (12.82) and had a national qualifying time of 58.60 in the 400-meter dash. Linet Birir was the conference champion in the 10,000-meter run (40:54.51), while the women's 4x400-meter relay team of McCray, Neisha Peterson, LeShea Jenkins and Brittany Fallon were conference champions. Jenkins, Veronica Anderson, Patricia Dailey and Irene Kosgei were conference champions in the 4x800-meter relay. In the javelin, Laura Hewitt finished first in the conference with a throw of 128-07. Dailey was the conference champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (12:59.08), and Peterson was the conference champion in the 400-meter hurdles (1:10.35). Cowley will lose sophomores McCray, Jenkins, Kirsch, and Anderson from its women’s team.
Capping a strong season in which they won 10 of 14 regular season matches, and finished second in the region, the Cowley College women’s tennis team finished in a tie for seventh at the NJCAA Division I National Tournament played in Tucson, AZ. Freshman Hanane Toumi (23-1) suffered her first defeat of the season in singles play as she lost to Hillsborough's Hiroko Nishikawa 3-6, 2-6 in the semifinals of No. 1 singles. The No. 1 doubles team of Toumi and Samantha Cowan also lost in the semifinals, while the No. 2 doubles team of Gina Pendrak and Molly Bowman won three straight match to win the No. 2 doubles consolation final. Pendrak and Bowman, the lone sophomores on the squad, defeated North Central Texas’ Manuela Vargas and Emily Rollins 8-1 in the final. Toumi and Cowan, who lost just three doubles matches the entire season, lost to Broward Community College’s Marta Semic and Romy Farah 1-6, 2-6. Toumi and Cowan were region champions at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively. While, Katie McKee and Ashley Arnold finished second at No. 3 and No. 6 singles, respectively.
Losing several close matches came back to haunt the Cowley College men’s tennis team as they finished one half point behind Johnson County for the third and final national qualifying team spot at the Region VI Tournament played at the Riverside Tennis Center in Wichita. Cowley sophomore Kevin Harper defeated Seward County’s Adam Hambleton 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 to win the region title at No. 6 singles. Sophomores Julian Rios and Nathan Mai finished third at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, as did sophomore Marijn Bal at No. 3 singles. Sophomore Juan Ramos finished third at No. 5 singles, while freshman Brian Cross placed fourth at No. 4 singles. The No. 1 doubles team of Bal and Mai finished second, while Rios and Ramos placed third at No. 2 doubles. Harper and Cross rounded out the Tigers’ doubles teams by placing third at No. 3 doubles.