Making last year’s 21st place national finish a thing of the past, the Cowley College men’s track and field team placed sixth out of 26 teams at the NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Hutchinson.
Vondrell Harris capped his stellar sophomore season by finishing as the national runner-up in the high jump (7-0 ½) and earned NJCAA second-team All-American honors.
Sophomore Jory Custar broke the school record in the 800-meter prelims (1:51.73), while Mac Griffith eclipsed the school record in the decathlon (6,577 points). Both Custar and Griffith earned Coaches Association All-American honors for their efforts.
The Tigers’ 4x800-meter relay team of Dane Dewitt, T.J. Mapp, David Phillips, and Brice Irving ran incredible splits and finished third with a time of 7:44.90. The runners were named NJCAA Honorable Mention All-Americans.
The large group of sophomores helped Cowley run its streak of indoor and outdoor conference titles to four years in a row, and led the squad to an 11th place national finish indoors and the sixth place finish during the outdoor season.
Breaking five school records and having seven athletes earn NJCAA All-American honors, the Cowley College women’s track and field team finished fifth at the NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Hutchinson.
The Lady Tigers’ fifth place finish was the second highest in the program’s history, behind only the 2007 squad’s third place finish. Cowley finished as conference and region champions during both the indoor and outdoor seasons and garnered a pair of top-five national finishes.
After finishing as individual national champions during the indoor season, Cowley sophomores Katie Gillmore and Robin Ray were national runner-ups at the outdoor national championships. Gillmore broke her own school record in the pole vault as she cleared 12-7 ½ in the event.
While, Ray (37:25.88) finished a little more than eight seconds behind Colby Community College’s Scarla Nero (37:17.66) in the 10,000-meter run despite breaking the school record in the event.
Fellow sophomore Cecilia Burley joined Gillmore and Ray as second-team All-Americans by placing second in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 18:59.71.
Richelle Farley capped her freshman season by breaking school records in the high jump (5-3 ¼) and 100-meter hurdles (14.53) at the national meet.
Recording its highest national finish since 2004, when the team was competing at the NJCAA Division III level, the Cowley College men’s tennis team placed sixth at the NJCAA Division I Men’s National Tennis Championship in Plano, Texas.
Advancing to the title match at No. 3 singles, Cowley sophomore Roger White had his magical run come to an end with a 1-6, 0-6 loss to Vincennes University’s Simon Honegger.
White, who came to Cowley from England, had a stellar performance at the national tournament, as he also teamed with Alex Dickson to advance to the quarterfinals of No. 3 doubles. By making it to the championship match at No. 3 singles, White was named a second-team All-American.
Cowley got region titles from Lloyd Bruce-Burgess at No. 1 singles, Roger White at No. 3 singles, and Alex Dickson at No. 6 singles.
Cowley will lose White, Bruce-Burgess, Renato Mendes and Felipe Pimenta to graduation.
The Tigers will hope Joan Valls and Alex Dickson can build off their experience at the national tournament and serve as leaders on next season’s team.
Fellow freshman Tom Gibaud also gained valuable experience during the season and accompanied the team on its trip to nationals.
Showing they are one of the top tennis programs in the nation, the Cowley College women’s tennis team finished fourth out of 31 teams at the NJCAA Division I National Championship held in Tucson, AZ.
The fourth place finish tied for the second highest finish in the program’s history, behind only the 2002 squad’s third place finish, which was achieved while playing at the NJCAA Division III level.
At the national tournament, Cowley was led by its top-two singles players, Adrijana Pavlovic and Jessica Montemayor, as both players advanced to the semifinals before losing.
Montemayor also teamed with Brittney Laner to advance to the semifinals at No. 2 doubles before being eliminated by a doubles team from Tyler.
Led by its seven sophomores, Cowley made it back-to-back Region VI titles by finishing well ahead of second place Johnson County at the region tournament.
Adrijana Pavlovic, Jamie Blackim, Natalia Medina, and Brittney Laner repeated as region champions in singles play. While, Wrylie Finkle made up for a three-set defeat in the finals of last year’s tournament by defeating Johnson County’s Sydney Ramsey 7-6 (4), 0-6, 6-2 in the finals of No. 5 singles.
Pavlovic and Blackim went on to finish as region champions at No. 1 doubles, and Montemayor and Laner took home the title at No. 2 doubles.
Losing a pair of heart breakers to Hutchinson and Seward County at the Region VI Tournament in Wichita, the Cowley College baseball team had its season come to an abrupt end.
After beating Seward County 10-1 in its opening game in Wichita, the Tigers had to battle Seward again as Cowley lost 5-4 in 13 innings to Hutchinson and the Saints beat Butler 2-1 in 12 innings.
Cowley had 18 hits in the win over Seward County, but managed just three hits in a 5-4 loss in the rematch.
Cowley had won 18 of its previous 20 games prior to the pair of one-run defeats to close out its season. The Tigers finished the year with a record of 39-16 overall and were one game behind conference champion Johnson County in the Jayhawk East with a conference mark of 29-7.
Cowley had five players named first-team all-conference and two more named to the second-team. Six of the Tigers’ seven all-conference selections were sophomores.
Freshman Aaron Rea, a second-team all-conference selection, highlights the list of returning players for the Tigers. Rea batted .348 and led the team in RBI’s (66), while finishing second in home runs (seven), doubles (15), and runs scored (63).
Sophomore Zach Cargill went 11-1 on the season and finished his Tiger career with a record of 19-2 on the mound.
Advancing to the Region VI title game for the 11th year in a row, the Cowley College softball team had its bid for a return trip to the national tournament come to an end with a 9-4 loss to Highland.
After going just 11-9 in its first 20 games, Cowley finished the season with a record of 38-12.
Cowley will have to make up for the loss of conference MVP Ashley Spencer, who finished the season with a record of 29-7 and an earned run average of 1.70. Spencer went 53-8 during her two years at the school.
Cowley will also say goodbye to all-conference performers Alysha Poteat and Taylor Cantillon. Poteat batted .365 and led the team in home runs (10) and RBI’s (47), while Cantillon was third on the team in batting average (.369), home runs (six) and RBI’s (36).
Outfielder Sarah Hocker rounds out the group of sophomores and batted .275 with 18 RBI’s.
The Lady Tigers will return its No. 2 pitcher in McLeod (9-4, 2.36 ERA) as well as its top two hitters in Bri Akers (.449 average) and Alyssa Allison (.370 average). Cuthbertson also had a solid freshman season and was second on the team in doubles (12), home runs (8), and RBI’s (46).