Athletic Season Recaps
| by Carol Best firstname.lastname@example.org
Track & Field
Coach Nate Wiens and the MNU track & field programs once again proved elite as both the women’s and men’s squads won the Heart of America Indoor Championships. Isaac Zitterkopf was named Overall Male Athlete of the Meet, Deterio Newman was Male Track Athlete of the Meet, and Kelly Brown was the Female Track Athlete of the Meet. Wiens was named conference Coach of the Year for both the men’s and women’s programs, and Jonathon Becker was honored as Assistant Coach of the Year for both, as well.
The women’s team also won the Outdoor Heart Championship to complete back-to-back Triple Crowns (cross country, indoor, & outdoor titles) while the men finished third. Wiens and Becker earned Female Coaches of the Year honors, and Newman was again named Male Track Athlete of the Meet.
The outdoor squads headed to the NAIA national championship at the end of May. Joshua Haskin placed first winning the national title in the 400 m hurdles, setting a school record of 51.43. Seven Pioneers were named All American: Breanna Barney-marathon; Kelly Brown-800 m; Ardeen Walker-high jump and 400 m hurdles; Joshua Haskin, Joshua O’Brien, Ashire Rhodes and Deterio Newman-4x400 m relay.
MNU’s National Champion
Joshua Haskin, a junior kinesiology major from Florissant, Missouri, claimed the national title in the 400 m hurdles at the NAIA men’s national championship in Gulf Shores, Alabama, May 20-22. His time of 51.43 set a school record.
The MNU women’s basketball program finished 25-6 under Head Coach Jon Lewis and second place in the Heart of America Conference. They qualified for the NAIA National Tournament for the eighth-straight season and earned a Sweet 16 appearance. Jovana Jovovic led the conference in scoring with 18.5 points per game and was named 1st Team All-Conference and 1st Team All-America. Kechelle Figueroa led the Heart with 5.3 assists per game while averaging 16.6 points and 2.0 steals per game. She was named 1st Team All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-America. Whitney Moia ranked third in the nation in blocks per game (3.5) and eighth in rebounds per game (11.0). She was named 2nd Team All-Conference and Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
Coach Rocky Lamar’s men’s basketball team finished with a 16-14 record and a seventh-place finish in the Heart of America Conference. Jonathan Green was third in the Heart with 19.9 points per game and was named 1st Team All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-America. Dakota Quinn led the nation in blocks per game (5.3) while averaging 13.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. He was named Conference Defensive Player of the Year, 1st Team All-Conference, and Honorable Mention All-America.
Coach Ryan Thompson’s 2019 baseball team finished 19-16 and in fifth place in the Heart of America Conference. Catcher Joshuan Sandoval and outfielder Jeremie Gonzalez were named 1st Team All-Conference, and DH Joshuan Crispin and pitcher Jhon Vargas were honorable mention All-Conference. Third Baseman Cristian Rivera earned a Gold Glove honor for his defense.
MNU softball team finished 19-26 and had an eighth-place finish in the Heart of America Conference under the leadership of Coach Rob Wade. Freshman outfielder Kaleigh Bayless had one of the best seasons in MNU history, leading the Heart with an all-time MNU best .525 batting average to go along with 18 doubles, 14 homers, 37 RBIs, 25 steals and a 1.566 OPS. She was named Conference Player of the Year. DP Emily Robinson and UTL Cassidy Berry were named 2nd Team All-Conference, and Tessa Ward and Audrey Denges were Honorable Mentions.