Winning races, scoring goals during spring break

Rising wins first career race, rowing, volleyball face tough competition

Troy Vigil and Daniel Newman

Peace Igbonagwam, Jenna Bouyer, and Julia Stepper finishing a 100m race. (Courtesy of Abby Kauffman)

On March 20, freshman Ellie Rising won the 800 meter event for Seattle Pacific University with a time of 2:16.18 at the fifth annual Doris Heritage Track Festival.  Not only was it a PR for Rising, but it was also a PR for Falcons senior Elizabeth Thompson who clocked a 2:17.16 coming in second in the same event.

Thompson was able to notch a win in the 1500 meter event for the Falcons, turning in a time of 4:45.20, and Rising came in second with a time of 4:46.07. Both Rising and Thompson ran a season best in the 1500 meter event.

After not running these kinds of races for two years, I was a little worried I had forgotten how to compete, but I think the excitement of racing again overcame the fear of forgetting how it works,” Rising said.

In the women’s 100-meter dash, SPU managed to win four of the top five spots. Sophomore Jenna Bouyer and senior Grace Bley turned in identical times of 12.28 seconds. Bouyer took the top spot while Bley took second. Junior Peace Igbonagwam took the third spot while senior Julia Stepper finished in fifth. 

On March 27 at the Ed Boitano Invitational, Ellie Rising continued her winning ways, winning the 800 meters again with a time of 2:13.95, three seconds faster than the previous week. 

Senior Kellie May throws at the Ed Boitano invitational on March 27th. (Courtesy of Abby Kauffman)

In just a year, Rising has been able to shave 6-plus seconds off her time in that event. Rising said that this is the first time she’s ever been able to have training partners and that has helped her push in front of the doubters.

Having some success in the 800 is particularly sweet because I was told on multiple occasions and by multiple coaches in high school that I didn’t have enough speed for this race and should instead stick with the longer distances,” Rising said. “I guess it’s a good thing I’m so stubborn.”

Falcon Volleyball also had a pair of games against the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves, and lost both matches, three sets to zero and three sets to two. In the first match, the Falcons kept it close, but the Seawolves pulled away every time.

The same thing happened in the first set of the next match, but the Falcons turned it around in the second. The Seawolves were leading 20-19, but two kills by redshirt freshman Maddie Pruden and an attack error by the Seawolves gave the Falcons a 22-20 lead, and they held on to win the game. After a set where the Seawolves won 25-14 and a set where the Falcons won 25-10, the Seawolves pushed across the finish line with a kill from Nicole Blue, giving the Seawolves a 16-14 win and the match in the fifth set.

Senior Maddie Batiste and freshman Erin Smith had seven kills to lead the Falcons in the first match. Batiste and sophomore Lindsey Lambert had double doubles in the second match, with 13 kills and 12 digs and 25 assists and 11 digs respectively. Pruden and freshman Hannah Hair had double digit kills in the second match. 

SPU women’s soccer had themselves a good week as well,, starting their season off against the University of Puget Sound on March 27. The Falcons, scoring four goals, shut out the Loggers in their first game since 2019. Senior Sophia Chilczuk scored two goals, and junior Makena Reitz and sophomore Chloe Gellhaus chipped in with one apiece.

Finally, the rowing team took to the waters twice during the break, and at the PLU invite, the crews won six of the eight races they took part in. 

Big conference competition came to town on March 27 as the Falcons took on the University of Central Oklahoma and Western Washington University at the Falcon Regatta.

The Falcons open four and second varsity eight crews were victorious and the varsity four crew had two races, winning one and finishing second in the other. In both Varsity eight races, the Falcons finished in second, finishing a combined total of one second behind the Central Oklahoma crew.