Wrapping up Division II festival

SPU puts on successful event

Mahad Abdulqadir, staff writer

Seattle Pacific University hosted the NCAA Division II Championship Festival from Dec. 2-4, 2022. SPU hosted championship events for men’s and women’s cross-country, women’s field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.

Winning the men’s soccer championship was Franklin Pierce, who beat Colorado State University-Pueblo in the finals 2-0. Franklin Pierce was a strong team throughout the tournament, winning their two other contests, 5-2 and 6-2.

Western Washington University won the women’s soccer championship, beating the number one seed West Chester 2-1. Fans from Bellingham flocked to Interbay Stadium to support the Vikings, giving them a clear home-field advantage.

West Texas A&M won the women’s volleyball championship, beating Concordia St. Paul 3-1 in the final. This was West Texas A&M’s first national championship since 1997.

In the women’s field hockey championship, East Stroudsberg defeated Shippensburg 1-0 for the championship.

Dillon Powell won the men’s cross-country championship with a time of 29:28.0. Powell paced Colorado School of Mines to the team championship as well.

On the women’s side, Stephanie Cotter won the 6K championship race with a time of 19:45. Powell was representing Adams State, who collected the team national championship as well.

Isaiah Archer, a student-athlete for SPU’s men’s track team and a volunteer at the festival shared his positive experience at the Division II Festival, along with his thoughts on it.

“Overall the fall festival was a huge success! A little hectic at times, but everything worked out in the end. SPU did a very good job on staffing for the large event, and you could tell that everything was well planned out. Even with the ongoing staff turnover in the athletic department, everything was able to run smoothly for the event from the set up all the way to the clean up,” Archer said.

One of the few downsides of the Division II festival was Washington’s notoriously unpredictable weather.

“The unpredictable Seattle weather was a struggle throughout the festival, as we experienced snow and ice which led to game delays at Interbay and Renton Memorial Stadium. But that’s to be expected in Seattle; nobody knows the weather’s next move. Staff at both venues did a really good job coming together to shovel snow and ice off fields to ensure athletes had a safe surface to play on,” said Archer.

Charisma Smith, another SPU athlete who volunteered at the festival, said things went smoothly considering the logistical challenges of the event.

“Overall, I’d say the fall festival was a success! It was a really cool opportunity for SPU’s athletic department to come together and host a huge event. I’d say we did a good job of putting together the facilities and finding volunteers,” Smith said. “During the cross-country national championships over at Chambers Bay, I got to work the merch tent, and I had a few athletes and parents tell me they loved the course and the event as a whole. I was happy to hear that and glad I got to be a part of putting it together!”

SPU’s vice provost for student formation and community engagement, Jeff Jordan, said the university received positive reviews from the NCAA and the city of Seattle on their running of the festival.

“We just got a report back from the NCAA for hosting the sports festival and incredible praise, just wonderful stuff, and it just comes from hard work and good leadership,” Jordan explained.

While there were a few delays due to weather, all the games and events managed to run smoothly, and the SPU athletic department feels they put their best foot forward for the rest of the nation to see.