Seattle Pacific University's Student Newspaper

The Falcon

Seattle Pacific University's Student Newspaper

The Falcon

Seattle Pacific University's Student Newspaper

The Falcon

Falcons fly through another week

Women’s basketball picks up two, men’s basketball drops two, track finishes indoor regular season
Annika Esvelt makes her way to the finish line during the 5000 meter race at Husky Classic on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, in Seattle. Esvelt ran a time of 16:31.43 just shy of her personal best but good for eleventh in all of division two this year. (Rio Giancarlo)

*The final portion detailing the qualifiers for track and field was added the day after (2/14/24) this article’s original posting (2/13/24)*

Both Seattle Pacific University basketball teams went on the road for games on Thursday, Feb. 8, and Saturday, Feb. 10, while the indoor track and field team played in the Husky Classic on Friday, Feb. 9. 

SPU women’s basketball went into the trip having lost every away game they had played up to that point. In their game on Thursday, they played against the Saint Martin’s University Saints, and the game went down to the wire. Although the Falcons went into halftime down 30-23, they rallied to take the lead in the third quarter and kept pace in the fourth to seal a 62-55 victory. 

Junior forward Olivia Mayer nearly had a double-double (a stat marking when a player has 10 or more in two important stats), racking up 24 points, nine rebounds, and one assist. Other top scorers were freshman guard Layne Kearns (11/6/2) and redshirt junior guard Hunter Beirne (9/3/0). 

Having gotten their first road win of the year, the Falcons followed it up with their second on Saturday against the Western Oregon University Wolves. This game was more comfortable, as the Falcons went up 20-11 in the first quarter and never gave up their lead, pulling out a 59-47 victory. That game’s top scorers were Kearns, who got a double-double (16/12/1), Mayer (16/8/1) and Beirne (10/3/0).

Women’s basketball’s next game will be again on the road in Billings, Montana, against Montana State University Billings at 3:15 p.m.

Meanwhile, the men’s team did not have the success of the women’s as they faced some of SPU’s biggest rivals. Their game on Thursday was against the Western Washington University Vikings. The game was neck-and-neck, as neither team had more than a four-point lead during the entire second half. The Vikings managed to keep the Falcons at bay, and SPU lost, 80-76. SPU’s top scorers were senior forward Shaw Anderson (32/6/4), graduate forward Kyle Luttinen (14/1/0), and sophomore forward Nikias Schönerstedt (10/5/3).

The men’s basketball team also lost against the Simon Fraser University Red Leafs on Saturday. While the Falcons kept up during the first half, SFU pulled away in the second, winning 71-63. Top scorers for that game were Anderson (20/5/2), junior guard Trace Evans (11/5/4) and sophomore guard Owen Moriarty (9/3/1).

Men’s basketball will take on Simon Fraser University again on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. and then Western Oregon University on Friday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m. Both games will be at home in SPU’s Royal Brougham Pavilion.

At the Husky Classic on Friday, Feb. 9, many track athletes reached new personal bests, and one qualified for a chance at the National Collegiate Athletics Association Division II championship.

Sophomore Hannah Chang won fifth place overall in the women’s 60-meter hurdles event. Chang’s previous record was 9.10 seconds, and she beat it twice within hours of each new time. Her first new record was 8.89 seconds in the preliminary round and later topped her speed with 8.87 seconds in the final heat. 

Senior Annika Esvelt clocked 16:31.43 in the women’s 5000-meter event. This may not have beaten her personal best of 16:31.12, but it landed her in 11th place on the national listing for women’s in Division II track. If Esvelt remains in the top 16, she is guaranteed a trip to nationals.

Junior Johanna Brown and senior Charisma Smith finished eighth and seventeenth in the women’s 400-meter dash respectively. Both Brown and Smith beat their previous personal bests of 59.13 seconds and 1:01.48. Brown finished with a time of 58.88 seconds and Smith finished at 1:01.45.

Junior Emily Thomason and senior Lizzy Daugherty tied for eleventh place in the women’s pole vault event after clearing the 12-foot height. Thomason and Daugherty both fell short of their 3.77-meter and 3.76-meter personal bests at 3.67 meters.

The Husky Classic was the SPU track and field team’s final meet before the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships. 21 athletes from SPU qualified to compete in the GNAC championship out of a 34-team roster.

Athletes qualifying for the men’s team include: senior Evan Carpenter in the 400-meter event; junior Kade Franco in the 10-mile event; freshman Jonathan Lieb in the 1-mile event; freshman Mason Hreck; and senior Kanoa Lee in the pole vault event. 

Junior Gabe Endressen, senior Brennan LeBlanc, sophomore Nathaniel Gale and sophomore Isaac Venable in the 5000-meter. Venable and LeBlanc also qualified in the 3000-meter event with freshman Silas Demmert.

Qualifying athletes for the women’s team include: junior Johana Brown, senior Aniya Green and sophomore Marissa Crane in the women’s 400-meter event. Green also qualified in the 200-meter event.

Sophomore Hannah Chang and freshman Sophie Mock qualified in the 60-meter hurdle event. Lizzy Daugherty and Emily Thomason both qualified in the pole vault event. Senior Annika Esvelt and sophomore Matisse Mulch qualified in the 3000-meter event. Sophomore Maya Ewing in the women’s 1-mile event, and freshman Paige Kessler in the women’s high jump event.

Brown, Crane, Green and Smith all qualified for the women’s 4×400-meter relay event.

Events for the championship will begin on Monday, Feb. 19,  at 9 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

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About the Contributors
Callaghan Bluechel, Staff Writer
Uriah Aguon
Uriah Aguon, Sports Editor
Uriah is a junior English: Creative Writing major. He has been with the Falcon since his freshman year, starting as a features writer, and is now the sports editor. Uriah hopes to remain on the Falcon staff throughout his time at SPU and continue writing in journalism following graduation.
Rio Giancarlo
Rio Giancarlo, Chief Photographer
Rio is a sophomore visual communication major with a minor in photography. Rio manages a team of photographers and illustrators to supply content for the greater SPU media groups. Before he took his current position he worked as a staff photographer, mostly covering sports. When not working for The Falcon he works for the SPU athletic department and as a freelance photographer. In his free time you can find him skiing, or wishing he was skiing. 
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