Jumping, running, scoring with ease

Productive weekend for Gymnastics, Women’s Basketball

Daniel Newman and Brandon Bee

It was a successful weekend for all the Seattle Pacific University Falcon sports teams, as gymnastics posted a score in the 190’s, the women’s and men’s track teams kicked off their seasons with good performances, and women’s basketball got two conference wins in dominating fashion.


On Friday, Jan. 17, the gymnastics team took on the Air Force Academy in a matchup at Royal Brougham Pavilion. The Falcons began their first rotation on the vault, and finished with a total score of 47.600, led by Senior Lena Wirth’s 9.800 and Sophomore Kayla Chan’s 9.575. Air Force performed on the uneven bars, and took a slight lead thanks to a good performance by Anna Salamone.


The two teams switched events and Air Force’s lead got slightly larger after another 9.800 from Salamone. SPU’s best performance on the uneven bars was a 9.725 from Senior Miyuki Matsune.


Air Force’s lead continued to expand after four performances above 9.700 on the floor exercise. SPU’s top performance on the balance beam was again from Matsune, with a 9.750, and fellow senior Darien Burns right behind with a 9.700.


The Falcons finished strong, posting a score of 47.975 in the event, led by a 9.700 from Freshman Alixandra Pierce and a 9.650 from Burns. Deija Stevenson and Tyler Davis led Air Force in the balance beam, with scores of 9.800 and 9.725 respectively. 


In the end, SPU ended up losing as Air Force posted a score of 192.450 and the Falcons posted a 190.300. Still, the Falcons’ total score was the best they have yet to post this season, moving them up from the 189.525 they set on Jan. 10.


Their next meet will take place Sunday, Jan. 26, in San Jose, California, where the Falcons will take on San Jose State University and Boise State University.


The indoor track season kicked off Saturday, Jan 18. Associate Head Coach Chris Reed spoke about the purpose of the indoor track season.


The indoor track and field season gives our student-athletes the opportunity to compete at a high level in the winter,” Reed said. 


“While we do tend to put more emphasis on the outdoor track and field season, we treat the indoor season with a good deal of respect. It is an important aspect of our pursuit of conference championships and a continued national presence. Reed said.


The Falcons most notable performance of the day came from junior Dania Holmberg who, in her first race indoors in over a year, ran a mile in under five minutes. It marked her fastest time indoors in the event and gave her the win in her individual race, and a finishing place of 17 out of all the competitors that ran in the event.


Senior Katherine Walter finished 13th in the 1000 meter run, and senior Grace Bley finished in 15th in the 200. Finally, the team of Bley, senior Scout Cai, junior Julia Stepper and sophomore Peace Igbonagwam finished in 10th place in the 4×400 meter relay.


Igbonagwam also finished fourth in the long jump, jumping 18 feet and one inch. Sophomore David Njeri competed in his first meet as a Falcon, finishing 11th in the triple jump, with a jump of 45 feet and 7.25 inches. 


Women’s basketball also had a successful weekend, winning both their games in dominating fashion.

 The SPU women’s basketball team shared the ball racking up 22 assists on 27 of their made shots in the 63-44 win over Concordia University Portland. The lopsided victory awarded the team a 4-11 season record. 

The Falcons came out shooting very well, scoring 26 points in the first quarter. After the early scoring display, the SPU Women’s team never looked back. 

Sophomore guard/forward Ashley Alter had a game high of 17 points on 50% shooting. Alter also finished the game doing well on the defensive end, garnering five steals. Freshman Post Kayla Brundidge also grabbed five steals. Senior guard Madi Hingston scored 14 points shooting 6-7 from the field with two three pointers made. Guard Hailee Bennett also scored in double figures, getting 13 points with three three-point makes, as well as five assists.

The Falcons took on Western Oregon University two days later and defeated them 73-51. 

During the game, the Falcons had a balanced offense with four players’ scores in double figures. Junior forward Ashlynn Burgess scored 12 points on 6-7 shooting and was also able to grab 14 rebounds. Senior guard Madi Hingston scored 12 points on an efficient 5-6 shooting from the field. Redshirt freshman Bayley Brennan scored 11 points with two three-pointers made. Junior point guard Abril Rexach Roure scored 11 points with three three-pointers made. 

The bench came up big in this game having 29 points to contribute with the starters. In their next game, the Falcons play Saint Martin’s University who are 8-7 on the season. Both the Falcons and the Saints have a record of three wins and five losses in conference play.