PALATINE HILL - As the athletic season slowly comes to a close, the 2009-2010 athletic season was full of highlights for the Lewis & Clark Pioneers both on the field and in the classroom.
The Pioneers have earned 23 Northwest Conference All-Conference First-Team and Second-Team honors, two Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference All-Conference honors, while having four athletes earn All-West Region honors. The Pioneers have had three Conference Champions this year, two from the women’s swim team and one from the men’s track & field team, while the men’s rowing team were the 2010 NCRC Champions. One Pioneer athlete earned a spot in the 2009 NCAA Cross Country Championships, while head swimming coach Chris Fantz was named the 2009-10 NWC Women’s Swim Coach of the Year.
In the winter, the men’s and women’s basketball team’s ended the season in third place in the conference, while the women’s team saw themselves ranked 26th in the nation at one point. On the men’s side, the team saw the return of captain Josh Kollasch who was forced to sit out the end of last season due to a life-threatening illness. The women’s swim team also earned their second consecutive third place finish at the NWC Championships, as freshman Rachael Cazden became the first Pioneer to medal in the 100 backstroke at conference. The Pioneer men’s swim team earned their best finish at the NWC Championships since 1992, taking home fifth place.
The spring season was full of promise, as new softball coach Shawna Feldt took the helm with the Pioneers earning three wins on the road during Spring Break. The Pioneer softball team continued to show promise game in and game out, hanging tough with their conference opponents. Like the softball team, the baseball team put in a solid season with a new coach, continuing to hang with their conference foes. On the court, the women’s tennis team finished the NWC Championships in third place, despite playing without ace Amalia Nilsson who was out with an injury. A young women’s rowing squad continued to make progress during the season, while the men’s team came out of nowhere to blow everyone out of the water at the NCRC Championships to be named conference champions. The track & field team had several athletes sets new personal best this year, while moving up the L&C All-Time lists. Sophomore John Berokoff broke a 20-year old school record in the javelin at the NWC Championships, while senior Liska Havel moved to third on the L&C All-Time list in the heptathlon after picking it up this year.