The 2009-10 Athletics Season Is Coming To An End

The 2009-10 Athletics Season Is Coming To An End

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 fall, the volleyball team continued to prove that they are one of the best teams in the Northwest Conference finishing the season in third place for the second-consecutive season. The football team picked up a huge 57-35 win over Crown College on Homecoming this year, with senior place kicker Andrew Foote setting a new school record for the most field goals made by a Pioneer in a single game. The Pioneers then ended their season with a 30-27 win over Puget Sound for their first NWC win in six seasons. The men’s and women’s cross country team’s continued their strong tradition of being one of the best teams in the NWC with several freshmen anchoring the women’s team. On the men’s side, Karl Dickman became the first Pioneer to earn a spot in the NCAA Championships since Neal Weare in 2002. Women’s soccer had their best season in recent years finishing the season ranked second in the NWC in shutouts after posting five double-overtime ties.
The fall teams proved to be just as strong in the classroom with seniors Liska Havel and Curtis Smith earning ESPN/CoSIDA All-Academic Second-Team honors. Cross Country studs, Hannah Palmer and Karl Dickman earned United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic individual honors, while both the men’s and women’s teams were named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team list.

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.

The future of Pioneer athletics looks bright as we begin to prepare for the 2010-2011 season. One can only begin to imagine what’s still to come.