California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    CLU Sports Enjoy Successful 2017

    The 2017 sports season at California Lutheran University is in the books and several notable accomplishments are to be added to the championship history here at Cal Lutheran.

    Cal Lutheran added yet another NCAA championship to its collection as the Kingsmen baseball team defeated Washington and Jefferson in a 3-game National Championship series. The Kingsmen dropped the first game of the series before rallying on the last day of the season to win the final two games and grab their first national title.

    โ€œThe number one thing that we had for this yearโ€™s team was the fact that they were a very good clubhouse. There was just a very good feeling, and they were very tight,โ€ said Head Coach Marty Slimak.

    The team motto for the year like every other according to Slimak was โ€œIโ€™ve got your sixโ€, which is a term used in the army when letting someone know youโ€™ve got their back. They also lived by the motto of โ€œwin the inchesโ€, Slimak said.

    The Kingsmen baseball team finished atop the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with an 18-6 record, and only added to the win column when the postseason wrapped up. The team finished with a 40-11 record on the season after advancing through regional play and the College World Series

    โ€œIt was more relief than anything,โ€ Slimak said when asked how he felt when they got the last out.

    The Kingsmen had been to the College World Series six times prior to this one, and actually reached the final two times before coming away with a National Championship in the 2017 season.

    Womenโ€™s soccer continued the theme of national success as the Regals were able to make it all the way to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history.

    This was a first for the program, and continued to add to the success that Cal Lutheran saw in the 2017 sporting season.

    โ€œFor us, it was a learning experience. I think we will be better prepared for the future now, and we have a lot of returning players again. You look at it and we are still in really good shape for next year,โ€ Womenโ€™s Soccer Head Coach Frank Marino said.

    The Regals soccer team was able to collect the SCIAC regular season title, and had both the athlete of the year in Kali Youngdahl, as well as the newcomer of the year in Trinity Martinez.

    They were joined by four fellow Regals combining for a total of six players named to an All-SCIAC team. Marino was also recognized for his efforts, winning 2017 Coach of the Year.

    Olivia Leyva, Youngdahl, Martinez and Sam Cornejo were also selected to All-West Region teams.

    Menโ€™ soccer followed suit by winning the SCIAC postseason tournament, and making an appearance in the NCAA tournament.

    The Kingsmen finished with a 13-5-2 mark and finished the season undefeated at home. The motto they lived by the entire year was โ€˜There is no doubt this is our timeโ€™.

    โ€œThere was not a question whether we could do this, thereโ€™s no doubt. Thatโ€™s how I felt. Thatโ€™s what I sensed with this team,โ€ said Menโ€™s Soccer Head Coach Dan Kuntz.

    Although they didnโ€™t come away with a win in the NCAA competition, they did have three players, Brandon Kearney, Daniel Aguilar and Christian Yepez, named to All-West region teams.

    Accolades also included five members on the All-SCIAC team. Kuntz and his staff were also namedย  Coaching Staff of the Year.

    In individual sports, First Team All-SCIAC runner Timmy Kahovec represented the Kingsmen at nationals after finishing 16th place at the NCAA Division III West Region Championships. He ran a school record time of 25:58.55 at the Occidental cross country course to qualify.

    Kahovec finished 109th out of 279 individuals at the National Championships with a time of 25:33.02.

    Swimming brought two more NCAA Championship athletes to the campus of Cal Lutheran, as Benjamin Brewer and Mardell Ramirez were invited to compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Swimming & Diving National Championships. They were the first ever Kingsmen selected. Brewer was able to bring home All-American honors in the 1650 free.

    The 2017 sports season at California Lutheran University was definitely one to remember. On the womenโ€™s and menโ€™s side, the university had a total of three team sports make the NCAA tournament and two individuals selected to compete at the NCAA tournament in their respective sports. Cal Lutheran also collected multiple SCIAC accolades along the way.

    Gabe Naudin