In the last week of March, the APU Athletics program was busy, from a walk-off homer by Jeffery Castillo to a new school record being set in the men’s steeplechase.
Last week served as another busy week for the Cougars across all spring sports. Highlighting the week was a crucial win for the Azusa Pacific baseball team over Point Loma, a new school record set in the 3000m steeplechase by Nixon Korir and the men’s tennis team advancing to a perfect 11-0 record on their home courts.
On Thursday, the Cougars were able to pull out a 5-2 team win over Concordia to remain undefeated on their home court. The top two doubles teams secured the first point of the match for APU. In singles, Elias Emilio Walter secured the first point winning his match 6-2, 6-1. He was followed by his doubles partner, Miha Velicki, who won his sets, 6-4, 6-3. On court six, Concordia secured the team’s first point of the match followed by another on court five. But that would be the team’s only two points as Leyton Bohren went on to win his match in a super tiebreaker, 7-6(1), 4-6, 1-0(8) to secure the team’s win. Marko Nikoliuk also went on to win his fourth straight set as the team’s number-one singles player.
After traveling south early on Saturday morning, the Cougars lost 1-6 at Point Loma. The only point scored by the team was in doubles where Bohren and Nikoliuk won their match 6-3 followed by the team’s number two pair, Walter and Velicki, who won their set in a tiebreaker 7-6(3) to clinch the doubles point. But then all six of the Cougars were defeated in singles.
The team’s next match is scheduled for Friday, April 7 starting at 10 am.
In their final home match of the season, the women secured a shutout victory over Concordia on Thursday. Then on Saturday, the team traveled to San Diego and picked up another win over PLNU. The day was highlighted by Miruna Tudor who first helped the Cougars clinch the doubles point with her partner, Vini Bautista before going on to win the final singles point giving APU their 17th win of the season.
Their next match will take place at Cal State LA on Wednesday, April 5 at 1:30 pm. The team only has one more game after that before heading into the PacWest Tournament where they are expected to be ranked number two behind Hawaii Pacific.
This weekend, the Cougars faced off against Point Loma and dropped the series 1-3. The four-game series started off with a walk-off homer by Jeffery Castillo in the 10th inning to give the Cougars the first and only win of the series against the Sea Lions. They were then outscored 6-24 over the next three games. After the weekend, the team is now 20-14 overall with a 13-7 Conference record.
Next weekend, the baseball team will travel to Concordia for the first two games of their next series before returning to their home field for the last two games on Saturday.
Across the week, the Cougars traveled to Turlock for the Tournament of Champions where they added three wins and two losses to their overall record. After securing a 4-2 win on Thursday over Cal State Monterey Bay, the team lost a hard-fought battle with SF State on Friday. Later that evening, the Cougars came back to win 5-2 over Stan State. On Saturday, the team split the day with a 2-10 loss to Cal Poly Humbolt followed by a 2-1 win over CSU San Bernardino.
Across the week, all three wins featured former National Pitcher of the week, Katie Korstrom. Her overall record improves to 13-4. She also helped lead her team to an overall record of 20-16 and 9-9 PacWest record.
Up next, the Cougars will play an important doubleheader against CUI this Wednesday with the first game scheduled for 3 pm.
Track and Field:
This past weekend, the Track and Field team split up between three different meets.
At the Mike Fanelli meet in San Francisco, the distance squad got it done. Thursday served as day one of the action where Salvador Capetillo and Moises Marquez walked away with big personal bests in the 10k. Capetillo placed second overall followed by his teammate who finished fourth in a field of several Division I runners.
On Friday, the distance runners split squads where some returned to SF State and others competed against several division one schools at the Stanford Invite in Palo Alto.
Starting the day off was the 1500m in San Francisco where Eline Pinter ran a season-best of 4:34, which is just a few seconds shy of the division two Provisional mark. Following her was the women’s 5k where three Cougars ran personal bests in a race paced by USA Olympian, Shannon Rowbury. Kristilyn Hetherington ran 17:33, which places her fifth in the PacWest and was the 15th-best time in school history. Following her performance were freshmen Sofia Vasquez and Maia Fernando who ran in the low 18-minute mark.
At the Stanford meet, in the 300m Steeplechase, Nixon Korir posted a new school record and a personal best time of 8:49 to put him at the no. two spot in division two. Ben Sumner also won his 1500m heat finishing with a time of 3:47, which puts him at no. 10 in the nation. The next day, he also ran a 1:50.08 in the 800m at Stanford to put him at no. six in the nation.
To wrap up the action from the distance squad in San Francisco, several Cougars came back to run the mile including Korir and Felix Perrier (who also raced the steeplechase at Stanford) to take first and second in a field of 46 competitors.
Back home in SoCal, plenty of action also took place at the Vince O’Boyle Track & Field Classic, including a career-best throw of 45.93m (150′ 8″) by Molly Olson to move her to no. four in the javelin throw. Additionally, 14-time All-American Jaylah Walker, finished first in the 100m hurdles to move her to third in the nation. She was followed by teammates Kiyara Holmes and Alyna Verner who also made jumps on the national list in the 100m, 200m, and 400m dash. Jermel Jones II finished second in the meet for the triple jump with a mark of 14.85. His jump also puts him at no. two in the nation.
Next, the Cougars will compete at the Pomona Pitzer Invite next weekend.
A week after their last win over Fullerton, the Cougars secured a road win over Cal Baptist, finishing with a score of 17-15. In Saturday’s game, eight different players scored goals. Madeline Schultz scored the most of the match with five goals followed by her teammate Shyanne Rainey who had four goals on the day. The conference win also helped the team advance to a 2-3 WCC record and 14-9 overall record.
Next, the Cougars will host their Senior Night on April 15th at Citrus College. The Conference matchup against San Diego State will take place at 11 am.