College Notebook: WWU honors Porter as its top female athlete

Hockinson grad All-America in three seasons

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Distance runner Sarah Porter has been named Western Washington University Female Athlete of the Year.

Porter is the first Viking to qualify for the USA Championships, doing so with a school-record 10,000-meter time of 33:36.83 as she placed 15th at the Stanford Payton Jordan Invitational, one of the nation’s elite meets, on May 1.

The Hockinson High School graduate earned All-America honors in three sports for the second consecutive year, placing second at the NCAA II national cross country championship and in the 10,000 at the outdoor nationals.

“Sarah has an amazing amount of desire,” WWU coach Pee Wee Halsell said. “I would venture to say she is one of the hardest working athletes in the nation. She is fun to watch because you know it’s going to be a race whenever she is competing.”

Porter earned All-America honors in both the 10,000 and 5,000 at outdoor nationals, where she placed third in a school-record 16:23.52.

Her 10,000 time at Stanford was a personal best by nearly 54 seconds and broke her own school record and was a GNAC best by 32 seconds.

Last winter, Porter set school indoor records in the 3000 (9:44.31) 5,000 (16:47.07) and distance medley relay (11:46.27). She placed fourth at nationals in the 5,000 (17:26.05) and helped the DMR finish seventh (12:02.32),

In all, Porter has made nine national championship appearances, going three times each in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. She shared WWU Female Athlete of the Year honors in 2008-09.

NAIA honors Smith

Concordia University baseball pitcher Dylan Smith has been named the 2010 recipient of the Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The award is named after Dr. Walker, President emeritus of the United States Olympic Committee and a former president of the NAIA.

The award, considered one of the most prestigious honors in the NAIA, recognizes a student-athlete who excels in athletics and academics and is committed to the Champions of Character program’s five core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.

The Columbia River High School graduate is a senior captain on the baseball team, and a community and campus leader.

WWU rowing wins another D-II crown

Western Washington University won its sixth consecutive national team title at the ninth annual NCAA Division II Women’s Rowing National Championships held on Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif..

Columbia River High School graduate Jean Piette rows in the No. 5 seat on Western’s top shell. The sophomore made her second consecutive trip to the national championships.

For the first in their championship run, Western did not win the varsity eight, finishing four seats behind Mercyhurst of Pennsylvania. But that result, combined with an impressive five boat-length victory by the four, was enough for another championship.

Lovells 2nd, 9th in NCAA-III decathlon

Linfield College senior Josh Lovell fell just short of repeating as NCAA Division III decathlon national champion, placing second in the competition at Berea, Ohio.

The Columbia River High School graduate, who captured the 2009 title as a junior, was runner-up behind first-day leader and eventual champion Obinna Nwanna of Case Western Reserve, who scored 7,056 points.

Lovell finished with 7,022 points, short of his school-record and Division III-leading total of 7,125. Richard Roethel of Christopher Newport placed third overall with 6,989. On Friday, he placed third in three events: 100-meter dash, high jump and pole vault.

Jeremy Lovell, Josh’s twin brother, placed ninth in the decathlon — just missing All-America recognition bestowed on the top eight finishers.

His best event performances were a third-place showing in the 400-meter run and a fifth-place effort in the long jump.

Dixson earns two All-America honors

Concordia University freshman Gabi Dixson earned All-America status in both the discus and hammer throw at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Marion, Ind.

A homeschool graduate who competed for Battle Ground High School, Dixson added more than two feet to her own school record in the hammer with a mark of 171 feet, 11 inches. Her previous best was 169-8. She was ranked No. 8 going into the meet. Dixson also placed fourth in the discus, with a mark of 150-1. Clark College product Breezy Wentz was sixth at 147-7, also earning All-America status.

Schmidt eighth in NAIA decathlon

Concordia Universitiy freshman Taylor Schmidt placed eighth in the decathlon at NAIA nationals, improving his own school record by more than 100 points by scoring 6,481. The Prairie High School graduate set season-best marks in the discus and the 1,500 while tying his season best in the pole vault.

Concordia women’s golf fifth in NAIA

Lindsay Aho and Sara Taylor each shot 29-over 317 over four rounds to tie for 27th place as Concordia University finished fifth in the team standings at the NAIA Women’s Golf National Championships in Rapid City, S.D.

Aho (Prairie High School), Taylor (Skyview High School) and Holly Speer, a Prairie graduate who was Concordia’s fourth finisher at 38-over 326, helped the Cavaliers shoot their best round on the final day. Concordia moved up in the team standings each day of the tournnament. Aho, a senior, finished her career as a two-time NAIA First Team All-American and a three-time Cascade Collegiate Conference player of the year. Taylor and Speer are sophomores.

Baseball notes

• Chico State second baseman Jackson Evans (Hudson’s Bay High School) was named to the Division II Honorable Mention All-America team by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The junior was named First Team Division II All-Region by the NCBWA, and second team all-region by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Daktronics. He hit .360.

• Hawai’i pitcher Zach Gallagher (Camas High School) helped the Warriors win the Western Athletic Conference tournament and earn a bid to the NCAA tournament. Gallagher pitched 4⅔ scoreless innings of relief in a tournament win over New Mexico State. Hawai’i will play in the Tempe Regional this weekend.

Suggestions for College Notebook? Contact Kurt Zimmer at 360-735-4563 or by e-mail at kurt.zimmer@columbian.com