College Notebook: WWU’s Breihof named National Scholar-Athlete

USTFCCCA tabs Mountain View grad in selections

By Kurt Zimmer, Columbian Sports Reporter

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With one “B” grade as a Mountain View High School senior, Lauren Breihof just missed posting a perfect grade-point average.

Despite her academic success in high school, it is probably only natural that she was concerned about the academic rigors of college — never mind that she would be running cross country and track at Western Washington University.

“I was a little bit (concerned) at first,” the WWU junior said. “I just assumed that there would be so much more time devoted to college athletics, and I knew the classes would be harder. It hasn’t been as hard as I thought.

“You kind of get used to it — getting into your routine schedule and making time to study. The only hard thing, I would say, is when it’s time to travel. You really have to be on the ball contacting teachers and making sure that you’re going to be able to make things up that you missed.”

She seems to have kept up.

Breihof has been named a Cross Country National Scholar-Athlete by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Breihof — who carries cumulative grade point average of 3.59, majoring in marketing with a minor in sports psychology — garnered NCAA Division II All-America honors in cross country by placing 31st at the NCAA-II national championships held Nov. 21 in Evansville, Ind. She helped the Vikings to eighth place in the team standings, their highest finish since joining the NCAA in 1998.

Breihof, who placed 14th in the 10,000 meters at last year’s NCAA-II outdoor track and field championships, was a USTFCCCA All-Academic Team selection. She was also a Great Northwest Athletic Conference academic all-star.

Runners who compete in cross country, indoor and outdoor track are in season throughout the academic year, unlike most athletes who are in season part of the year.

One thing that does help, Breihof said, is living with teammates who also value academics and are facing the same pressures.

“It took a little getting used to, but it’s not that bad as long as you keep everything organized,” she said. “Everyone on the team is on the same schedule as you, and we have team study sessions sometimes, which is nice.

“It’s managing my time. It hasn’t been too much worse than high school, because you have less time that you’re actually in school. In high school, you’re in school from 8 to 3 and then have homework, but (in college), you have more independent study time. I would say that’s nice.”

She did have to get past that high school disappointment.

“I had a 4.0 until senior year, and I got a B in one of my classes,” she said. “I was upset at the time, but I got over it.”

Breihof, who is aiming for a career in “some kind of marketing or advertising work with a sporting company,” has a bit of a breather now that her indoor track and field season is over. She was a provisional qualifier in the 5,000 meters for the NCAA-II indoor national championships, but her time ended up not making the cut to run at nationals.

So her indoor season ended at the GNAC championships, where she was behind Hockinson High School graduate Sarah Porter and ahead of Courtney Olsen for a 1-2-3 Vikings finish in the 5,000.

“That was exciting,” Breihof said. “It was fun. I was a little ways behind Sarah, but it was nice to have her to use, and the Courtney had me in front of her to use. It was fun to get that sweep.”

Beavers’ Peavey garners honors

Oregon State right-handed pitcher Greg Peavey was honored twice on Monday.

The Hudson’s Bay High School graduate was named Pacific-10 Conference’s Pitcher of the Week, and named USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Spotlight Player of the Week.

The awards stem from a phenomenal performance in the final game of a three-game series with Tennessee on Sunday. Peavey threw his first career complete-game shutout, holding Tennessee to just three hits in Oregon State’s 1-0 series clinching victory.

The right-hander needed just 108 pitches to throw the complete game, of which 76 were strikes. He struck out a career-best nine, and walked one batter and hit another in addition to the three hits. No Tennessee runner got past second base in Oregon State’s victory.

The win improved Peavey’s record to 1-0 this season. It dropped his earned run average to 0.64 from 3.60, and opponents are now batting .149 against him. He has given up just one earned run and seven hits in 14 innings of work this season.

The Pitcher of the Week honor is the first of Peavey’s career and the 59th all-time for Oregon State.

GFU’s Gordon first team All-NWC

George Fox women’s basketball sophomore wing Keisha Gordon has been named First Team All-Northwest Conference as the Bruins posted a second consecutive unbeaten conference season.

The 5-foot-10 Heritage High School graduate leads the Bruins in scoring (14.7 points a game), 3-point field goals (53), free-throw percentage (84 of 101, .832) and steals (67, or 2.68 a game). She is shooting 115 of 278 (.414) from the field and has 146 rebounds (5.8 a game), 61 assists (2.44 a game) and 14 blocked shots (0.56 a game).

Gordon is second in the NWC in free throw percentage and steals; third in scoring, 3-pointers and 3-point shooting percentage (.363); ninth in field goal percentage, 11th in blocked shots and assists; and 14th in rebounding. Her free throw percentage ranks 46th nationally in NCAA Division III, and her career free throw percentage of .814 is the best in program history.

A Second Team All-NWC selection last year, Gordon has been the Bruin Athletic Association Women’s Athlete of the Week four times this season, was the NWC Women’s Basketball Student-Athlete of the Week for Nov. 16-22, and received honorable mention for the NWC award twice. She has scored in double figures 21 times, with a high of 22 points three times, and grabbed nine rebounds four times. She had seven assists at Linfield, and seven steals at Pacific Lutheran.

Concordia’s Dixson headed to nationals

Concordia University freshman Gabi Dixson will compete this weekend in the NAIA indoor track and field national championships in Johnson City, Tenn.

Dixson, a two-time discus state champion for Battle Ground High School, is ranked third in the nation in the weight throw, and will also compete in the shot put.