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SBU’s Meleah Ridenour, center, was the university’s individual award nominee for the James R. Spalding Sportsmanship Award. 

Southwest Baptist University track and field claimed six individual first-place finishes  at the Great Lakes Valley Conference championship meet Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 29 through March 1.

The women’s team finished second at the meet, while the men’s team took third. The Lady Bearcats also received the James R. Spalding Sportsmanship Team Award. SBU’s Meleah Ridenour was the team’s individual award nominee. 

"I am so proud of our teams,” SBU coach Corey McElhaney said. “Both teams came together this weekend and made a statement. We competed with pride, and they all had a fire that was exhilarating to see."

SBU’s Tahje Parrish won the men’s triple jump with a 15.04 meter performance, while teammate DJ Davis won the 60 dash in 6.77 seconds.

Lady Bearcat Britney Clark won the 60 dash in 7.64 seconds. Tamia Rayford won the 400 run in 56.47 and the long jump, clearing 5.74 meters. 

The ladies distance medley relay of Alexis Barber, Grace Risenhoover, Brocklyn Barber and Elysia Burgos won the event in 12:08.74. 

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Pole vaulter Trenton Finley readies for his event. 

In addition to hitting provisional marks 11 times at the meet, SBU finished with 20 top-three finishes. Seven members of the team qualified for nationals: Rayford, Alexis Barber, Tabitha Weber, Risenhoover, Burgos, Parrish, Davis and Trenton Finley. 

MEN’S BASKETBALL

SBU men’s basketball had an early lead against the No. 2 seeded University of Indianapolis in the GLVC tournament Thursday March 5, but couldn't keep up, falling 80-68.

The loss ends SBU’s historic season at 20-9. Season highlights include a win over rival Drury and then-NCAA Div. 2 No. 1 Bellarmine. 

In his last game as a Bearcat, Damian Prgomet had a double-double, scoring 17 points with 10 rebounds. He also had a block. In his final outing, Godfrey Rolle scored 15 points and had six rebounds. 

Prgomet and Brady Smith were named to the all-GLVC team, while Lady Bearcats Kyleigh Vaught and Bailey Rezabek also earned nods. 

WOMEN’S TENNIS

SBU women’s tennis capped a dominant series of matches Sunday, March 8, earning a 4-0 win over Cameron University, a 5-0 win over Colorado Mesa University and a 4-3 win over Midwestern State University on Saturday, March 7, and a 7-0 win over Missouri Western State University on Sunday, Feb. 23. 

Senior Dona Abohabaga received honors both as GLVC athlete of the week and SBU athlete of the month. 

MEN’S TENNIS

SBU men’s tennis earned wins over several opponents in recent days, topping Colorado State University-Pueblo 7-0 and Mesa State University-Denver 6-1 on Saturday. Cameron University beat the Bearcats 6-1 Sunday. 

BASEBALL

SBU baseball dropped a pair of games to Augustana College on Saturday, Feb. 29, 9-3 and 13-0. Colby Sneed and Blake Lutgen had home runs in the series. The following day, SBU lost 12-8 to Augustana. 

The Bearcats fell 3-2 to Lindenwood University twice Saturday, March 7. Cole Van Every pitched all seven innings in game two, allowing just three hits and tossing three strikeouts. 

On Sunday, March 8, SBU fell 9-1 to Lindenwood. Lutgen had SBU’s lone RBI.

SOFTBALL

SBU softball dropped a game to Northwestern Oklahoma State University 12-3 Tuesday, Feb. 25. The Lady Bearcats led NOSU 5-0 in the third inning of the day’s second game, which was canceled due to weather.

Janessa Rivera was 2-3 at the plate in game one. 

The Lady Bearcats earned a pair of wins in the Drury Invitational on Friday, Feb. 28, topping Northeastern State University 7-0 and Wayne State University 8-3. 

Sam Moran reached base four times in game one. Alexis Dock pitched all seven innings of the shutout. 

Emma Ezzell had four RBIs in game two. Pitcher Emma Wood gave up just one earned run.

The following day, SBU won 7-3 over Lincoln University and 5-3 over Northeastern State. Aubry Hernandez had three RBIs in game one. Pitcher Reilly Rupert threw all seven innings in game two, tossing three strikeouts. 

On Sunday, March 1, SBU fell 5-1 to Northwestern State University. Sam Moran had two of SBU’s five hits, including its lone RBI. 

The above report is compiled from SBU media reports. 

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