Sports update March 22

Bears capture fifth national title

After nine years, nine consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament and two setbacks in the national championship game, Washington University returned to the pinnacle of NCAA Division III women’s basketball, capturing the program’s fifth national championship with a 65-59 victory over Hope College March 20 in Bloomington, Ill.

To learn more about the run to the national championship and watch a video of highlights from the national championship game and celebration, read FULL STORY.

Swimmer Beyer repeats as national champion in 400 IM

The men’s and women’s swimming teams concluded their 2010 seasons at the NCAA Division III Championships last week in Minneapolis, and the meet was highlighted by senior Alex Beyer’s win in the 400-individual medley.

Beyer finished the race in 3:52.94, becoming the first student-athlete in WUSTL history to win two individual swimming championships, as he also won the 400-IM at the 2009 NCAA meet. With Beyer leading the way, the WUSTL men posted a team score of 127 points, which was good for 10th-place overall, while the women finished in 23rd with 45 points.

Beyer earned All-America accolades in seven events at the NCAAs, also scoring in the 800-free relay (third), 200-breast (fourth), 500-free (fourth), 400-free relay (ninth), 400-medley relay (12th) and 200-medley relay (13th). Also earning All-America honors on the men’s team was junior Michael Flanagan, junior David Chao, junior Kartik Anjur and freshman Mark Minowitz.

On the women’s side, senior Jessie Lodewyk and sophomore Karina Stridh each grabbed a pair of All-America finishes. Lodewyk came in third in the 1,650-freestyle, and 14th in the 500-freestyle, while Stridh placed seventh in the 50-freestyle and fifth in the 100-yard backstroke.

Softball wins three at Marriott West Invitational

The 16th-ranked softball team posted a 3-1 record at the Marriott West Invitational March 19 and 20. The Bears split a pair of games the first day, suffering an 8-0 defeat to No. 8 Augustana College then posting a 1-0 victory over Fontbonne University in the nightcap. Junior pitcher Claire Voris tossed a complete-game two hitter in the win over Fontbonne with nine strikeouts, en route to her fifth win of the year.

The following day, WUSTL shocked Augustana, 10-8 in nine innings, and then posted a 14-2 victory in five innings over Fontbonne. Senior Caitlyn Hoffman hit a walk-off homerun in the victory over Augustana.

WUSTL (14-4) returns to action Wednesday, March 24, with a doubleheader at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill.

Men’s, women’s tennis teams defeat Graceland

Junior Isaac Stein recorded two victories, including career victory number 100, to lead the No. 2-ranked men’s tennis team to a 7-2 victory over NAIA No. 9 Graceland University March 20.

The men’s team improved to 5-2 against ranked teams and 9-3 overall and hosts Carthage College at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 3.

The WUSTL women also picked up a win over Graceland University March 20. The Bears won four of the five completed singles contests and came away with the victory because of an injury to a Graceland player, which resulted in two wins by default for the Bears.

Freshman Kate Klein, sophomore Natalie Tingir, junior Elise Sambol and freshman Paige Madara were all straight-set winners in singles. The WUSTL women improved to 5-3 overall on the year.

The women also are back in action at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday March 24, hosting Lindenwood University at the Tao Tennis Center.

Baseball posts 3-1 record during homestand

The baseball team posted a 3-1 record in four home games last week.

After sweeping a double header with Dominican University March 16, the Bears split with Benedictine University and Illinois Wesleyan University March 20.

Senior Jeremy Rogoff pitched nine scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts as the Bears beat Dominican, 9-0, but the team suffered a 3-0 setback against Illinois Wesleyan in the second game.

Sophomore Brandon Rogalski paced the offense last week, hitting .462 with a .538 slugging percentage, three RBIs and two runs scored.

The Bears are in the midst of playing 12 games in six days, and return home at 1p.m. Wednesday, March 24, for a doubleheader with Millikin University.

Track opens outdoor season at Rhodes College

The men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams began their 2010 season at the Rhodes College Open Meet March 20 in Memphis, Tenn.

The spring opener, which did not feature team scoring, included competition from all three NCAA athletic divisions.

The men’s and women’s track teams will compete at home for each of the next three weeks, beginning with the Washington University Mini Meet Friday, March 26, at the Bushyhead Track.

Unruh named Women’s Basketball Elite 88 winner

Senior guard Zoë Unruh of the national champion women’s basketball team was named the Elite 88 winner at the 2010 NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Final Four banquet March 18.

The Elite 88, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level, while also achieving the highest academic standard among their peers.

The Elite 88 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s 88 championships.

Unruh is WUSTL’s second Elite 88 recipient in 2010. She has a 3.88 grade point average while majoring in environmental studies.

Thompson and Wallis Honored by NABC

Graduate student point guard Sean Wallis concluded his remarkable career on the Danforth Campus by earning third-team 2010 State Farm Coaches’ Division III All-America honors, as announced by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

Wallis also picked up first-team all-Midwest Region honors, while senior guard Aaron Thompson was named second-team all-Midwest Region. Wallis becomes just the sixth player in school history to earn multiple All-America honors.