LeTourneau Men’s Track and Field Records 11 Top-Five Finishes In Bullard.
BULLARD, Texas – Led by the top four finishers in the pole vault, the LeTourneau University men’s track and field team would record a total of 11 top-five finishes as the Marc Randle Classic held at the Brook Hill School in Bullard, Texas on Saturday, March 1.
In addition to the YellowJackets taking part in the Marc Randle Classic, LETU would see Collin Jones take fourth in the pole vault at the Carthage College Last Chance Meet in Kenosha, Wisconsin with a mark of 4.55 meters (14 ft. – 11 in.) to improve upon his personal-best mark.
The YellowJacket sweep of the top four spots would come as sophomore Alex Hindman and freshman Jack Miller would claim the top two spots with a mark of 4.57 meters (15 ft. – 0 in.) while Austin Parrish (4.42 meters, 14 ft. – 6 in.) and Arvin Hrushka (3.96 meters, 12 ft. – 11.75 in.) took third and fourth in the event. Colton Pounders would give LeTourneau another second-place finish by taking second in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 57.46 and finish fourth in the 110-meter hurdles (16.20) while Nate Berlandier took third in the triple jump (12.50 meters, 41 ft. – 0.25 in.). Fourth place finishes from the 4×400 meter relay team (3:32.58) and Javaughn Dantzler (long jump – 6.71 meters, 22 ft. – 0.75 in.) would come in addition to a third-place from Hrushka in the high jump (1.83 meters, 6 ft. – 0 in.) as Stanley Williams (long jump – 6.66 meters, 21 ft. – 10.75 in.) rounded out the top-five finishes for LETU.
Hrushka would go on to compete in the 110-meter hurdles (sixth, 17.56) and discus (seventh, 32.93 meters, 108 ft. – 0 in.) to earn two more top-eight finishes while Dalton Heichelheim took sixth in the 400 meters (52.43). Other top-eight finishes for LeTourneau would see Wesley Anderson take eighth in the 1,500 meters (4:27.49) and Adrik Kling take eighth in the hammer throw (32.86 meters, 107 ft. – 9 in.) while Judson Iverson took ninth in the hammer throw (31.15 meters, 102 ft. – 2 in.). Both Jared Rose (17:34.61) and Matthew Nusser (18:10.03) would post season-best times in the 5,000 meters while Keishaun McMillian would compete in the shot put (10.10 meters, 33 ft. – 1.75 in.), discus (27.71 meters, 90 ft. – 11 in.) and long jump (5.59 meters, 18 ft. – 4.25 in.).
Kling would go on to record a mark of 29.40 meters in the discus (96 ft. – 5 in.) to finish out his day while Iverson posted a score of 9.79 meters (32 ft. – 1.5 in.) in the shot put and Berlandier a mark of 6.17 meters (20 ft. – 3 in.) in the long jump.
After building on their indoor success for the first two weeks of the outdoor season, LeTourneau will look to carry momentum into next week’s McNeese State Relays which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 9th in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The YellowJackets will also look to see which athletes qualified for the 2019 NCAA Division III Indoor National Championships, which will also take place next weekend in Boston, Massachusetts.
Pitching Carries LeTourneau Softball To Doubleheader Sweep of UMHB.
LONGVIEW, Texas- Looking to redeem themselves following an extra-inning loss earlier in the week, the LeTourneau University softball did just that by sweeping a doubleheader from the University Mary Hardin-Baylor by scores of 8-2 and 6-4 on Friday, March 1.
The pair of victories improved the YellowJackets to 8-4 overall, and 6-2 in American Southwest Conference play while the Crusaders fall to 5-7 overall and 5-3 in ASC action.
The Crusaders struck first in the top of the second by bringing in a run off a YellowJacket error to take a 1-0 lead before seeing LETU’s offense answered in the bottom half of the inning. Freshman Ashley Crawford got things started for the YellowJackets as she reached base, allowing Kiley Banks to bring her across following a Crusader error. Kennedi Dillow tacked on two more runs with a single to left field which scored Banks and Taylor Nichols while Haydn Parker plated two runs with a double to right field to give the YellowJackets a 5-1 advantage. The offensive attack didn’t stop there as LeTourneau used the bottom of the third to add two more runs off an Ethel Warren double to go up 7-1. Price tacked on another insurance run in the bottom of the fifth off a sacrifice fly to left field to make it 8-1 before seeing the Crusaders chip away in the sixth by bringing across one run off one hit to cut the deficit to 8-2. The YellowJackets pitching would continue their dominant outing in the seventh to secure the game one victory and take sole possession of second place in the ASC.
Bailey Richey tossed a complete game for the YellowJackets, striking out five while allowing just six hits and two earned runs. A trio of YellowJackets won six of the eight YellowJacket RBIs as Warren, Dillow and Parker all drove in two runs. Parker also recorded a team-high two hits while six other YellowJackets added one. Defensive woes proved to be crucial as the two squads combined to commit six total errors with four of those coming from the Crusader defense.
Leigh Luker dominated the Crusader offense early on as she only allowed one hit through the opening three innings of play. The Crusaders would find a way to bring a run across in the top of the fourth, scoring one run off two hits to take their first lead of the nightcap. LETU wasted no time in getting the series back when a perfectly executed bunt squeeze from Hana Bonner scored Macey Mize from third base to put knot the game at 1-1. The YellowJackets struck again in the bottom of the fifth when Banks drew a walk and sparked a pair of RBI doubles from Warren and Dillow to put LETU up 3-1. Mize continued the rally by sending a two-run home run over the left-center fence to break the game open and give LeTourneau a four-run lead. Trombley capped off the five-run inning by slamming an RBI double of her own to score Bonner and stretch the lead to 6-1. UMHB would try to make things interesting in the top of the seventh with a lead off double followed as part of six of the first seven batters of the inning reaching base safely to bring home three runs and make things 6-4. The LETU defense stepped up when it mattered most by turning a game-ending double play to win the game and earn a series victory over the Crusaders.
Luker earned her third win of the season, tossing six complete innings for the YellowJackets while striking out six. Trombley led LETU at the plate recording a team-high two hits with four of LETU’s six hits going for extra-bases. Mize recorded a game-high two RBI’s and would also score twice.
The YellowJackets and Crusaders will meet once more in game three at the LeTourneau Softball Field with first pitch slated for 12 p.m. on Saturday, March 2.
LeTourneau Women’s Track Competes At Marc Randle Classic.
BULLARD, Texas – Looking to improve upon their outdoor season-opening marks from last week, the LeTourneau University women’s track and field team would win two individual titles, and 12 top-eight finishes as the Marc Randle Classic hosted at the Brook Hill School in Bullard, Texas on Friday, March 1.
Leading the charge for LETU was first-place finishes from junior Alexis Segura in the 1,500 meters (4:58.88) and Kaylee Packer in the pole vault (3.20 meters, 10 ft. – 6 in.). Packer’s mark would set a school record. Kennady Poling would not be far behind Packer by earning a second-place finish in the pole vault (3.05 meters, 10 ft. – 0 in.) while Lexi Funk would take second in the 400-meter hurdles (1:14.25).
Sophomore Ro Galloway would come away with a pair of top-eight finishes by taking fourth in the 200 meters (27.79) and seventh in the 100 meters (13.44) while Kristyn Matthews would run times of 29.59 and 13.57 in the same events. Tori Field would pick up a pair of fifth-place finishes in the long jump (5.08 meters, 16 ft. – 8 in.) and 100-meter hurdles (18.06) while Funk would seventh in the 100 hurdles (18.20).
LETU’s 4×100 meter relay team consisting of Matthews, Field, Georgianna Roeder, and Galloway would take sixth with a time of 52.98 while the 4×400 meter relay team (Funk, Poling, Julianne Hood, and Segura) took eighth (4:40.45). The lone other top-eight finish for LeTourneau would come from Rebekah Stevenson in the hammer throw (36.35 meters, 119 ft. – 3 in.) as the junior also competed in the discus (29.45 meters, 96 ft. – 7 in.) and the shot put (8.78 meters, 28 ft. – 9.75 in.).
Other marks from Friday saw Alicia Griscom set a season-best in the discus (23.83 meters, 78 ft. – 2 in.) while also competing in the hammer throw (31.63 meters, 103 ft. – 9 in.) while Roeder competed in the long jump (4.63 meters, 15 ft. – 2.25 in.) and shot put (8.65 meters, 28 ft. – 4.5 in.). Poling would run a time of 1:09.30 in the 400 meters while Hood posted a time of 2:52.56 in the 800 meters with four LeTourneau runners (Victoria Hood – 20:37.49, McKenzie Craycraft – 21:25.74, Allison Fuller – 22:14.09, and Bridey Davis – 25:00.96) all competing in the 5,000 meters.
A trip outside the Lone Star State for the first time this outdoor season will see LeTourneau travel to Lake Charles, Louisiana to take part in the State Cowboy Relays on Saturday, March 9.
LeTourneau Baseball Drops 7-6 Decision To Schreiner In Extra-Innings.
LONGVIEW, Texas – Two defensive miscues leading to a pair of unearned runs would prove to the difference as the LeTourneau University baseball team would fall by a final score of 7-6 to Schreiner University at Conrad-Vernon Field on Friday, March 1.
LETU is now 5-6 overall while the Mountaineers improved to 3-9 overall on the season.
How It Happened:
A lead off hit batter and a wild pitch would work in favor of Schreiner in the top of the first as SU would score one run on a two-out RBI single before seeing the inning come to a close on a fielder’s choice.
Neither the YellowJackets or Mountaineers would be able to get much of anything going over the next three-plus innings of play as things would go to the bottom of the fourth with Schreiner maintaining their 1-0 lead while holding LeTourneau to just two hits through the first three innings of play.
The bats would come alive in the bottom of the fourth for LETU, with five runs scoring on three hits, three walks, and hit batter as Cody Lee would give the YellowJackets the lead on a two-RBI single to center field.
Konner Gayle and Chaz Jackson would then both draw one-out walks with the bases loaded to bring across a run each with a wild pitch scoring Gayle from third later in the inning to cap off the scoring explosion.
Schreiner would waste little time getting some of the runs back by scoring three on three hits and taking advantage of one LeTourneau error in the top of the fifth as the lead would be cut to just a single run at 5-4.
LETU’s one-run lead would last all of one-batter in the bottom of the fifth as lead off batter Bryce Brueggemeyer would send a pitch deep into the night over the left field fence for a solo home run which would put the YellowJackets up 6-4 and looking to continue their recent offensive momentum.
Things once again would come down on the offensive side of things, with the score remaining 6-4 in favor of LeTourneau until the top of the seventh when Schreiner would scrape across one run on a pair of two-out hits.
A threat in the bottom of the seventh by the YellowJackets to extend their lead would be cut short as LETU would strand runners on first and third to keep the score at 6-5 but manage to strand a Mountaineer game-tying runner at second in the eighth to maintain their lead heading into the ninth.
Down to their final three-outs, Schreiner would use a one-out single down the right-field line and a stolen base to move the game-tying run into scoring position before a ground out would advance the runner 90 feet away from scoring.
LeTourneau would appear to have a chance to end the game but be unable to field a hard-hit ball to shortstop which allowed the Mountaineers to tie the game up and eventually send the game to extra-innings after seeing a two-out rally by the YellowJackets come up empty.
Schreiner would then use a lead off single and stolen base to put the go-ahead run on second with one out before a wild pitch would nullify a strikeout and put runners on the corners for the Mountaineers.
LETU would then get a ground out to keep the runners where they were and have a chance to end the inning without any damage but see Schreiner use a ball hit down the third-base line end up scoring the run from third to go up 7-6 for their first lead since the fourth inning.
With one final chance to try and extend the game or win in walk-off fashion, LeTourneau would be unable to find a hit when they needed it most and see the Mountaineers take game one of a three-game series.
Outside of a three-hit fourth-inning for LeTourneau, the YellowJackets would be held to just five hits across the other nine innings of play while stranding eight runners in the game.
Only Brueggemeyer’s solo home run would go for extra-bases for LeTourneau, with the other seven hits all going as singles.
The top of the Schreiner lineup would prove to be the difference in the game for the Mountaineers as the top four hitters collected nine of the 12 SU hits and drove in four runs while scoring six runs of their own.
LeTourneau and Schreiner will play two on Saturday, March 2 with a 12:00 p.m. doubleheader scheduled to take place at Conrad-Vernon Field in Longview. Game one is set for seven innings with a nine-inning series finale scheduled for 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first game.
LeTourneau Men’s Tennis Wins 9-0 At Howard Payne.
BROWNWOOD, Texas – Taking on their second American Southwest Conference West Division foe of the season, the LeTourneau University men’s tennis team would win all three doubles matches before sweeping six singles matches in a 9-0 road win over Howard Payne University at the Nabers Tennis Center in Brownwood, Texas on Friday, March 1.
Sitting at 3-2 overall, LETU has now won three of their last four matches while HPU slipped to 0-5 overall.
LeTourneau would get a forfeit win at number three doubles due to Howard Payne not fielding enough players before earning an 8-1 win at number one doubles from Jimmie Henson and Christian Farris while Nathan Schmidt and Bobby Clark took an 8-0 decision at number two doubles to put LETU up 3-0.
HPU would also be unable to field a player at number six singles, giving James Estrada a forfeit win while Farris (number 2 singles), Clark (number four singles) and Jeffrey Golladay (number five singles) all earned 6-0, 6-0 straight-set victories. The other two singles matches would see Henson take a 6-2, 6-0 decision at number one singles and Schmidt a 6-1, 6-0 win at number three singles to give LETU all nine points in the match for the sweep.
Short rest is for LETU as the YellowJackets travel to Abilene, Texas to take on McMurry University on Saturday, March 2 at 10:00 a.m. The match will take place at the Seidel-Swagerty Tennis Center, and will be the first match in nearly a week for the War Hawks.
LeTourneau Women’s Tennis Downs Howard Payne 9-0.
BROWNWOOD, Texas – Looking to gain momentum in the first of two matches this weekend, the LeTourneau University women’s tennis team would earn a decisive 9-0 decision over Howard Payne University at the Nabers Tennis Center in Brownwood, Texas on Friday, March 1.
LETU has now won two straight matches to improve to 2-3 overall while HPU falls to 0-4 on the season.
LeTourneau would look far superior from the start, picking up 8-1 wins with Katharine Waldthausen and Maddison Brackenreg at number one doubles as well as Terin Murray and Samantha Trevino at number two doubles. The doubles pairing of Mimi Samdi and Hannah Moore at number three doubles would also win their match by taking an 8-0 decision.
Singles play would see LETU carry over their doubles as Waldthausen (6-1, 6-3) and Brackenreg (6-1, 6-1) both earned straight-set decisions at number one and two singles to clinch the match victory for LeTourneau while Murray would secure a 6-1, 1-6, 10-3 win at number three singles. Samdi and Sophie Hill would both earn 6-0, 6-0 victories at number five and six singles while Trevino would take care of business at number four singles with a 6-1, 6-3 win to give LETU their second straight 9-0 victory of the year.
LeTourneau will continue on their weekend trek to Abilene, Texas to take on McMurry University in non-conference action. The first serve is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. against the War Hawks, who are 2-4 overall this season and are coming off back-to-back victories.
LeTourneau Athletics Announces 2019 Athletics Hall of Fame Class.
LONGVIEW, Texas – The LeTourneau University Athletic Department is proud to announce four former student-athletes (Sara Vestfals – women’s soccer, women’s basketball & softball, Christin “Mickelboro” Haney – softball, Mark Blessing – wrestling, and Erica “Crim” Sudeck – women’s soccer) for selection for the 2019 class to the LeTourneau University Athletics Hall of Fame.
All four student-athletes will be formally inducted on Saturday, April 13 at 6:00 p.m. as part of Homecoming weekend 2019 and will join 35 athletes, coaches, and administrators as well as two teams that have been previously inducted.
Vestfals was a multi-sport athlete for the YellowJackets, excelling in every sport that she played. After spending one year at Ranger College, Vestfals came to LeTourneau to play women’s basketball and would also compete in women’s soccer and softball. Vestfals finished her women’s basketball playing career as the career-record holder in rebounds (1,085), number two in career blocks (97), number two in field goals made (481), and number three all-time in scoring (1,256 points) while being named a three-time American Southwest Conference All-East Division, a Second-Team D3hoops.com South Region selection in 2002-03, and 2002-03 ASC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Serving as a goalie for the LETU women’s soccer team, Vestfals would finish her career number four all-time in career wins at LeTourneau (four), and number 10 all-time in saves (82) after playing just two seasons on the pitch.
One of the most decorated softball players in LeTourneau history, Haney helped lead LETU to their most wins in program history in 2011 (22), a record that still stands today while holding nine career records at LETU. Haney still holds the career record for batting average (.416), runs scored (108), hits (182), RBI’s (137), doubles (43) home runs (30) on-base percentage (.491) slugging percentage (.744) and walks (60) while also holding the single-season record for batting average (.491), slugging percentage (.887), doubles (16), hits (52), home runs (10), RBI’s (43), on-base percentage (.559) and total bases (94). A three-time All-ASC East Division First-Team selection, Haney would also be named National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-West Region three consecutive years (2010-2012) and an NFCA Second-Team All-American in 2010.
Blessing becomes the fourth LeTourneau University wrestler to be selected to the LETU Athletics Hall of Fame, joining Stan Watne (1972-76), Ross Beans (1973-78), and his former coach Roger Kieffer (1972-76). Blessing wrestled for the YellowJackets between 1981 and 1986 and was a two-time National Christian College Athletic Association National Champion (1982, 1984) while finishing second in 1985 and third in 1983. During his four-year career on the mat, Blessing would win his weight class in over 20 tournaments and won first place in the Texas Open Tournament three consecutive years after finishing his collegiate career (1987-89). The blessing would also serve as a player/coach during his final two years, helping keep the wrestling program alive and allow those in the program to finish their collegiate careers.
Crim rounds out the 2019 LETU Athletics Hall of Fame Class and will become the first women’s soccer player in the program’s 20-year history to make the hall of fame after a stellar four-year playing career that took place in the early years of the program. The 2006 American Southwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year, Crim would be a three-time ASC First-Team Selection (2004-06) and was a 2006 National Soccer Coaches Association of America Second-Team All-West Region selection. With Crim, LeTourneau would make the American Southwest Conference women’s soccer tournament for the first two times in school history and still holds the career record at LeTourneau for points (105), goals (44) shots attempted (274) and assists (17).
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