Athletics

Athletics

 

Women's SoftballThird-place in Nation for Track and Field. Women's Softball Team

The highest national finish in 15 years for the men's track and field team topped the season for the thinclads. The men's team, behind Tad Baltzer's national discus championship with a throw of 153-9, placed third; the best finish since 1984's third-place team finish with two national champions.
     
Both the women's track and field team and the women's fast-pitch softball team captured third place nationally this spring, one position down from second-place finishes in 1998.

Track and Field

For the men, in addition to Baltzer, Andrew Levin was third nationally in the decathlon with 6,486 points and David Wood was third in the discus at 151-8. The men's team also won its ninth consecutive regional title. (Ricks tied for first place in 1991.)
     
For the women, five athletes were second nationally in their events: Lena Walker in the 1,500-meters in 4:53.76; Analee Carter in the high jump at 5-8 1/2; Melody Sheppard in the 3,000-meters in 10:26.82; Alycia Boyer in the 10,000-meters in 37:55.31 and Shanae Nixon in the heptathlon with 5,671 points. Another five athletes placed third: Sheppard in the 1,500-meters in 4:56.66; Kelsi Hall in the heptathlon with 4,640 points; April Jackson in the 100-meter high hurdles in 14.53 seconds; Sesha Snell in the hammer at 150-11; and Amber Cellan in the 10,000-meters in 38:29.19.
     
All of the above are considered All-Americans.
     
For the women, Ricks won its 15th consecutive regional title.

Softball

Ranked nationally the entire season, Ricks won a fourth consecutive regional title. At the national finals the Lady Vikings defeated Briarcliffe, N.Y., 4-0, in their opening game. After an early game the next day, a 4-3 loss to St. Louis-Meramec, Ricks entered the loser's bracket. Playing four games  in one day, including the loss, Ricks rebounded to defeat Illinois Central 3-0, followed by Pratt, Kans., 8-1, and Chattanooga State, Tenn., 3-0. On the final day of the tourney Ricks avenged its earlier loss, defeating St. Louis-Meramec 8-1, before bowing to Lake City, Fla., 2-9, to settle for third place.
     
Sophomore catcher Andrea Davis was a repeat honoree for All-American First Team honors. Davis hit .532 as a sophomore. She was joined by sophomore pitcher Maryon DeWitt (27-7 for the season), on the national all-tourney team. Freshman center fielder Liz Smith was a third team All-American.
     
Starting with last spring's season, Ricks played its games on the former men's baseball complex just south of the Hart Building.

Football

Ricks began the season ranked first nationally by the National Junior College Athletic Association.
     
It is the third time this decade the Vikings began play as the pre-season favorite. In 1990 Ricks was upset in its third game of the year and finished the season unranked. In 1993 Ricks lost its seventh game to Dixie College; a loss that was later reversed due to an ineligible player on Dixie's roster. Ricks also lost in the post-season finale to rank tenth nationally.

Women's Basketball

Lisa Rasmussen-Thueson (95) was named new assistant coach replacing Kendall Grant (85) earlier this year. Rasmussen-Thueson was a First Team All-American for Ricks as a sophomore. She went on to play for the University of Utah for two years. There her team reached the NCAA tourney both years. She has been coaching high school girl's basketball.
     
Grant will continue in a scouting and recruiting capacity for the Ricks women's basketball program.

Women's Volleyball

With five wins at a season-opening tourney in late August, Coach JoAnn Reeve became only the second person in NJCAA history to surpass 800 career wins. Reeve is in her 25th season of coaching women's volleyball at Ricks. She was inducted into the NJCAA Volleyball #Coaches Association Hall of  Fame last year.

Academic Honors

  Seven Ricks College athletic teams achieved the top rank academically of all junior college teams during the 1998-99 school year. They are women's cross country (3.79 GPA), women's basketball (3.56), men's basketball (3.37), men's track and field (3.20), women's track and field (3.48), wrestling (3.06), and football (3.05).

      Women's track and field and men's cross country were ranked second nationally, with women's softball and men's baseball sixth, and women's volleyball ninth. In all, Ricks had 70 academic All-Americans last season.

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