GSAC NEWS

GSAC ATHLETES ACHIEVE ACADEMIC SUCCESS
GSAC athletes excel in the classroom as well as on the fields and courts.  Juniors and seniors with a 3.50 grade point average and above are honored as GSAC Scholar Athletes.  To view the list of honorees, use the links below for the spring sports.
 

Baseball Softball Men's Tennis Women's Tennis Men's Track & Field Women's Track & Field

SPRING SPORTS CHAMPIONSHIPS IN FULL SWING
The national championship tournaments for the spring sports begin this week.  For information about each sport, use the links below:
 

Baseball Softball Tennis Track & Field

GSAC TRACK & FIELD ATHLETES COMPETE AT NATIONALS
GSAC track & field athletes will be competing at the NAIA Men's & Women's Outdoor Track Field Championships at Ralph Korte Stadium in Edwardsville, IL, just outside of St. Louis, MO, May 22-24.  For more information, go to NAIA Outdoor Track & Field.  For live results, go to NAIA Meet Results.

AZUSA PACIFIC RECEIVES AT-LARGE BERTH TO NAIA WORLD SERIES
Azusa Pacific received an at-large berth to the NAIA Baseball World Series which will be held at Lewis-Clark State (pictured below), May 23-30.  To see the schedule and results, go to GSAC Baseball.  For complete NAIA Baseball World Series information, go to NAIA Baseball.

GSAC SOFTBALL SLIDES TO NATIONALS
NAIA No. 1-ranked California Baptist won the Region II Tournament and earned the region's automatic bid to the NAIA Championship Softball Tournament which will be held at the Wilson Morgan Softball Complex in Decatur, Alabama, May 16-21.   NAIA No. 2-ranked Point Loma Nazarene, which was the Region II tournament runner-up, received an at-large berthAll 20 qualified teams are placed into 4 pools and will participate in round robin pool play on Friday and Saturday, May 16-17.  The top 2 teams from each pool will advance to the 8-team double elimination bracket, beginning Monday, May 19 and will end with the championship game on Wednesday, May 21.  To see the schedule and results for the GSAC teams, go to GSAC Softball.  To see the complete tournament information, go to NAIA Softball.

A DOZEN GSAC TEAMS SET FOR NAIA TENNIS TOURNAMENTS; ALL-GSAC
After earning the GSAC regular-season championships, Fresno Pacific (below) won both the NAIA Region II Men's & Women's Tennis Tournaments in Fresno, May 1-2, and earned automatic bids to the NAIA Men's & Women's Tennis Championship Tournaments which will be held in Mobile, Alabama, May 12-16Fresno Pacific will be joined by Azusa Pacific, California Baptist, Point Loma Nazarene, and Vanguard who earned at-large berths in men's and women's tennis, Westmont in women's tennis, and Concordia in men's tennis to total 12 GSAC teams that will go to nationals. To see the schedule and results for the GSAC teams at nationals, go to  GSAC Women's Tennis and GSAC Men's Tennis.  For the complete NAIA Championship Tournament schedules and results, go to NAIA Tennis Neil Castro, of Fresno Pacific, was selected as the GSAC and Region II Coach of the Year for both men's & women's tennis.  To see the list of All-GSAC tennis honorees, go to GSAC Women's Tennis Awards and GSAC Men's Tennis Awards.
 



BASEBALL ALL-GSAC TEAM ANNOUNCED
The 2008 All-GSAC Baseball Team has been announced.  The GSAC Player of the Year is
Matt Venegas (left) of Azusa Pacific, and from Fresno Pacific is the GSAC Pitcher of the Year Chris Schwinden (right) and GSAC Coach of the Year Oscar Hirschkorn. To see the complete list of honorees, go to GSAC Baseball Awards





SOFTBALL POST-SEASON HONORS RELEASED

The 2008 All-GSAC Softball Team has been released.  From GSAC Champion and NAIA No. 1-ranked California Baptist are the GSAC Player of the Year
Sara Goforth (left), GSAC Pitcher of the Year Amy Thomas (right), and GSAC Softball Coach of the Year Mike Smith.  To see the complete list of honorees, go to GSAC Softball Awards





GSAC TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIP MEET RESULTS; 4 NEW RECORDS
The GSAC Outdoor Track & Field Championship Meet was hosted by Azusa Pacific on April 25 and 26.  Point Loma Nazarene is the GSAC Women's Track & Field Champion and Azusa Pacific is the GSAC Men's Track & Field Champion.  Coach Martin Gonzalez of Concordia is the GSAC Women's Track & Field Coach of the Year, while Coach Kevin Reid of Azusa Pacific received the honor on the men's side.  During the meet, 4 GSAC records were broken.  To see complete results, go to GSAC Meet Results.  The top 3 in each event make up the All-GSAC team.
 
New GSAC Meet Records
EVENT TIME/MARK ATHLETE SCHOOL
Women's Triple Jump 12.10m/39' 8.50" Natalie Friesen Fresno Pacific
Men's 1500m 3:45.84 Aron Rono Azusa Pacific
Men's 400m Hurdles 52.12 Jordan Burnette Azusa Pacific
Women's 4x800m Relay 9:10.21   Azusa Pacific
Victoria Martinez, Jacky Kipwambok, Jaime Canterbury & Olivia Richert

GSAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
The final GSAC Players and Pitchers of the Week for the spring season are
Chantal Millard (softball player) of California Baptist University, Melissa Gomez (softball pitcher) of Point Loma Nazarene University, Stephen Kohatsu (baseball player) of Azusa Pacific University, and Joe Zeller (baseball pitcher) of The Master's College.  To read each athletes' accomplishments for the week, go to GSAC Players of the Week.

BASKETBALL POST-SEASON HONORS
The NAIA All-Americans and NAIA Scholar-Athletes have been announced.  To see the list of GSAC athletes who received these awards, go to GSAC Women's Basketball Awards and GSAC Men's Basketball Awards
Coach Russ Davis, (right) who led the Vanguard women's basketball team to its first national championship this season, was named the Rawlings-NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Coach of the Year.  This was also the first time a GSAC school has won the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.



VANGUARD WINS DIVISION I WOMEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Vanguard defeated Trevecca Nazarene TN 72-59 to win the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Tournament.  It was the first women's basketball championship won by a team from California.  Several from Vanguard received Championship All-Tournament Awards.  GSAC Player of the Year, Jessica Richter was named the National Tournament MVP and Coach Russ Davis was chosen as the Phyllis Holmes Coach of the Year.  Lauren Gregory was the selected to the All-Tournament First Team and Melissa Cook was selected to the All-Tournament Second Team.


GSAC BASKETBALL SCHOLAR ATHLETES ANNOUNCED
GSAC basketball athletes excel in the classroom as well. To see the complete list of GSAC Scholar Athletes for basketball, go to GSAC Women's Basketball Awards and GSAC Men's Basketball Awards.

ALL-GSAC BASKETBALL TEAMS SELECTED
Senior guard Jessica Richter (left) of Vanguard is the GSAC Women's Basketball Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, after earning national player of the year honors for Division I of the NAIA in 2007. Coach Bill Westphal of GSAC Champion Point Loma Nazarene was selected as the GSAC Women's Basketball Coach of the Year.  Junior forward Mark Roussin (right) of California Baptist is the GSAC Men's Basketball Player of the Year.   First-year head coach Justin Leslie of Azusa Pacific received GSAC Coach of the Year honors on the men's side.  To see the complete list of honorees, go to GSAC Women's Basketball Awards and GSAC Men's Basketball Awards

PHIL WOLF NAMED BRINE-NAIA MEN'S SOCCER COACH OF THE YEAR
Coach Phil Wolf (left), who led Azusa Pacific to its first-ever men's soccer national championship in December, has been named the 2007 Brine-NAIA Men's Soccer National Coach of the Year. The honor was announced on January 18 at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America national convention in Baltimore, Maryland.  To read more, go to www.naia.org.



BIOLA MEN'S BASKETBALL COACH REACHES 1,000 GAME PLATEAU
Coach Dave Holmquist coached his 1,000th basketball game when Biola played at GSAC opponent Westmont, Tuesday, January 15.  To read more about this milestone, go to www.naia.org.

THE AWARDS KEEP COMING

The GSAC received more post-season awards for athletics, academics, and character.  The top 30 runners of the NAIA Cross Country Championship Meets earned All-America honors, which included 5 women and 3 men from the GSAC.  In soccer several GSAC athletes earned All-America honors, including 3 men and 3 women who were named first team.  Dennis Janzen, coach of NAIA Champion Fresno Pacific, was selected the NAIA Volleyball Coach of the Year, and setter Shu Liu, also of Fresno Pacific, is the NAIA Volleyball Player of the Year.  A total of 12 GSAC volleyball athletes earned NAIA All-America recognition, including 7 first teamers. Over 60 GSAC athletes from cross country, soccer, and volleyball were named NAIA Scholar Athletes for maintaining at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA.  In men's cross country, Westmont garnered the 2007 NAIA-Buffalo Funds Five Star Award, given to 1 team from each of 23 NAIA-sponsored sports.  Teams are selected based on how they exhibited the 5 core character values of the NAIA Champions of Character initiative -- respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship.  Soccer defender Kari Moore, of Point Loma Nazarene, is the recipient of the Brine Method Champions of Character scholarship, which honors the student-athlete who best exemplifies the Champions of Character and Brine Method ideal through the NAIA soccer national championship tournaments.  The NAIA on behalf of Brine will contribute a $1,000 scholarship to Point Loma Nazarene.  To see the complete list of honors and honorees, go to each of the sports below:
 
Women's Cross Country Men's Cross Country
Women's Soccer Men's Soccer
Volleyball  

NAIA Volleyball
Coach of the Year
Dennis Janzen,
Fresno Pacific

NAIA Volleyball
Player of the Year
Shu Liu, Fresno Pacific

Brine Women's Soccer Scholarship Recipient
Kari Moore,
Point Loma Nazarene

IT'S AN ALL-GSAC FINAL FOUR; FRESNO PACIFIC NATIONAL CHAMP
Fresno Pacific won the NAIA Volleyball Championship in a 4-game match with California Baptist It is the 3rd NAIA championship for Fresno Pacific, which also won in 2003 and 1989, and the fourth volleyball national championship won by a GSAC team in the last 5 years with California Baptist winning in 2004 and 2005.  Shu Liu of Fresno Pacific (right) was named the Tachikara National Tournament Most Valuable Player and Fresno Pacific Coach Dennis Janzen was the National Tournament Coach of the Year.  Concordia received the National Tournament Champions of Character Award.  The rest of the All-Tournament Team is listed below.  The GSAC sent 4 teams to the NAIA Women's Volleyball Championship Tournament hosted by Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri, November 28 to December 1.  ALL 4 advanced to the semifinals -- GSAC and Region II Champion Fresno Pacific, as well as California Baptist Concordia, and Biola which are pictured together below.  It is the first time in NAIA history that all 4 semifinal teams hail from the same conference.  These teams were top 4 teams in the national rankings most of the year and also received the top 4 seeds at the tournament.  All 4 teams also finished with 30 or more wins for the season.  A Columbia, Missouri, newspaper took note of the success of the GSAC, which can be read at "A decidedly Golden touch to the NAIA Tourney."  To see the results for GSAC teams, go to GSAC Volleyball.  For complete schedule and results, go to NAIA Volleyball.

GSAC Athletes on the 2007 Volleyball All-Tournament Team
Lindsey Campbell Concordia Kayla Van Duyn California Baptist
Marin Canaday Fresno Pacific Meghan Warkentin Biola
Kristen Peterson Biola Traci Weamer Concordia
Shi Fei California Baptist Verania Willis California Baptist
Tachikara National Tournament MVP:  Shu Liu, Fresno Pacific
National Tournament Coach of the Year:  Dennis Janzen, Fresno Pacific
National Tournament Champions of Character Award:  Concordia



GSAC SHINES IN POST-SEASON SOCCER

The GSAC had 5 teams in the NAIA Men's & Women's Soccer Championship Tournaments and 3 of them advanced to the championship game.  In an all-GSAC final, Azusa Pacific (below) defeated Concordia to win the NAIA Men's Soccer Championship in Olathe, Kansas.  In the women's soccer championship Azusa Pacific was the runner-up with a loss to Martin Methodist TN in Daytona Beach, Florida. For the men, Azusa Pacific forward Steven Lenhart was the Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Tournament, and Concordia goalkeeper Mike Borst was the Defensive Player of the Tournament, while Azusa Pacific forward Theresa Broad was the Offensive Player of the Tournament for the women. Several GSAC athletes were named to the All-Tournament Teams listed below.  To see the results for GSAC teams, go to GSAC Women's Soccer and GSAC Men's Soccer.  To see complete national tournament information, go to NAIA Women's Soccer and NAIA Men's Soccer. In addition, The Master's men's soccer team won the National Christian College Men's Soccer Tournament Championship in Kissimmee, Florida.


 

NAIA WOMEN'S SOCCER ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Position Athlete School
Forward Theresa Broad Azusa Pacific
Forward Sarah Yoro Azusa Pacific
Midfielder Lynsey Domene Azusa Pacific
Midfielder Randie Massro Azusa Pacific
Offensive Player of the Tournament:  Theresa Broad
NAIA MEN'S SOCCER ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Position Athlete School
Goalkeeper Mike Borst Concordia
Forward Pablo Campos Fresno Pacific
Forward Steven Lenhart Azusa Pacific
Midfielder Jon Fahey Concordia
Midfielder Elijah Mwansanga Azusa Pacific
Defender Mike Mirzadeh Concordia
Defender Eric Winblad Azusa Pacific
MVP & Offensive Player of the Tournament:  Steven Lenhart
Defensive Player of the Tournament:  Mike Borst

NAIA CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
GSAC cross country athletes competed at the national championship meet held at Dr. Wayne E. Dannehl Cross Country Course in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Saturday, November 17, 2007.  Azusa Pacific athletes were the top individual finishers -- Aron Rono was the first to cross the finish line in the men's 8K race, while Jaime Canterbury finished first and Jacky Kipwambok was second in the women's 5K race.  This is only the second time that the individual titles for both the men's and women's races were claimed by athletes from the same school.  The last time this occurred was 1981 by Adams State CO.  The top team finishers from the GSAC were Concordia in 11th place for the men and Azusa Pacific in sixth place for the women. To see complete results, go to NAIA Cross Country.

GSAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK FOR VOLLEYBALL
The final GSAC Players of the Week for the 2007 volleyball season are
Verania Willis (player) and Kayla Van Duyn (setter) of California Baptist, and Tiffany Marinos (libero) of Fresno Pacific.  To read each athletes' accomplishments for the week, go to GSAC Players of the Week.  Then scroll to the bottom for links for previous GSAC Players of the Week for the 2007 fall sports.  Senior outside hitter Verania Willis (left) of California Baptist recorded 8.0 kills and 3.0 digs per game last week and was chosen as the NAIA Women's Volleyball Player of the Week.



ALL-GSAC VOLLEYBALL TEAM

The All-GSAC Volleyball Team has been named.  Shu Liu (left), a junior setter from Fresno Pacific, is the GSAC Volleyball Player of the Year for the second straight year.  Malinda Reese (right), a senior from Westmont, is the GSAC Libero of the Year, and the GSAC Volleyball Coach of the Year is Aaron Seltzer of Biola.  To see the complete list of honorees, go to GSAC Volleyball Awards.

 

GSAC ATHLETES EARN ACADEMIC AWARDS
GSAC athletes not only perform well on the fields and courts, but also in the classroom.  A total of 84 athletes from the fall sports were named
GSAC Scholar Athletes.  This award is given to juniors and seniors who have achieved a 3.50 or higher cumulative grade point average.  To see the lists of honorees go to the GSAC Awards link for each sport or use the links below, then scroll down.

Women's Cross Country Awards Men's Cross Country Awards
Women's Soccer Awards Men's Soccer Awards
Women's Volleyball Awards  

NAIA REGION II CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
GSAC teams competed at the NAIA Region II Men's & Women's Cross Country Championship Meet hosted by Fresno Pacific at Woodward Park on Saturday, November 3. 
Azusa Pacific (below) won the women's team competition and Coach Preston Grey, of Azusa Pacific, was named the NAIA Region II Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year.  Azusa Pacific's Jacky Kipwambok and Aron Rono duplicated their GSAC meet performances by earning the individual titles of their respective races at the NAIA Region II Cross Country Championships.  For complete results, go to NAIA Region II Cross Country Championships, and then scroll down to Sat., 11/03/07 - NAIA Region II Championships.  To see event pictures by photographer Wayne Wiebe, go to cross country pictures.



GSAC BASKETBALL BEGINS PLUS EXCITING EXHIBITIONS
The basketball season is beginning for GSAC teams.  To see complete schedules for the season, go to GSAC Men's Basketball and GSAC Women's Basketball, then click on the Schedule/Results link.  The men's and women's teams are also playing some interesting exhibition games which include opponents from the Pac-10, other NCAA Division I teams, and teams from around the world.  To see the exhibition schedule, go to GSAC Men's Basketball Exhibitions and GSAC Women's Basketball Exhibitions.

SOCCER ALL-GSAC TEAMS ANNOUNCED
The All-GSAC Teams for women's and men's soccer have been announced.  Hailing from Azusa Pacific, the GSAC Soccer Players of the Year are midfielder Randie Massro (right) for the women and forward Steven Lenhart (left) for the men.  GSAC Soccer Coaches of the Year are women's coach Jason Surrell and men's coach Philip Wolf, both from Azusa Pacific.  Both Azusa Pacific teams completed the conference season without a loss and are the GSAC champions. To see the complete lists of honorees, go to GSAC Women's Soccer Awards and GSAC Men's Soccer Awards.

GSAC CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP MEETS IN COSTA MESA
The 22nd GSAC Cross Country Championship meets, hosted by Vanguard in Costa Mesa on October 20, featured some of the strongest competition in the NAIA with 10 nationally ranked teams entered in the men's and women's races.  The No. 3-ranked Azusa Pacific women's cross country team captured the 2007 GSAC Women's Cross Country Championship while the No. 5-ranked Concordia men's team edged No. 3 Azusa Pacific by 1 point for their second consecutive men's team title.  Azusa Pacific's Jacky Kipwambok (left) and Aron Rono (right) claimed GSAC individual titles by winning their respective races.  Kipwambok won the women's 5k with a time of 17:47 and Rono, who was nearly a minute ahead of the second-place runner, earned his second straight GSAC title with a conference record of 24:11.  The top 14 runners in each race make up the 2007 All-GSAC Cross Country Teams.  Preston Grey of Azusa Pacific and Jonathan Zimmerman of Biola were named the GSAC Women's Cross Country Co-Coaches of the Year and Martin Gonzalez of Concordia was named the GSAC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year. To see complete results go to GSAC Women's Cross Country and GSAC Men's Cross Country.

Click on a picture to enlarge it.

GSAC Women's Cross
Country Champions
Azusa Pacific

GSAC Women's
Cross Country
All-GSAC Team
GSAC Men's Cross
Country Champions
Concordia
GSAC Men's
Cross Country
All-GSAC Team

GSAC Women's
Cross Country
Co-Coaches
of the Year'
Preston Grey,
of Azusa Pacific
and Jonathan
Zimmerman of
Biola (right)

GSAC Men's Cross
Country Coach
of the Year'
Martin Gonzalez,
Concordia
(left)

GSAC BASKETBALL PRE-SEASON PICKS
The GSAC men's and women's basketball coaches have cast their preseason ballots and defending GSAC Champion Concordia gets the top nod for the men, while 5-time reigning GSAC Champion Vanguard earns the top spot for the women.  Concordia, which advanced to the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball championship game last year after winning a 4-overtime semifinal contest, garnered 10 first place votes.  Vanguard, who completed the regular season ranked No. 1 in the NAIA and advanced to the semifinals of the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament, received 9 first place votes.  California Baptist received a first-place vote on the men's side and Point Loma Nazarene collect 2 first-place votes for the women.  To see the complete poll results, go to GSAC Men's Basketball and GSAC Women's Basketball.

BETTER BY THE DOZEN
The GSAC teams completed a successful 2006-07
season.  The GSAC has now accumulated 2 dozen --
24 NAIA Championships since the conference began in the fall of 1986. Of the 13 sports sponsored by the GSAC, Azusa Pacific was the NAIA Women's Track & Field champion, while 8 other teams were runners-up in their respective national championships and another 7 teams ended their season in third place. (See chart below.) Jessica Richter of Vanguard was selected as the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Player of the Year and Amy Thomas of California Baptist was named the NAIA Softball Pitcher of the Year.  Mike Barnett of Azusa Pacific was chosen as the NAIA Women's Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year.  In the 13 GSAC sports, 145 athletes were named NAIA All-Americans.  On the academic side, 213 student-athletes were named GSAC Scholar Athletes, 186 were selected as NAIA Scholar Athletes, and 15 GSAC teams were NAIA Scholar Teams.  To see all the honors for GSAC teams and athletes, go to GSAC Year in Review 2006-07.

Also, in non-conference-sponsored sports, California Baptist swept the Men's & Women's Swimming & Diving Championships while the Azusa Pacific men's track and field team took the NAIA indoor title.  In swimming and diving, California Baptist's Jan Tichy was selected as the NAIA Men's Swimmer of the Year and Ben Whalman was named the NAIA Men's Diver of the Year.  Aron Rono and Coach Kevin Reid of Azusa Pacific, were chosen as NAIA Men's Indoor Track & Field Meet Performer and Coach of the Year, respectively.

Azusa Pacific won its third consecutive Sports Academy Directors' Cup for the NAIA, an award presented annually by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), United States Sports Academy and USA TODAY to the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country.  Concordia recorded its best Cup finish by placing third.  Three other GSAC teams finished in the top 25 -- California Baptist 15th, Point Loma Nazarene 17th, and Vanguard 24th.

TOP NAIA FINISHES BY GSAC TEAMS
Sport School NAIA Finish
Women's Track & Field Azusa Pacific CHAMPION
Men's Cross Country Concordia Runner-up
Men's Soccer Azusa Pacific Runner-up
Women's Soccer Azusa Pacific Runner-up
Volleyball Fresno Pacific Runner-up
Men's Basketball Concordia Runner-up
Softball Point Loma Nazarene Runner-up
Men's Tennis Azusa Pacific Runner-up
Women's Tennis Fresno Pacific Runner-up
Men's Cross Country Azusa Pacific Third
Women's Cross Country Concordia Third
Softball California Baptist Third
Men's Track & Field Azusa Pacific Third
Volleyball California Baptist Semifinalist
Volleyball Concordia Semifinalist
Women's Basketball Vanguard Semifinalist
Baseball Azusa Pacific Fifth