Students at Northwest Nazarene University continually comment on their well-rounded experience that allows them to excel academically without sacrificing their social and spiritual growth.
This is experience is also true for our NCAA DII athletes. These students often choose DII for this very reason. They love and excel at their sport, but don’t want to sacrifice their other interests as is often necessary at the DI level.
This fall four new freshman recruits joined the NNU Track & Field program AND another varsity team. They join three other veteran dual sport athletes on the Track & Field team. Playing two NCAA DII sports while juggling school and a social life is a huge challenge. But these impressive athletes love that they can have it all at NNU.
Laura is a 5-7 junior midfielder for the Crusader women’s soccer team from Spokane, Wash., who attended University High School and transfer from the Community Colleges of Spokane.
Laura scored 4 goals and had 3 assists, earning NWAACC North-East Region All-Star honors in soccer last year.
In track & field, she was fifth in the heptathlon, fifth in the 400-meter hurdles and seventh in the 400-meter dash at the NWAACC Track & Field Championships this spring.
“You definitely have to be strong,” said junior Laura Seymour, who plays both women’s soccer and competes in track & field. “It’s rough on your body and it works different muscles. Plus, you don't get to play all season for one sport, you almost lose half a year in one sport. But it’s definitely a blessing to get to play two sports.”
Taylor is a 6-foot-2 junior right-side hitter for the Crusader volleyball team from Hockinson High School in Brush Prairie, Wash.
Last season on the volleyball court, VanValey was No. 3 on NNU’s team with 144 kills in 24 matches. She also had 46 blocks and 29 digs for the Crusaders, and earned All-GNAC Academic honors.
In indoor track & field, Taylor earned All-GNAC and All-Region honors in both the shot put and weight throw, finishing third in both at the GNAC championships. She added a fifth-place finish at the GNAC Outdoor Championships in the shot put.
“I don't have many free weekends, but there’s really nothing else I’d rather be doing than be at a track meet or a volleyball game,” said VanValey, who plays volleyball and competes in track & field.
“It’s awesome,” she added of being a two-sport athlete. “I came here because I was recruited to play the sport I love, which is volleyball, and along the way I feel in love with another sport, so it’s a blessing.”
“I came here because I was recruited to play the sport I love, which is volleyball, and along the way I feel in love with another sport, so it’s a blessing.”
Ali is a 5-foot-8 sophomore outside hitter of the Crusader volleyball team from North Powder High School in North Powder, Ore.
As a freshman, Abrego played in six matches for NNU, picking up 8 kills and 2 digs for the Crusaders in volleyball.
In track & field, Abrego competed in the high jump, clearing 4-feet-7 this past spring in her first season of competition.
Kirk is a 6-foot midfielder for the Crusader men’s soccer team from Riverside Christian High School in Yakima, Wash.
Last fall, during his senior season on the pitch, Gartrell earned First-Team All-State honors.
In track & field, he was ranked No. 1 in the state of Washington in the 400 meters and No. 2 in the long jump.
Lexi is a 5-foot-11 guard for the Crusader women’s basketball team from Modesto Christian High School in Turlock, Calif.
The Trans Valley League MVP and District Player of the Year, Tubbs averaged 16.8 points per game as a senior last year and led her team to the Sac-Joaquin Section/NorCal/State Championship.
On the track, Tubbs was a top hurdler and sprinter, turning in top times of 14.73 seconds in the 100 hurdles and 12.64 seconds in the 100-meter dash this spring in high school.
Katrina is a 6-foot- post for the Crusader women’s basketball team from Kirkland, Wash., who transfers from New Mexico Highlands University where she played a season and a half of basketball and competed for two years in track & field.
A product of Juanita High School in Wash., her best season on the hardwood came as a freshman as she averaged 6.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, starting 20 games.
In track & field, she was fourth at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships in the javelin and 10th in the discus as a freshman.
Ellie is a 5-foot-9 guard for the Crusader women’s basketball team from Condon/Wheeler High School in Fossil, Ore.
The East Oregonian newspaper’s All-Area Player of the Year in basketball, Logan averaged 16.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.0 steals per game in leading her team to the 1A Oregon State Championship last season.
Logan then individually won four Oregon state track & field titles as a senior this spring, claiming a third straight javelin championship, along with her second crown in each of the 100-meter hurdles, triple jump and 200-meter dash, earning Female Athlete of the Championship honors.