Portland State year in sports

A year in sports has ended and now it is time for Portland Stateteams to review and reassess their varsity squads for the up coming2005 season. Here is a look back: a PSU year in review.

In the first non-winning season since 1998, the Portland StateFootball team finished their 2003 season with a disappointing 1-6Big Sky Conference mark and only four wins out of seven seasongames. The loss of 28 seniors after 2002 greatly affected theVikings, leaving them only nine returning starters.

The Vikings only managed 313.6 yards per game – the lowest numberof yards-per-game since the 1997 season. In the beginning of theseason the Vikings were strong defensively, forcing a number ofturnovers. The Vikings never established consistency offensively,partly due to the number of injuries to the offensive line. By theend of the season, only two regular starters were in the lineup andonly five healthy linemen were available for the final game.
The best thing to come from the 2003 season was PSU’s linebacker,Joey King, who was named first team All-Big Sky Conference forleading the Vikings with 93 tackles in 10 games. King was alsonominated to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 First Team forsimultaneous achievement in the classroom and football field. Inaddition to these excellent marks, King was selected as one of 31players across America to the NCAA 1-AA Athletic DirectorsAssociation Academic All-American team.

Despite their skilled line-up, the Vikings had a disappointing markof three wins and 11 losses in Big Sky matches. The PSU volleyballteam ended their 2003 season with 14 wins and 14 lossesoverall.

The Vikings leaders on the court were senior Richell Wilson andjunior Stephanie Lavigne. Wilson ranked second in the Big SkyLeague with a total of 452 kills this season. She recorded 12double doubles this season along with 20 plus kill matches. Wilsonwas named Offensive Player of the Year. Lavigne led her team byranking second in Big Sky for assists, averaging 11.32 per game andtotaling 1,580 assists to rank her fifth in PSU’s career recordbooks.
Lavigne was also honored as the Coaches Player of the Year. BothLaivgne and senior Jessica Brock were awarded the Captains Award.Junior Kristin Ratzlaff and freshman Sarah Leenders were namedDefensive Player of the Year.

Track and Field
Both the men and women had a phenomenal season. Each year theVikings improve their Big Sky and NCAA qualifying marks and PSUAll-Best times/records, as well as personal best times/records.Both teams competed in meets and invitational with varying levelsof skill, talent and athletic abilities. Members from both teamsqualified to compete in the Big Sky Championship meet with severalathletes from each team also qualifying for the NCAA WesternRegional.
For the women, Ena Shemi showed her superstar-athlete capabilitiesall season long. Her performance as an athlete was exceptional atthe Big Sky Championship when she took the Women’s 100m dash titleand finished second in the 200m dash. Senior Lisa Gunderson earnedher fourth Big Sky Outdoor all-Conference nod for the second placefinish in the high jump. Gunderson qualified for the NCAA Regional,but failed to meet the height requirement at that competition.Freshman Andrea Clarke competed in the women’s javelin throw at theNCAA Regional, placing 21st among 30.
For the men, Freshman Jordan Senn placed 10th among 17 competitorsin the javelin throw at the NCAA Regional. Senn had a season bestthrow of 222’11”. Senior Keith Gill was the only Viking from themen’s team to be named on any All-Conference team this year. SeniorEvan Garich was the male Viking winner of the Big Sky ConferenceScholar Athlete Award this year.

The Vikings women’s soccer team finished the 2003 season with a7-10-1 overall record. Despite returning 11 starters, PSU placedfifth in the Big Sky Conference with a mark of 2-3-1. The Vikingsrecorded three shutouts, a team goal average of 0.91 and allowedonly six goals in Big Sky matches – second least since joining theconference in 1997.
Head coach Tara Erickson frequently had to change her lineup toaccommodate multiple injuries incurred by her players this season.The most disappointing injury, to PSU’s best athlete, was forwardJordan Bishop’s knee surgery. Bishop, as well as most of thisseason’s team, will return next fall.
Coach Erickson summed up the season, saying, “Sometimes I have toremind myself how young the team is.” She added, “That’s a brightspot because this season will serve as a learning experience. Wehad some tough losses, but we also had some really positivewins.

Head Coach Felicia Johnston should be proud of her coaching and herplayers’ skills on the course. The Vikings competed to defend their2002-03 Big Sky conference Champion title – and they succeeded! TheVikings captured their second Big Sky Conference title this 2003-04season.
Portland State had seasoned talent on its side with returning teammembers like senior Rebecca Randolph and juniors Sara Tiller andJeana Lee. Newcomers, freshman Lisa Kajihara and sophomore DanielleReilly, truly put forth star-quality effort. Kajihara earnedAll-Big Sky honors this season as a freshman. Randolph was honoredas one of Portland State’s Big Sky Conference Scholar Athlete Awardwinners.
Coach Johnston was named Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year forthe second season.

The 2003-04 wrestling season was outstanding. Opponents trembledwith fear when they came up against wrestlers senior Zac Enoch andjunior Eddie Dahlen. Dahlen, who competes in both the 133 and141-pound weight brackets, leads the Vikings with the most overallwins (16), dual wins (8), Pac-10 wins (4) and the most pins (4). Ataward time, Dahlen was given both the Fall and Outstanding WrestlerAward.
Enoch, who competes in the 125-pound weight bracket, earned theScholar award this season and is a two-time All-Academic Pac-10selection. Enoch’s greatest achievement over the course of the2003-04 season was qualifying for and competing at the U.S OlympicTeam Trials in May 2004. Head Coach Marlin Grahn had this to sayabout his star senior: “Zac has been an integral part of thewrestling program all of his four years. He will be missed.”

Thanks to veteran wrestlers Zac Enoch and Eddie Dahlen, theViking wrestling squad had an outstanding season and are hard atwork improving for the 2004-2005 winter season.

Cross Country

Men’s team
Junior Chris Hollis and sophomore Michael Davenport started the2003 season strong on September 12 at the Pier Park Invitational inPortland, Oregon. Both Vikings competed in the distance race of6400 meters. Hollis placed 14th with a time of 20:41, followed byDavenport with a 16th-place time of 20:49. The Vikings placedfourth out of five teams that meet.
As the season progressed so did the skill and improvement. Twofreshmen, Brandon Lopez and Tim Bradley, showed they could competewith the “big boys.” After the Sundodger Invitational, AssistantCoach Mike Hickey said, “we had two freshman that came out and ranaggressively through the four miles.”
Head Coach Kebba Tolbert said, “The men could have run better, butwe have a young group of guys who are still learning.”
With that in mind, next year looks more promising.

Women’s team
The Viking women’s cross-country team started their 2003 season ontop. Sophomore Mallory Moye led the Vikings most of the season,finishing the Big Sky Championship in 18th place out of 52 runners.Earlier in the season Moye ran an 18:22 race, finishing 32nd out of76 runners.
Assistant Coach Mike Hickey said, “Mallory had a great race, shefinished with a faster time than Jenny Rodgers (now AssistantCoach).”
Senior Andrea Schwartz made her greatest contributions at theWillamette Invitational on October 4, 2003. “Schwartz came out andran a tough race for us as our number one runner through theone-mile mark and finished with at time of 18:29,” said CoachHickey.

“We started out strong but we were never able to maintain enoughconsistency,” said head coach Teri Mariani. “We let too manyimportant games slip away that came back to haunt us.”
The PSU softball team had a rollercoaster 2004 season. Beginning atthe UNLV Softball Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Vikingssuffered a 5-0 loss against defending NCAA champions UCLA. Shortlyafter, at the Troy Cox Classic, the Vikings went 4-1 and scored 40runs over five games. Senior Annie Peccia, juniors Rose Rutledgeand Whitney Olsen, and sophomore Maggie DeWall were named to theAll-tournament team as a result of the Viking’s success at the TroyCox Classic.
The Vikings also defeated Colorado State at the tourney, where headcoach Mariani earned her 631st career win putting her in a categoryall her own – the winningest coach in any PSU sport! Despite thisvictory for Coach Mariani and the win at the Troy Cox Classic, theVikings continued on their win-loss roller coaster over the courseof the season.


Women’s Team
Portland State ended their 2003-04 season in seventh place in BigSky (3-11), just missing the 2004 women’s Big Sky ConferenceChampionship. The Vikings had six wins over the entire season and22 losses overall. Freshman Ashley Brown was the shining light in adismal season. Brown only averages 4.5 points-per-game, but sheplayed tough, accumulating 32 steals.
Portland State returned this season with two starters from the 2002lineup. Seniors Jane Gowans, Sarah Hedgepeth and Carrie Mitchellplayed their last game in Portland State uniform this season.Former head coach George Wolfe said, “Sarah’s accomplishments areimpressive. I think she definitely has the ability to continueplaying basketball at the next level if she wants to go in thatdirection.”
On April 8, 2004, Charity Elliott was announced as the new headcoach for the women’s basketball team at PSU.

Men’s Team
Viking men’s basketball was impressively improved this season. Withplayers like juniors Seamus Boxley, Blake Walker and Antone Jarrelland freshman Marshall Hartman on the starting lineup, PSUbasketball was again fun to watch. As Head Coach, Heath Schroyer’ssecond season with the Vikings ended much improved, compared to the2002-03 season and PSU fans can expect good things to come in theseason ahead.
The Vikings completed their season at 11-16 and 5-9 in Big SkyConference. Although it was a six game improvement over last year’swin total (5-22), the Vikings closed their 2003-04 season justmissing a spot to play in the 2004 Men’s Big Sky Conferencetournament.