The Cougar Athletic department is proud to announce that a total of eight teams have been named National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Scholar Teams for the 2013-14 school year.
Men’s Golf, Women’s Golf, Softball, Volleyball, Women’s Cross Country, Women’s Indoor Track and Field, Women’s Outdoor Track and Field, and Women’s soccer were all selected to represent Columbia College. For a team to be considered for the NAIA Scholar-Team award, it must have a minimum 3.0 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) as defined by the institution. The team grade-point average includes all eligible varsity student-athletes.
Men’s Golf had a team GPA of 3.38 and ended their second season placing fourth at the American Midwest Conference (AMC) Championships. The Cougars shot 939 (+75) over the course of three rounds for the fourth place finish.
Women’s Golf was honored with having the highest GPA at Columbia College as a team with a 3.67 GPA. They ended their season with a second place finish at the American Midwest Conference (AMC) championship. As a team the Cougars shot 676 (+100) in the second place finish. Hannah Gill was named an NAIA Scholar-Athlete.
Women’s Softball ended the year with a GPA of 3.47, the second highest of all the teams at Columbia College. The Cougars advanced to the National Championship opening rounds after receiving an automatic bid. The Cougars hosted the four team tournament and was given the number 3 seed. Their season came to an end in the opening round of the 2014 NAIA Softball National Championship. The Cougars fell to the No. 2 seed Central Methodist in the final game. Columbia finished the 2014 season with a record of 31-18. Four Cougar softball players received Scholar-Athlete honors. Seniors Whitni Howell and Taylor Richter and juniors Maria Imhoff and Brittiany Tjarks were named Scholar-Athletes.
The Women’s Volleyball team finished the year with a GPA of 3.35. The Cougars had another year of success. They were AMC Champions, advancing to the NAIA Volleyball National Championship where they received an opening round bye. The qualification marked their 20th overall appearance at the national championships. The Cougars were defeated by fourth-ranked Madonna (Mich.) University in the final game giving them a final record of 30-11. The team finished the season ranked 12th in the NAIA Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll and boasted four Scholar-Athletes in Erin Pavlin, Jordan Reid, Sarah Schwentker and Brooke Simpson.
Women’s Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Distance Track had a GPA as a team of 3.33. The women’s cross country team finished second at the AMC Championship that consisted of eight teams and 55 runners. A total of six Columbia runners competed at the NAIA Cross Country National Championships including Lindsey Martin who was the top finisher in 30th place. Martin was also the lone runner named NAIA Scholar Athlete. The women’s indoor distance track team competed at the AMC Championship, and was made up of five women. Columbia’s 4x800 meter relay team took first overall and also qualified for the national meet as well as two individual runners, one of which was Martin who again earned All-American status. The women’s outdoor distance track team finished fifth overall at the American Midwest Conference (AMC) Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Martin went on to represent the Cougars at the Women’s Outdoor Track & Field National Championship where she finished sixth overall earning her a third All-American nod for the 13-14 year.
The Women’s Soccer team ended up with a 3.29 GPA. The Cougars, in just their second season as a program, received their first American Midwest Conference (AMC) Tournament championship with a 2-0 victory over Park University. The win gave the team an automatic bid to the opening round of the NAIA National Tournament. The squad fell to Vanguard (Calif.) University 4-3 in a devastating manner that resulted from penalty kicks. The Cougars ended the season with a 16-2-2 record and recorded their first NAIA Scholar-Athletes in Meg Goddard and Stephanie Hale.