Seattle U Athletes Reflect as Winter Seasons Close

It’s near the end of the season for winter sports at Seattle University. Coming off an unconventional year, there was renewed emphasis on competing well this season. All sports teams experienced deepened camaraderie and friendship while braving significant challenges. 

Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field

The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams returned to action, seeing numerous school records and personal bests (PRs) after a year-long absence due to COVID-19. The season opener at the University of Washington (UW) Indoor Preview started strong for the Redhawks, with winning debuts from Freshman Matthew Holme in the men’s 800-meter heat and Redshirt junior Rowan Cuadrado in the women’s 3000-meter race. 

Mid-season saw Senior Tricht Jocelyn lead the Redhawks with new school records in the 60-meters and 200-meters. She went on to break her own records at the WAC Championships. Junior Environmental Studies student Lucas Milne also broke school records this season in the pentathlon and 60-meter hurdles.

Both teams traveled to New Mexico for the WAC Championships, where the men’s team finished in ninth place, and the women’s team finished in 11th place. Men’s Redshirt Sophomore Finance major Alex Franklin earned a new PR in the 800 prelims, earning second all-time marks and finishing fifth in the finals, securing a Second Team All-WAC honors spot. 

Competing in his final season as an undergrad, Franklin praised his teammates who are on the comeback trail after being sidelined with injuries.

“I’m proud of the injured guys for trying so hard to come back,” Franklin said. “I really applaud them because I know that’s hard to do. I think our team has come a lot closer since COVID-19—we’ve kind of formed this brotherhood.”

It was a “frustrating season” for Senior Chloe Deleissegues, a sports and exercise major, who had her season derailed with an injury in December, causing her to be unable to compete in the indoor Pentathlon—an event she had trained for over the last two years. She was still able to compete in relay races with her team, for which she is grateful. 

“It was a fun season in a lot of ways for me because track is an individual sport, but a relay is a race where you really feel like you’re one cohesive team,” Deleissegues said. “It was also disappointing for me as I will be graduating in the spring without having done the indoor pentathlon.”

The men and women are now turning sights towards the outdoor track and field season, with thoughts of comebacks on their minds. 

Men’s and Women’s Swimming 

In men’s and women’s swimming, every meet seemed to build upon previous success. The men’s and women’s teams opened their winter season with strong finishes against Whitworth University and Southwestern Oregon Community College. 

The men’s team placed first against Whitwoth, led by Junior Will Corona’s 200-meter freestyle, which broke the 36-year-old pool record and Junior Emmett Moore, whose 100-meter fly broke the ten-year old pool record. Freshman Sammy Mosier led the women’s team in their second place finish, breaking a 20-year-old pool record in the 50-meters free. 

The regular season ended with top-place finishes from the men and the women against Southwestern Oregon Community College. The result marked a second place or better finish in 28 of their 29 total events. The Senior Day meet saw the women win 13 of their 14 events, and the men ten of 15. 

Multiple individual titles were won by Freshman Cole Lanting (men’s 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle), Freshman Kalie Bui (women’s 200r and 100 breaststroke), Graduate Student Allison Plamondon (women’s 50 and 100 freestyle) and Mosier (women’s 100 fly and 100-meter individual medley). Lanting, Plamondon and Moiser joined Freshman Lydia Genson in securing both individual and team titles. 

The Seattle U swim team amassed 40 new entries to the all-time top-ten times list at the WAC Championships in Houston, Texas. The 1650 freestyle saw Sophomore Michael Luna and Junior Michaela Day each put up the second-fastest times in Seattle U history, while Freshman Nicholas Imig, Lanting and Mosier moved up in the 100 freestyle all-time list. 

One of the stars on the women’s team, Mosier, a first-year economics major, describes this season as the first “normal” one since COVID-19 emerged. She’s most proud of the freshman class, which is excited to carry on the team’s legacy.

“This season, I learned a lot about the importance of living in the moment and enjoying the team aspect,” Mosier wrote. “The team chemistry that Seattle U Swim has is unlike anything I’ve ever seen or been a part of and getting to experience it first hand really gave me a new perspective of what a team is.”

Freshman Jeff Plum, a psychology and philosophy major, agrees with Mosier about the impact of the team environment, stating that it’s been a learning experience navigating the new dynamics and rigors of being a collegiate athlete.

“This year, we’ve had a lot of fast freshmen who really pushed the older times to step up because they don’t want to be beat by [other] freshmen,” Plum said. “That created an environment that was really good for training and racing—just pushing ourselves further than we have before.”

The men and women conclude their season with the National Invitational Championships on March 9. The Women’s NCAA Championships will take place March 16, while the Men’s will occur March 23.

Men’s and Women’s Basketball 

It’s been the tale of two stories—that is, different teams—for basketball this season. After splitting with their coach at the start of the campaign, the men’s team has played one of their best seasons in recent memory, amassing a 22-8 record as they enter their final events of the year. For the women, the road has been more difficult, leading to a 10-18 record so far. 

The men started strong, winning seven of their first eight games and had a run of nine straight wins. Their team’s stats are better than their opponents in just about every category. At the forefront of this success are Sophomore Darrion Trammell, Redshirt Sophomore Cameron Tyson and Junior Riley Grigsby. Trammel scored the most total points this season (478), followed by Tyson (423) and Grigsby (369). 

Junior point guard Jaren Nafarrete, a business management student, is proud of the team’s success this year. He recalls that the first game after the coaching change was a turning point for the team, which he described as a time of unity to the point where the team has solidified a sense of familial brotherhood.

“I felt and saw some kind of change in everybody’s morale [in the reaction],” Nafarrete said. “It was like no matter what, this is pretty much all we got now. It was that sense of pride and unity …that really stood out to me and carried on to the first game when we won on a big three by [Tyson] and we just kept building.”

The women’s team started strong with a win against Northwest, but struggled to find consistent momentum. Regardless of results, the season has still had some impressive showings, particularly from Senior Bree Calhoun, who leads her team with 355 points and a 13.1 points average. 

Guard Peyton Howard, a sophomore pre-business major, feels sad that the season is ending, especially since the team is dominated by graduating seniors. She asserts that the upcoming WAC tournament is still a chance to make a move, despite it not having been an ideal season thus far. 

“We’re lower on the totem pole in the standings and we should be a little bit higher, so I think we have a lot to prove when we get to the tournament and a fair playing field when we get there,” Howard said. 

The men and women each have two more events in their seasons. They both play Chico State March 5. The men’s WAC Championship is unscheduled as of now, while the women’s WAC Championship Tournament is expected to begin March 9.

The Redhawks have broken records, shattered PRs and proven resilient in overcoming struggles faced throughout the winter sports season. Seattle U students can now look forward to the spring sports season after an exciting previous quarter for athletics.