As the 2017-18 winter sports season comes to a close, post-season accolades for the Marian University Knights are plentiful.
Varsity cycling, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s track and field, and wrestling all made a splash on the national scene, competing at the highest level in national tournaments throughout the country.
Head coach Dean Peterson’s BMX team made it six in a row by winning the USA Cycling Collegiate BMX National Championship in Monroe, LA. The title is the 40th championship in the program's history across the five disciplines in collegiate cycling.
- Senior Felicia Stancil dominated the field to take the women’s individual title, making this the third of her career. Sophomore Bailee Enlow finished fourth overall, and classmate Jamie Windholz came in fifth for the event.
- On the men’s side, freshman Justin Richmond finished in third, junior Alec Bobb came in fourth, senior Luke Roarty was fifth, and junior Shannon Taylor locked up sixth place for the Knights.
- Next up for our national champs: The cycling team looks ahead to May for the final event of the racing season and an opportunity to claim the Division 1 omnium in Grand Junction, CO.
The Knight women and head coach Katie Gearlds continue to set the standard for excellence in the Crossroads Conference and on the national stage.
- The three-time Coach of the Year guided her team to a 32-3 finish, with Marian picking up its third-straight regular season league title and second-consecutive league tournament title.
- In their fourth-straight NAIA National Tournament appearance, the two-time defending champs fell short in the Sweet Sixteen to Hastings.
Post-season honors for the Knights, however, were plentiful. Among them:
- Crossroads League Coach of the Year: Katie Gearlds
- Crossroads League Player of the Year: Joana Soeiro
- First Team: Kellie Kirkhoff
- Second Team: Dejah Cyrus
- All-Freshmen Team: Macy Willoughby
- NAIA Daktronics Scholar-Athletes: Katie Ernstberger and Karen Jones
- First Team: Joana Soeiro
- Third Team: Kellie Kirkhoff
- Honorable Mention: Dejah Cyrus
In his first year, head coach Scott Heady led the Knights to a 22-12 record and the program’s first appearance in the NAIA National Tournament since 2011-12.
- Marian created chaos in the first round, dethroning 2017 champs Union College in convincing fashion (79-59). In the Sweet Sixteen, Heady’s squad rolled past second-seeded and in-state rival Indiana Tech, putting the Knights in the Elite Eight for just the second time in school history.
- Although ousted in the quarterfinals by College of Idaho, Marian’s deep tournament run capped an outstanding season and provided a spark for the 2018-19 campaign.
Honors for the Knight men include:
- First Team: Wes Stowers
- Second Team: Reggie Kissoonlal
- Honorable Mention: Sterling Brown
- Defensive Player of the Year: Reggie Kissoonlal
- All-Freshmen Team: Sterling Brown
The Knight grapplers made their first postseason appearance in just their second year of existence.
- Headlining for the Knights and head coach Steven Bradley was sophomore Brett Johnson, who finished sixth in the nation in the 165 lb. weight class, becoming the first Marian wrestler to achieve All-American honors.
- Sophomore Trezdon O’Neal also repped the Knights in the 165 lb. category, and freshman Elijah Bailey made his debut on the national stage as a heavyweight.
The Knights had a strong showing in the American Midwest Conference, earning the following honors:
- All-AMC Team: Brett Johnson, Zach Worm
- Newcomer of the Year: Brett Johnson
- Freshman of the Year: Ethan Bunce
- Academic All-AMC Team: Brett Johnson, Adam Brinkman, Luke Dunn, and Logan Hurley
Indoor Track & Field
The indoor season came to an end in Pittsburgh, KS at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Nationals.
- Senior Presley Martin earned his third straight All-American distinction after finishing eight in the 800 meter run. Sophomore vaulter Garret Johnson finished in a tie for 12th place and the men’s distance relay team (Martin, Mychal Vinson, Pol Belinchon, and Conor Smith) placed tenth.
- The Marian tracksters earned 11 Crossroads League honors at the Crossroads League Indoor Championship, which recognizes the top three finishers in each event.
Honors for the men included:
- Crossroads League Champions: Presley Martin (1,000m) and Calvin Taylor (triple jump)
The women’s 3200 meter relay team turned in a 13th place finish at nationals, with the finish by the quartet of Kiersten Schrope, Olivia Koehl, Hannah Dawson, and Rachel Dever being the season’s best.
The women picked up 13 Crossroads League honors at the Crossroads League Indoor Championships.
Other honors for the women were:
- Crossroads League Champions: Oliva Koehl (600m) and Kylee Kasper (pentathlon)
As the Knights wrap the winter season and head into spring, be sure to check out baseball, cycling, men’s and women’s golf, women’s lacrosse, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s track and field at events throughout campus!
SPECIAL NOTE: As of press time, head coach Gary Hiday and his men’s and women’s bowling teams are headed to the NAIA National Championships in Highland, IN on March 23-24.