2006 spring sports highlights
Track and Field
Cook and company finish strong
In Wes Cook’s 19th and final season as head coach, five of six George Fox entries in the NCAA National Track and Field Championships in Lisle, Ill., earned All-America status.
Incoming head coach John Smith mentored each of the All-Americans as field events coach. Decathletes Seth Harris (Jr., Boise, Idaho), Josh Priester (Sr., Walla Walla, Wash.), and Ryan Forbes (Fr., Jackson, Wyo.) placed a respective fifth, seventh, and eighth. Meanwhile, Joel Krebs (So., Salem, Ore.) took third in the javelin (207 feet, 6 inches) and Lindsey Blankenship (Jr., Washtucna, Wash.) eighth in the women’s hammer (164-3). During the season, Zeb Udell (Fr., Dallas, Ore.) set a Bruin record in the pole vault (16-0), as did Blankenship in the hammer (172-4). Both won Northwest Conference titles in their events. Other NWC champs were Harris (decathlon and long jump) and the 4x400 men’s relay. Harris was named Co-Athlete of the Meet at the NWC Championships.
Center fielder Cassie Halvorson (Sr., Hillsboro, Ore.) earned Second Team All-Northwest Conference honors and was a First Team Academic All-District pick.
No. 1 men’s player Tyson Hunter (Jr., Jacksonville, Ore.) went 9-5 to earn All-Northwest Conference honors for the second straight year. For the women, Laura Rogers (Sr., La Habra, Calif.) led the way by going 8-9.
Another conference crown
Making their fifth appearance in the NCAA national tournament in seven seasons, the Bruins finished third in the West Regional in Orange, Calif., and ended the year 29-15.
George Fox reached the playoffs by winning a fifth straight Northwest Conference title (18-6) under coach Pat Bailey. The Bruins also led the nation in fielding (.970) for the third time in four years and ranked sixth nationally in batting average (.356).
Individually, Derrick Jones (Sr., Forest Grove, Ore.) earned NWC Player of the Year honors and was a First-Team pitcher and designated hitter. Joining him on the First Team were second baseman C.R. Braniff (Sr., Hillsboro, Ore.), shortstop Bo Thunell (Fr., Canyon City, Ore.), right fielder Dan Wentzell (Jr., Tualatin, Ore.), and relief pitcher Chris Albrecht (Jr., Woodinville, Ore.). Bailey was NWC Coach of the Year for the fifth straight year.
Thunell made the All-West Regional First Team; Jones, Braniff, and Wentzell the Second Team; and Bryan Donohue the Third Team. Wentzell and Brandon Rupp were First Team Academic All-District selections. Thunell was named a Third Team All-American.