Spring sports looks forward to championships

Junior McCall DeChenne representing CWU in hurdles

Jacob Thompson

Junior McCall DeChenne representing CWU in hurdles

Isaac Hinson, Staff Reporter

For spring season student-athletes, this is the time where they finally get to put what they’ve been working on all year during practices on the field. Let’s look at how each program did. 


Being CWU’s lone NCAA Division I (DI) sports representative, the rugby program holds a lot of expectations going into each season. The last full season the men’s team played was the 2019-20 season, where they had an undefeated record of 8-0. 

In their first full season back, the men’s team went 7-5, going 3-2 at home and carried a 4-3 away record. The team began their season with a 4-0 record, including two shut-outs against Trinity Western University and the University of Washington, who they beat 24-0 and 88-0. 

From there, the schedule included match-ups against the number four  ranked University of California, the number one ranked Saint Mary’s University, the number three ranked Brigham Young University (BYU), the number 13 ranked United States Military Academy and the number 19 ranked University of Arizona (UA).

Of those teams, the Wildcats only won over Arizona, who they beat 60-13. In the midst of those match-ups, CWU did manage to beat the Seattle Rugby Club by a final score of 50-14. This was enough to qualify them for the DIA National Championships for the first time since the 2018-19 season. 

During the championships, the Wildcats beat California Polytecnic State University at home 62-17 before traveling to University of California where history repeated itself and the Wildcats lost 43-26. 

After going 4-2 in 2020-21, the women’s rugby team started their season in the fall going 0-2, losing to BYU 17-20 and to Lindenwood University 7-36. They turned things around in the spring, beating Seattle Rugby Club twice, first 29-5 and then 34-5. The team then lost to BYU 18-14.

Disregarding two canceled games, the women’s team went 2-3 in the regular season. They then went to the USA DI Elite Playoffs and found themselves losing to a shut-out against Life University losing 38-0, ending the possibility of making any sort of run in the playoffs. 

Both rugby teams will compete at the USA Rugby College 7’s National Championship in Kennesaw, Georgia. 

Baseball and Softball

Following going 16-14 in the shortened 2020-21 season, the teams first winning record since 2018, the CWU Baseball team came into this season with a moderate standard to live up to. 

The Wildcats split the opening series 2-2 with the College of Idaho and had a three game winning streak in the middle of the season against Western Oregon University and Northwest Nazarene University.

Overall, the team went 14-34 for a .292 winning percentage and went 8-23 in conference play for a .258 winning percentage. They went 7-13 at home and 7-21 away. 

In their first losing season since 2015, the softball team still received a spot at the GNAC National Championships as the fourth seed, going 20-26 overall this season, with a 10-14 record in conference play. 

After a 1-4 record at the Montana State University Billings Desert Stinger softball tournament to begin the season, the Wildcats quickly turned it around, winning or tying five of their next seven series. They then went into the Tournament of Champions and left with a 3-2 record. 

Finishing their last 12 games 4-8 earned their ticket to the GNAC National Championship. 

Track and Field

The outdoor competing season for track and field began at the beginning of March. 

In the first meet of the outdoor season, three Wildcats won their respective events. Senior Meagan Smallbeck won the weight throw, graduate student Austin Albertin took home first place in the 400m dash and junior Lauryn Chandler beat  her competition in the 60m hurdles. 

Smallbeck set a then-new personal record, throwing 17.33 meters. 

Three Wildcats set lifetime bests at the Willie Williams Classic event: Albertin in the men’s 400m dash with a time of 48.8 seconds, freshman Aiden Wise in the men’s 110 hurdles with a time of 15.23 seconds and junior McCall DeChenne set two, one in 400m hurdles and another in the women’s 400m dash which she ran in 1:01.60 and 56.97 seconds respectively. 

DeChenne’s 1:01.60 time in the 400m hurdles, while a lifetime best, was also good enough to qualify as a provisional time for nationals.