Written by JOE FISHER, Sports Information Director
AUSTIN, Texas – The 2017 spring season for Concordia Athletics concluded with track and field, tennis, baseball, softball and golf all qualifying and competing for an American Southwest Conference championship and two of the teams making NCAA postseason appearances.
The Men’s Golf team finished the season winning four team tournaments and had six top-three finishes overall. Seger Howell won two tournaments individually, while Ryan McGinley won the John Bohmann Memorial Tournament in the fall. The Tornados placed third at the ASC Tournament with Logan Young and Howell being named to the ASC First-Team and Second-Team respectively. Concordia Texas would go on to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., where they finished in 19th, missing the tournament cut by one stroke. Howell earned his second consecutive All-America honor when he was named to the PING All-American Honorable Mention Team by the Golf Coaches of Association of America.
On the baseball diamond, the Tornados made their first NCAA Regional appearance since the 2012 season when they earned an at-large bid to the NCAA West Regional in Tyler, Texas. Concordia Texas finished the regular season with a 26-14 (16-8 ASC) record and locked down the fourth seed in the ASC Tournament, their seventh straight tournament appearance. After falling to UT Tyler in the ASC Blue Bracket championship game, the Tornados received nine ASC All-Conference awards, including ASC Second-Team honorees Matthew Brown and Caleb Maddox. In the NCAA West Regional, after losing the first game of the tournament, Concordia Texas would reel off three straight wins, including eliminating third-ranked UT Tyler, on the way to the regional championship game. In the championship game, the Tornados came up short to Cal Lutheran, ending the season with a 31-18 record and NCAA West Regional runner-up, the furthest the program has advanced since their 2002 College World Series appearance.
The Concordia Softball team advanced to the ASC Tournament for the first time since the 2014 season, earning the sixth seed after a 19-21 (ASC 12-18) regular season record, including a win over sixth-ranked East Texas Baptist. The Tornados closed out their regular season winning five of their final six games including a home sweep of University of the Ozarks to clinch the final seed of the ASC Tournament. Concordia Texas would fall to UT Dallas and Louisiana College in the tournament ending their season with their most wins since 2013. Brittani Whitten and Shelby Burrus were named to the ASC Third-Team while Angelica Arroyo earned ASC Honorable Mention.
The Concordia Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams both qualified for their respective ASC Tournament, as it was the second consecutive appearance for the men’s team and the women’s first appearance in school history. The women finished as the three-seed in the ASC West Division after a 6-11 (3-3 ASC) regular season record. They would face the ASC East Division’s second seed in East Texas Baptist, falling to the Tigers 5-0. On the men’s side, the Tornados qualified as the four seed in the ASC West Division, finishing the regular season with a 4-12 (2-4 ASC) record. The men would fall to the eventual ASC champion in UT Tyler 5-0. Adrian Montes and Hayley Anderson were both named to the ASC Second-Team, as Montes earned the accolade at line five singles, while Anderson earned the honor at line six singles.
The Women’s Golf team finished the season with four top-five finishes on the season and reached a top-50 ranking for the first time in program history. The Tornados closed out the season with a fourth-place finish at the ASC Championships, highlighted by Holly Mendez’s 162 two-round score, earning her 11th place for the tournament. Shelby Allen finished second on the team with a 166 score, which was good enough for 15th.
The Concordia Men’s and Women’s Track and Field team closed out their seasons with both teams finishing sixth at the ASC Track and Field Championships. The women’s team finished with 46 points, highlighted by Kendall Sheppard’s fifth place finish in the 100m hurdles, Alexis Amaro’s fourth place finish in the high jump, and the 4x400m relay team of Amaro, Regan Lain, Regan Trent and Taylor Williams taking fifth. On the men’s side, the Tornados finished with 58 points. Raul Villalpando took second in both the 110m and 400m hurdles races, earning him ASC All-Conference honors. Connor Trevino finished in fifth in the 100m dash, while Gabriel Spivey took second in the long jump event. Spivey set a school record in the long jump earlier in the season at the UIW Invitational when he took first in the event with a jump of 7.31m. The mark placed him 16th in the country and a trip to the NCAA Championships in Alliance, Ohio. At the NCAA Championships meet, Spivey would finish in 15th, the first Concordia Texas athlete to compete at the meet since 2011.
Off the field, 46 Tornados were named to the ASC Academic All-Conference for achieving at least a 3.0 GPA in the classroom during the spring semester.