SPOKANE, Wash. - The Northwest Conference has recognized five Whitworth student-athletes from the sports of track and field, baseball, softball and men's tennis with student-athlete of the week accolades for the week of March 21-27.
Sophomore Andrew Bloom and senior Kerry Wright swept the field awards for track & field, with Bloom named the NWC Men's Field Student-Athlete of the Week and Wright named the NWC Women's Field Student-Athlete of the Week. Freshman pitcher Hugh Smith was named the NWC Baseball Pitcher Student-Athlete of the Week while junior outfielder Shannon Wessel earned NWC Softball Position Student-Athlete of the Week honors. Senior Drew Brigham was selected as the NWC Men's Tennis Student-Athlete of the Week.
Wright (Beaverton, Ore. / Sunset HS), the defending NCAA Division III javelin champion, produced a season-best throw of 151' 11" (46.30m) to place first among nine competitors at the Peyton Scoring Invitational on Saturday and help the Whitworth women to a third-place team finish. She placed first in the javelin for the third straight meet, and her mark is the second-best distance in Division III this season.
Bloom (Stanwood, Wash. / Stanwood HS) won the javelin at the Peyton Scoring Invitational with a nation-leading throw of 209' 8" (63.91m), finishing first out of 14 competitors and helping the Whitworth men to a second-place finish among 17 teams. His throw was a personal best and bettered his previous best by more than 10 feet.
Smith (Sammamish, Wash. / Skyline HS) tossed eight scoreless innings in Friday's opener against Lewis & Clark, allowing only five baserunners to reach via three hits and two walks en route to a 12-0 victory for Whitworth. He fanned a career-high seven batters and also set down 10 Pioneers in a row between the third and sixth innings. His two walks brought his season walk total to only five batters through 38 ⅓ innings pitched, and he lowered his season ERA to 1.17 while improving to 4-0.
In six games, including the team's final two contests in Florida, Wessel (Reno, Nev. / Galena HS) led Whitworth, which went 4-2, with a batting average of .615 (8-13), an on-base percentage of .737, and a slugging average of .923. She had two doubles and a triple among her eight hits and added four walks. She drove in five runs (including the game-winning RBI in Saturday's series finale against Pacific in the bottom of the seventh) and scored five times. She had two hits in each of the first three games against Pacific.
Brigham (Eagle, Idaho / Eagle HS) improved his season singles record to 8-4 by winning four of his six matches in Florida, all at No. 1, with his only losses to South Region power Birmingham-Southern. In singles, he defeated Hastings' Mark Guesswell 6-0, 6-3, and Hope's Michael Kiley 6-0, 7-5. In doubles, he teamed with Drew Adams to beat Hastings' Leland Dexter and Razvan Dobrin 8-6 and Hope's Kiley and Andrew Klein 8-4.
The Whitworth track and field team hosts the 11th Annual Sam Adams Classic in the Whitworth Pine Bowl on Saturday. Whitworth baseball travels to Linfield for a three-game series on Saturday and Sunday, while Whitworth softball is also on the road this weekend to face Puget Sound on Saturday and Sunday. Whitworth men's tennis travels to face George Fox and Lewis & Clark on Saturday and Sunday.