CBU Lancers’ Best 20 Moments of 2016
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – California Baptist University Athletics had a lot of great moments in 2016. Here are the top-20 moments for the Lancers this past year:
California Baptist University was one of 26 Division II member schools honored as part of the Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence program for achieving four-year Academic Success Rates of 90 percent or higher. The award was announced on November 16, 2016.
4. Christie Halverson Wins NCAA Championship
Swimmer Christie Halverson set the tone for CBU at the NCAA Division II Championship Meet by winning the first championship race of the event, the 1000-yard freestyle, in nine minutes, 51.96 seconds on March 9, 2016. It was the first time a Lancer had ever swam the event under 10 minutes, as Halverson bested the program’s previous record she held herself earlier this year (10:02.17) by more than 10 seconds.
CBU wrestler Joseph Fagiano became the program’s first-ever NCAA Division II champion on March 12, 2016. With the score tied 0-0 going into the second period, Fagiano chose the bottom position. He quickly grabbed an escape to take a 1-0 lead. The heavyweight’s opponent, Malcolm Allen of Minnesota State-Mankato, responded with a takedown to hold a 2-1 edge over the Lancer. Fagiano broke free to tie it back up at 2-2, before grabbing a two-point takedown. He secured the title with a 6-3 victory.
6. Nolan Kistler Wins the Elite 90 Award
On March 11, 2016, CBU grappler Nolan Kistler won the prestigious Elite 90 Award. The Elite 90 was designed to honor the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national-championship level in his sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 90 award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the final site for each of the NCAA’s championships.
CBU cheer made history in 2015 by becoming the first All-Girls Division II cheerleading team to win its third-straight National Cheerleaders Association Championship title. On April 8, 2016, the Lancers got the job done once again to grab their fourth consecutive crown, becoming the first Division II program (coed or all-girl) to do so.
For the third time in as many years, CBU baseball qualified for the NCAA postseason tournament after winning the PacWest Championship, but for the first time for any athletic program in school history, the Lancers were announced on May 15, 2016, as the host of the NCAA Division II West Regional. Six teams competed in the double-elimination tournament at Totman Stadium, with the Lancers making it to the West Regional finale.
After tying for first in the regular PacWest season standings, CBU men’s basketball set the record straight by claiming its first PacWest Tournament Championship on March 5, 2016. The Lancers came out fired up and exploded from three-point range to grab a double-digit lead and never look back, beating rival Azusa Pacific 101-64 to grab the crown.
Both Lancer men’s and women’s swim and dive teams swept the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference team championships on February 13, 2016, with the men’s title coming down to the last race of the meet. CBU’s men won with a total of 916 points, beating out host Colorado Mesa by just one point. The Lancer women won their third-straight RMAC championship by more than 40 points.
For the first time in program history, CBU’s wrestling team claimed the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship on January 31, 2016. The Lancers won the tournament with a team score of 133.5 points and saw nine of their 10 wrestlers competing for a top-three spot in their individual weight-classes. Five Lancers wrestled for third place and four wrestled for their individual titles, with Nolan Kistler, Joseph Fagiano and Jacob Waste each claiming individual crowns. The Lancers would go on to take sixth as a team at the NCAA Division II Championship.
With a win on February 27, 2016, the CBU women’s basketball team was guaranteed at least a share of its second PacWest regular-season championship. The Lancers came out determined to win the crown and beat Holy Names 69-42, also tying the program’s longest unbeaten streak with their 20th-straight victory. CBU would go on to break that record with another win in the PacWest Conference Tournament.
When the Collegiate Water Polo Association released its rankings September 21, 2016, it painted 16th-ranked California Baptist University as a heavy underdog against No. 8 UC Irvine. Later that night, the Lancers shook up the NCAA polls by going on the road to upset the Anteaters in Irvine, 9-8. It stands as the highest-ranked Division I team the program has ever defeated. The Lancers finished this year with a program-best 22 wins.
CBU’s cross country teams showed their dominance for the third year in a row on October 22, 2016, sweeping both the PacWest Championships. The Lancer men have yet to lose a conference championship and claimed their sixth-consecutive crown with a program-best 28 team points. Eight of CBU’s 10 runners earned themselves all-conference honors with top-21 performances. All 10 Lancers finished in the top-28 of the race. On the women’s side, CBU picked up its third title in a row, fourth overall, and saw its first individual champion. The Lancer women also finished with an all-time low 23 team points, led by Anett Somogyi – the first PacWest true freshman to win the race – and saw nine of 10 Lancers earn all-conference honors. All 10 runners finished in the top-23 of the field of over 100 PacWest competitors.
The Lancer men’s golf team rallied and jumped from ninth to fourth in the final round of the NCAA Division II West/South Central Regional to punch its ticket to nationals with a top-five finish on May 4, 2016. CBU shot a two-under-par 282 on the day, which stands as the fourth-lowest round in program history, for an 869 over three rounds (297-290-282). The Lancers finished on an epic run to advance to match play at the NCAA Division II Championship, finishing sixth overall.
For the second year in a row, CBU’s women’s golf team won the PacWest Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division II Regional playoffs. The Lancers had an encore, as freshman Erica Wang won the individual championship on a playoff hole. The Lancers dominated the eight-team conference to secure first place by 40 strokes at the Wigwam Golf Course. CBU turned in a 302 on April 20, 2016, to finish up with a team score of 910 (309-299-302).
Playing its first game in a Major League Baseball stadium, CBU baseball drew the largest crowd ever to witness a live Lancer sporting event in the history of the school on April 20, 2016, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. A record crowd of 7,583 was treated to a PacWest thriller between sixth-ranked CBU and Point Loma, as the Lancers grabbed the 5-2 victory.
CBU women’s volleyball secured its first-ever NCAA postseason berth by capturing the PacWest’s lone automatic qualifier spot. The news came after CBU defeated BYU-Hawaii in four sets on November 13, 2016. The Lancers were the only PacWest team to compete in the NCAA Division II West Regional, hosted by Alaska Anchorage.
19. Hannah Evans Breaks All-Time Scoring Record
In the beginning of the 2016 season, two-meter senior Hannah Evans was just 29 goals away from becoming CBU women’s water polo record goal scorer. She broke the record – previously set by Holly Curran with 286 – on February 6, 2016 by scoring her 29th goal to help lift the Lancers Pomona-Pitzer 13-4. Evans went on to finish her Lancer career with 372 goals.
20. Joseph Moorman Breaks All-Time Saves Record
In a 16-5 win over Wagner on September 9, 2016, CBU men’s water polo goalie Joseph Moorman set a new all-time save record by tallying his 1,133rd block. The Riverside native graduates as indisputably the top player at his position in Lancer history. His 1,914 career saves and 89 games with 10 or more saves are both well ahead of runner-up Austen Ramer in those marks of 1,129 and 41, respectively, for CBU.