Seawolf athletics set to lose many talented student-athletes as 2019-2020 graduates

With the fall semester of the 2019-2020 school year coming to a close, many UAA student-athletes are finding themselves in the final competition season of their collegiate careers. After years of hard work and dedication, student-athletes often put all they have into their senior season.

VOLLEYBALL

After four years of playing volleyball for the Seawolves, senior Vanessa Hayes is set to graduate during the 2019-2020 academic year. Photo courtesy of Skip Hickey.

Vanessa Hayes played for the Seawolves as a top contributor for four years. Hayes played in nearly every set of every match since her freshman year, first starting as a middle blocker and then transitioning into outside hitter during her junior year. She made GNAC All-Academic Team with the overall best GPA for the Seawolves during both her sophomore and junior years. Hayes will be graduating with a degree in psychology. 

HOCKEY

Nolan Nicholas, defenseman, played for the Seawolves for all four years of his college career. He earned a team-high 57 blocks during his freshman year and was named Dean Larson Rookie of the Year. Nicholas then served as an assistant captain during both his sophomore and junior seasons, earning WCHA All-Academic Team and WCHA Scholar-Athlete honors during both years. He also earned GNAC FAR Scholar-Athlete Award in his sophomore season. He has made 32 blocks so far this season. Nicholas will graduate with a degree in criminal justice.

Tomi Hiekkavirta, defenseman, played for the Seawolves for all four years as well. He played in 10 games during his freshman season, 22 during his sophomore season and 28 games during his junior season. In both his sophomore and junior seasons, he was named to WCHA Academic team and also earned the WCHA Scholar-Athlete honors during his junior year. Hiekkavirta has scored nine points so far during his senior year.

Corey Renwick also played as a forward for the Seawolves for all four years. He played in 20 games during his freshman year, 29 during sophomore year and was one of two players to play in all 34 games during his junior year. He was named to WCHA Academic Team during his sophomore and junior seasons and also given WCHA Scholar-Athlete Honors during his junior year. Renwick will be graduating with a degree in business management.

- Advertisement -

Carmine Buono, defenseman, transferred to the Seawolves for the 2018-19 season after competing for the Powell River Kings, B.C, Canada. During his early seasons, he earned 26 points in 48 games total. Last year, Buono played 29 games for the Seawolves and tied as the third-highest scorer, with a total of nine points. He will be graduating with a degree in business.

Luc Brown, forward, transferred to UAA for his senior season, having previously played for Union College in New York, appearing in 66 games, scoring nine goals and 14 assists to earn 23 points. He will be graduating with a degree in economics.

David Trinkerberger played for the Seawolves for all four years. He started his freshman year off by playing in 33 of the 34 total games, earning a team-high of 36 blocks as the highest in freshman history. He was awarded WCHA All-Academic and WCHA Scholar-Athlete Awards for both his sophomore and junior years, also earning GNAC FAR Scholar-Athlete in his sophomore year. Trinkerberger will be graduating with a degree in business management.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Tyler Brimhall, forward, spent two years at UAA after transferring from North Idaho College. He contributed to the Seawolves significantly, earning career-high 34 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and three steals. Brimhall earned First Team All-GNAC during his junior year. So far this season, Brimhall has contributed 199 minutes of playtime and 87 points for the Seawolves. He will be graduating with a degree in management.

Niko Bevens, a senior guard for the men’s basketball team, will graduate with a degree in journalism and public communications this spring. Photo courtesy of Skip Hickey.

Niko Bevens, guard, spent two years at UAA after spending two years playing for University of Montana. Last year, Bevens contributed career-highs of 28 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two blocks for the Seawolves. During the current season, he has played 272 minutes, earning 138 points for the Seawolves. Bevens will be graduating with a degree in journalism and public communications.

Tyrus Hosley, guard, spent only one season with the Seawolves for his final senior year of eligibility. He transferred from previously playing at both North Idaho College and Northwest Christian, in Eugene, OR. During the current season, Hosley has contributed 256 minutes of playtime and 105 points, averaging 10.5 per game. He will be graduating with a degree in journalism and public communications.

Jack Macdonald, guard, spent three seasons with the Seawolves after transferring before his sophomore year from Ohlone College. He has contributed career-highs of 24 points, five rebounds and six assists during his time at UAA. During his junior year, he earned Google Cloud Academic All-District 8 honors as one of the top six athletic/academic performers in the Div. II West Region. He has also earned GNAC All-Academic each year he has played. Macdonald will be graduating with a degree in accounting.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Yazmeen Goo has played for the Seawolves all four years, producing one of the top seasons in history during her freshman year as a point guard and continuing on to earn honorable mention All-GNAC during both her sophomore and junior years. Goo also earned GNAC All-Academic Team every year she played. She will be graduating with a degree in justice.

Safiyyah Yasin, guard, joined the Seawolves as a sophomore, transferring from Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA, but redshirted. During her junior season, she became the fifth leading scorer by scoring double-digits in several games to help overcome rivals. Yasin will be graduating with a degree in communications.

Victoria Langi, guard, played two seasons for Skyline College before transferring to UAA for the 2017-18 season and redshirted. During her junior year, she was able to get action in six games before her season ended early with an injury. Langi will be graduating with a degree in health sciences.

Amelia Motz joined the Seawolves for the current season, after playing three seasons at Division I. program Iona in New York. So far this season, she has played 124 minutes to earn a total of 38 points with a .800 average in free throws and a .455 in field goals. Motz previously graduated with a degree in accounting and economics and is now pursuing a master’s degree in global supply chain management. 

SKIING

Anna Darnell transferred to UAA during the previous year after completing two seasons at UAF. With the Nanooks, Darnell earned two top-10 finishes during her 13 event appearances. During her one season at UAA, she competed in both freestyle (24th) and classic (34th) races at the NCAA Championships. The UAA ski team will be back in action in this December for Darnell’s final season. She will be graduating with a degree in psychology.

Natalie Hynes competed on the Seawolves for all three of her years at UAA, just starting her fourth year. Hynes qualified for the NCAA Championships during both her freshman and sophomore seasons, also being recognized on the National Collegiate All-Academic Ski Team during her freshman and junior year and being awarded GNAC FAR Scholar-Athlete Award during her sophomore year. Hynes will be graduating with a degree in nursing.

Michaela Keller-Miller competed for the Seawolves for all three years, just starting her fourth year at UAA. She earned a spot on National Collegiate All-Academic Ski Team during her freshman season and GNAC FAR Scholar-Athlete Award during her sophomore year. During her previous, junior year season, she was named UAA’s Most Improved Skier. Keller-Miller will be graduating with a degree in accounting.

Hannah Rudd competed for the Seawolves all three years so far. During both her freshman and junior years, she earned a spot on the National Collegiate All-Academic Ski Team. In her sophomore year, she qualified for and competed in the World Junior Championships in Switzerland and also earned GNAC FAR Scholar-Athlete Award. Rudd earned three top-10 finishes during her three seasons and nine top-20 finishes. Rudd will be graduating with a degree in biology.

CROSS-COUNTRY/TRACK AND FIELD

Senior Elena Cano, both an indoor and outdoor track athlete, will graduate with a degree in criminal justice during this academic year. Photo courtesy of Adam Eberhardt.

Elena Cano ran indoor and outdoor track and field for the Seawolves for three consecutive years, set to start her fourth season this January. She started off her freshman year with seventh-place finishes in both the indoor and outdoor GNAC Championships for the heptathlon. During her sophomore year, she ran the eighth-best 100-meter hurdle time in school history. During her most recent season, Cano solidified the fourth fastest 60-meter hurdle time in school history and the fourth-longest long jump in school history. She will be graduating with a degree in criminal justice in the spring.

 Zennah Jepchumba has run both cross-country and track for the Seawolves for four years. During her sophomore season, Jepchumba won the 5,000-meter race at the GNAC Outdoor Championships, earning All-GNAC Honors. She also earned USTFCCAA Scholastic All-American. Jepchumba will be graduating with a degree in criminal justice this fall.

Marie Ries started her freshman year running the fourth-fastest all-time for the 60-meters and the ninth fastest for the 200-meter, improving her 200 time to be the fourth-fastest in school history during her sophomore year. Ries was also a part of the outdoor 4×100 meter relay team that won the GNAC Championships and set a new school record. Ries transitioned to primarily running the 400-meter during her junior year, to set the seventh-fastest time in school history. She was also a part of the 4×400 meter relay team that competed in the NCAA Championships. She earned All-Academic Honors every year she competed. She also earned GNAC FAR Scholar-Athlete Award as a sophomore. Ries will be graduating with a degree in journalism and public communications in the spring.

Christopher Brake set the UAA triple jump record during his freshman year season (and re-broke it each year since), also qualifying for Nationals. He was named All-West Region in the triple jump. Brake continued on to earn USTFCCA All-Region selection in both the high jump and triple jump during his sophomore and junior seasons. He won the high jump at GNAC Championships during his sophomore season. Brake also earned All-GNAC Academic Honors every year he competed. He will be graduating with a degree in geomatics in the spring.

Oshane Hylton competed for the Seawolves for two seasons, about to enter his third. He ran the second-fastest time in school history for the 60-meters during his sophomore season and broke the school record for both the 100-meter and 200-meter. Hylton will be graduating with a degree in business management in the spring.

Wesley Kirui transferred to UAA with two seasons of eligibility remaining for cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track. During his one completed year at UAA, Kirui won three of the four cross-country races in the season, being named GNAC Runner of the Year and GNAC Newcomer of the Year. He won the GNAC indoor championship 5,000-meter and the GNAC outdoor championship steeplechase. Kirui also placed third in the steeplechase at the NCAA Championships. He will be graduating with a degree in mathematics in the spring.

Eduardo Orozco transferred to UAA from Hartnell Community College in California with three seasons of eligibility remaining for cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track. During his two completed years at UAA, Orozco placed seventh in the 800-meter at the GNAC Championships during his sophomore year. He earned USTFCCCA All-Region honors in the 800-meter and distance relay during his junior year. He was a member of the distance medley team that placed seventh at nationals during his junior year. Orozco will be graduating with a degree in kinesiology in the spring.

Jorge Sanchez also transferred to UAA from Hartnell Community College with three seasons of eligibility remaining for cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track. During his two completed years at UAA, Sanchez earned USTFCCAA All-Region honors both years for the 5,000-meter his junior year and the 10,000-meter his sophomore year. He will be graduating with a degree in psychology.

GYMNASTICS

Kennedy Green is about to enter her fourth and final season with the Seawolves after already having completed three seasons. She has contributed on vault, bars and floor, earning career highs of 9.7 on vault, 9.85 on bars and 9.725 on floor. In addition, Green has earned MPSF All-Academic honors for each year she has competed. She will graduate with a degree in accounting.

Sophia Hyderally has been competing for the Seawolves for four years, including this year, being a top contributor in bars, beam and floor. She accumulated career highs of 9.825 on bars, 9.925 on beam (school record) and 9.85 on floor. Her school record on beam was earned during her freshman year when she won the MPSF championships in beam. She then repeated her title during her junior year. Hyderally then qualified for NCAA Regionals and competed on beam to tie for fourth. She broke the UAA record for highest score and placement for a regional meet. Hyderally will be graduating this spring with a degree in international studies. 

Mackenzie Miller is set to start her fourth season with the Seawolves this January as one of the teams few all-arounders. She has contributed to all events, including career highs of 9.525 on vault, 9.875 on bars, 9.75 on beam, 9.775 on floor and 38.200 on all-around. During her sophomore season, she was chosen as Team MVP while also earning Second Team All-MPSF honors and leading the MPSF All-Academic Team with a 4.0 GPA. She earned both honors again her junior year. Miller will graduate this spring with a degree in accounting.