Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

Bearcat Athletics News

Kukula named NWC Men's Golf Student-Athlete of the Week

Ryan Kukula shot 144 for 36 holes to earn second place while helping Willamette win the team title at the Pacific Fall Invitational.

Ryan Kukula shot 144 for 36 holes to earn second place while helping Willamette win the team title at the Pacific Fall Invitational.

Ryan Kukula '15 has been chosen Northwest Conference Men's Golf Student-Athlete of the Week for his efforts in leading the Bearcats to a first place finish at the Pacific Fall Invitational Sept. 21-22 at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha, Ore.

Kukula carded a 36-hole total of 144 to take second place in the final standings. He shot a 2-under-par 70 in the first round and a 74 in the second round. His 70 was the second lowest score of the tournament, trailing only eventual champion Jared Lambert of Corban University, who shot a 68 in the first round.

During the second round, Kukula matched Lambert with a 74, as both golfers tied for the third best score of the day.

Kukula's performance helped the Bearcats win the team championship with a score of 599 (295-304. Willamette won by 12 stroke over Linfield College, which took second place at 611 (295-316). The Bearcats and Linfield were tied for the lead at the end of the first round. Ten teams competes in the tournament.

During the 2012-13 season, Kukula was named to the All-West Region Team by PING and was chosen as the Northwest Conference Player of the Year. He won the NWC Fall Classic and the NWC Spring Classic before finishing second at the NWC Championship Tournament.

He took first place at the Pacific Spring Invitational in March and was fifth in the Pacific Fall Invitational last September.


Freeby chosen as NWC Women's Cross Country Student-Athlete of the Week

Michaela Freeby won the women's 5K Race at the Oak Knoll Loop Run.

Michaela Freeby won the women's 5K Race at the Oak Knoll Loop Run.

Michaela Freeby '15 has been selected Northwest Conference Women's Cross Country Student-Athlete of the Week for her accomplishments at the Oak Knoll Loop Run on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Freeby earned first place in the women's 5K race with a personal record time of 17:23.16. That time moved her into third place on Willamette's all-time cross country list for 5K races. She trails only Sarah Zerzan '08 at 16:49.4 in 2006 and Maddie Coffman '09 at 17:18.68 in 2008.

As a team, the Bearcats finished in third place behind Portland State University and the University of Portland, both NCAA Division I programs. Along with Freeby, Olivia Mancl (Fr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) placed third, while Taylor Ostrander (So., Soldotna, AK/Kenai Central HS) finished sixth.

Last year, Freeby earned third place at the NWC Championships to claim First Team All-NWC honors. She also achieved First Team All-West Region honors by placing ninth at the 2012 West Regional, helping WU receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships.

Last week, the Willamette women's cross country team was ranked 27th in the nation and second in the West Region.

Willamette will return to action by hosting the 39th Annual Charles Bowles Invitational this Saturday, Oct. 5, at Bush's Pasture Park in Salem. Each year, the Charles Bowles Invitational is one of the largest collegiate cross country meets on the West Coast. The first race is set to begin at 9:30 a.m.