Athletics

Redhawks Soar Across the Finish Line

June 23, 2021

Year in Review

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"A unique and challenging year for Seattle U Athletics was filled with success and momentum," says Director of Athletics Shaney Fink.

Following is a letter to the Seattle U community from Fink summarizing the unique past year for Athletics.

Redhawks,

What a year it has been. While COVID stole headlines, there was no shortage of success stories and celebration-worthy achievements at Seattle University. Ninety-one percent of Redhawk student athletes returned to campus last fall, showing up in competition, academically and in our Seattle community. And in every aspect, Redhawks took the 2020-21 year in stride, turning adversity and uncertainty into progress and achievement.

With student health and safety this year’s top priority, all Redhawk programs saw the successful completion of their respective sport seasons. We are thrilled to have crowned three WAC champions—women's soccer, softball and track & field’s Nicole Whittern (javelin)—plus a second consecutive NCAA Softball Tournament appearance. Redhawks garnered numerous individual accolades, including 54 All-Conference honorees, six All-Region selections and the nation's leader in goal scoring (Sydney Carr of women's soccer), along with numerous all-tournament and weekly award honorees. This fall we will welcome360 of student athletes back to campus, several of whom have opted to take advantage of extended NCAA eligibility.

Student athletes maintained a collective standard of academic excellence this year, boasting a cumulative grade point average of 3.393 and graduation success rate of 93%.  

This year marked the official launch of The Redhawk Experience (TREx), a program that harnesses Seattle U’s distinctive Ignatian approach to intercollegiate athletics, informing how we live in community with one another and how we teach, learn and compete. The Redhawk Experience manifests in service to local organizations through community partnerships, as well as student volunteerism and activism. Academic and mentoring programs with local youth, career development, the launch of the Racial Equity Working Group and voting initiative represent just some of the programs led by and available for student athletes to enhance our capacity for inclusive excellence. The Redhawk Experience will continue to grow year over year, with many opportunities for our friends and family to get involved.  

In a year of economic tumult, Seattle U supporters stepped up in a big way, with more individual donors to Redhawk Athletics than in any year prior. Corporate partners and season ticket holders honored philanthropic commitments despite the absence of in-person events, maintaining a vital revenue stream for student success programs and university advancement. We enhanced our digital output, inking a streaming partnership with ESPN and hosting virtual events and receptions throughout the year. Capital projects may have paused briefly, but we saw the completion of a new clubhouse for baseball and renovated office spaces for women’s soccer, as well as expected completion of a new boathouse for rowing and a renovated men's and women's basketball practice facility this summer.

The coming year marks a transition, in many ways. Not only do we look forward to welcoming our friends and families back to live sporting events at Seattle U, but do so with new leadership and a new venue. After 24 years of service to Seattle U, Father Stephen Sundborg stepped down June 30, making way for new leadership in President-Elect Eduardo Peñalver. Redhawk men's basketball will host multiple marquee matchups at the city’s new Climate Pledge Arena (formerly KeyArena, including a highly anticipated Homecoming game on November 14. 

As we congratulate our stellar class of 2021 and open our doors to the class of 2025, we are more grateful than ever for the support and commitment of our Redhawk community. Here’s to a bright future at Seattle U.

Go Redhawks!

 

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