Led by Donovan Denslow, Missouri Baptist University’s men’s cross country team raced to the NAIA Cross Country National Championships for the first time in 15 years. Although this competition is now in the past, the Spartans finished their season strong and bring unprecedented confidence into the current track season.
The men’s cross country national team includes, left to right: Donovan Denslow, Charlie McCallister, Christian Kafoury, Alex Ahrens (back row), J.P. Killian, Wyatt Elliot, Jordan Crawford (back row), Jack Warmann, Elijah Bullock, Luke Montani and Trey Peugeot (kneeling). Photo courtesy of MBU Athletics
After a long string of tough seasons that didn’t end how the Spartans wanted, the MBU women’s basketball team achieved heights of success it hasn’t experienced in over 10 years and broke recorded program history as the threat of COVID-19 loomed ominously over the year. Now, the team is already looking ahead to how it can build on its achievements this year.
A group photo of the players, coaching staff and parents taken on Feb. 20 for Senior Day before defeating Stephens College, 97-47. Photos by MBU Athletics
Front row, left to right: Kim Shaw, Rose Wassef, Caroline Rogers, Joelle Atkins
Center row, left to right: Grace Burrows, Kamryn Mack, Tionne Taylor, Taylor Norris, Kenzie Burt, Sara Hermosa, Vinnie Winters, Samuel Pearson, Peyton Greenlee, Nicholas LeGrand
Back row, left to right: Stephen Allen, Larry Rogers, Jennifer Atkins, Lauren Ebert, Alexis Allstun
Orlando Olivera is among a small percentage of athletes who have found success in a game of failure, and he added consistency to his success by being named first-team All-American twice during his college career. Along the way, he established himself as one of the best players to wear the Spartan uniform.
Orlando Olivera watches a hit during a game. During his tenure at Missouri Baptist University, Olivera won consecutive All-American awards and set multiple school records before being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. Olivera returned to MBU as an assistant coach for the 2019 season. Photo courtesy of MBU Athletics
Among the sea of transfer students participating in the athletics program at Missouri Baptist University is senior baseball standout Carter Mize, whose transfer story is quite unique compared to many.
Carter Mize, who is a senior majoring in communications studies, swings at a pitch during a Spartan baseball game. Mize, who transferred to MBU after playing baseball at the junior college level, has landed a starting position at first base. Photo courtesy of MBU Athletics
Like all spring MBU athletic teams, the men’s volleyball season was ended abruptly due to coronavirus. The Spartans were on a red-hot winning streak and trending upward entering some of the most pivotal games of their season, and the players were disappointed they would be unable to compete for a National Championship. However, the team has already started preparing and setting their sights on next season.
This story is part of a series of ongoing stories and analyses produced by MBU Timeline staff members, focusing on several aspects of COVID-19 and how it has changed the lives of students, faculty members, athletes … everyone. Photo courtesy of MBU Athletics — Graphic by Dylan White