Sports Briefs

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NCAA All-American honors for former MHS runner

For the second time this year Miriam Hodgins has earned All-American honors. As Team Captain, the 2002 MHS graduate completed her cross country career at UC San Diego by leading the Lady Tritons to a seventh-place finish, the highest ever achieved at the school, at the Nov. NCAA Division II Championships.

It has been a remarkable year for Hodgins and her team, culminating in team and individual wins on Oct. 22 at the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park over a powerful nationally second-ranked Chico State team. Miriam was named CCAA Women’s Cross Country Most Valuable Athlete for her 33-second win.

This was followed on Nov. 5 with another individual title and team qualifying performance at the NCAA Division II West Regional Championships. Hodgins exchanged the lead several times during the six-kilometer race with the Chico three-time All-American, Katie Lee. Lagging the leader by 50 meters just 400 meters from the finish, Hodgins used her 800-meter speed to overtake Lee and win the race by two seconds. The victory earned her the NCAA Division II Cross Country Female Athlete of the Year award for the West Region.

Other wins this season included the UCSD Kickoff and Triton Classic meets and a second-place finish at the UC Irvine Invitational. Of particular note, the team competed in the prestigious Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn. The large field consisted of 309 entrants and 47 teams (43 of them Division I), including national powerhouses Columbia, Georgetown, Tennessee, Maryland, Cornell and Villanova. Hodgins’ all-meet honors and six-kilomter time of 21 minutes, 8 seconds over the challenging course set the all-time UCSD standard.

Pepperdine volleyball returns to postseason

The Pepperdine University women’s volleyball team learned Sunday that it had received a bid to the NCAA Tournament and will compete against Brigham Young University on Friday. This marks the Waves’ (17-11) 17th appearance in the postseason and the eighth in the past nine seasons.

The game against BYU will take place at the Lyon Center at USC at 5 p.m. If Pepperdine wins the game, it will face the winner of USC vs. UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.

This season is a major turn around for Pepperdine, which failed to make the NCAA Tournament last year after a string of seven seasons in the postseason. The 2004 squad had been highly ranked in the preseason poll, but finished the year, 10-15.

Waves water polo wins seasons finale

The Pepperdine University water polo team ended the season Sunday on a good note, with a 9-7 victory over Long Beach State at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament. The Waves (18-11) finished seventh in the weekend tournament.

Sophomore Adam Hewko led Pepperdine in scoring, with three goals in the game. Sophomores Grant Miller and Matt MacDonnell scored two goals a piece.

Senior Jesse Smith went scoreless in his final collegiate game. Senior goalie Ben Tait had 12 saves in the game.