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National Highlights & Conference Players of the Year

The accomplishments included in this section were final as of the May 27 deadline. A few athletic teams were still competing in post-season championships at that time, so please check out mckbearcats.com for up-to-date season news.




Four Bearcat bass fishing boats competed at the Major League Fishing Abu Garcia College Fishing National Championships in March. Juniors Tyler Christy and Trey Schroeder led the Bearcat teams by reeling in 12 catches that totaled 33 lbs, 1-oz. and finished seventh overall. Other Bearcat duos that competed were senior Nate Doty ’21 and graduate student Blake Jackson ’20, senior Ethan Jones ’21 and junior Parker Domschke, and juniors Alec Berens and Bailey Bleser.




The No. 1 ranked women’s bowling team finished in third place at the NCAA National Championships. In May, the women and men’s squads competed in the XBowling Intercollegiate Team Championships (ITC), both finishing in fourth place overall.

The National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) Division II/III Rookie of the Year and Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Freshman of the Year Isabel Allen was the lone Bearcat to qualify for the Intercollegiate Singles Championship (ISC), by winning the Sectional qualifier in Smyrna, Tenn. She finished in third place, after making it to the semi-finals and falling to the eventual ISC national champion. During the regular season, she averaged a 200 in traditional play. She earned NTCA All-American and All-Region-Central honorable mention nods and GLVC first team honors.

Junior Hope Gramly was named the NTCA Division II/III Bowler of the Year and to the NTCA All-American and All-Region-Central first teams. She also earned National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association (NCBCA) All-American first team honors, an International Bowling Media Association honorable mention nod and GLVC first team recognition. The GLVC Bowler of the Year posted a league-best 220 average in traditional play during the regular season.

Sophomore Maranda Pattison was named to the NTCA All-American third team, while senior Britaney Myers and sophomore Kayla Smith earned NCBCA honorable mention nods.




The cheerleading program and competitive dance team competed at the 2021 UCA College Cheerleading National Championships and UDA Varsity College Dance Team National Championships in Orlando, Fla. in April. The Small Coed cheer squad finished in second place and set a school record with its highest placement ever. The All-Girl cheer squad also made school history by being the University’s first all-girl team to compete at UCA and finishing in sixth place. The competitive dance team finished in fourth place in the Open Hip Hop Division and sixth place in the Open Jazz Division.




Sophomore Phasin Vichitcharoenpai earned a berth in the 2021 NCAA Men’s Golf Super Regional. He posted a final finish at T-23 with a score of 219.




Both the men’s and women’s D1 hockey teams competed in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) 2021 National Championships but were knocked out in the opening rounds.

On the women’s side, goalkeeper Naomi Leasck and forward Camryn Scully were named to the ACHA All-American first and second team, respectively.




Nine men’s and women’s powerlifters qualified for the USAPL Collegiate Nationals. The men’s team finished second overall.

Senior Emmet Metzger (59kg) became the Bearcats’ first male national champion at the USA Powerlifting Collegiate Nationals. The All-American’s total weight lifted was 1,157 lbs., with 407 lbs. squat, 253 lbs. bench and 496 lbs. deadlift.

Senior Tyler Gulbransen (3rd place/120+kg) set the Collegiate American Record in deadlift with 754-lbs. Emmet and Tyler, along with sophomores Jordon Spence (2nd place/120kg) and Kolby Pierce (8th place/59kg), and first-year Kailee Carr (8th place/57kg), all earned All-American honors. Other national qualifiers included seniors Dan Filipek ’21 and Alora Mouyard ’21, junior Chase LeBlanc, and sophomore Kyle Smith.




First-year Anna Stiffler was named the GLVC Women’s Soccer Freshman of the Year. She finished fourth in goals scored, second in assists and third in points scored among the freshman in the GLVC. She led the Bearcats to their first GLVC tournament championship since 2017, a GLVC regular season championship, and was named to the All-GLVC second team.




Eleven men’s and women’s swimmers and divers competed at the NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving National Championships, with the men’s team finishing in fourth place.

Sophomore Fabio Dalu was named the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Division II Swimmer of the Year and GLVC Men’s Swimmer of the Year. Fabio captured his second consecutive 1000 freestyle national championship, along with national titles in the 500 freestyle, 1650 freestyle and 400 IM. He broke two NCAA national records in the 1000 freestyle with a time of 8:54.10 and 1650 freestyle with a time of 14:55.12.

First-year Filipe Pinherio won the NCAA national championship title in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 1:55.80. He also finished in third place in the 100 breaststroke.

Eight swimmers earned College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) All-American nods, including Fabio, Filipe, senior Xander Skinner ’21 (6th place/200 free), and juniors Gregg Lichinsky (3rd place/100 free and 100 butterfly) and Hallie Dixon (8th place/400 IM).

All-American team performances included seventh place in the 400 freestyle relay and sixth place in the 800 freestyle relay from Fabio, Gregg, Xander and sophomore Davante Careyand third place in the 200 medley relay and second place in the 400 medley relay from Gregg, Xander, Davante and graduate student Henrik Dahrendorff. National Championship qualifiers in diving included juniors Ethan Larson, Xavier Flores and Lili de Oliveria Pelaez, and first-year Regan Gubera.




Graduate student Lucas Galifos ’20, MBA ’21 was selected as Off The Block’s 2021 National Blocker of the Year. He finished the season with 110 kills, eight service aces, 17 digs, and a season-high 95.0 total blocks. He had a nation-best 1.51 blocks per game average, leading the NCAA Division I/II individual standings. Lucas and junior Ryan Serrano were selected as American Volleyball Association All-American Honorable Mentions




Junior Matthew Haygood was named the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC)-West Region Player of the Year. He led the team to the 2021 conference championship and Tournament titles and a 7-0 season record. He scored 32 goals on the season and was named to the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches All-American honorable mention team and MAWPC-West first team.




Seven men’s wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Division II Wrestling National Championships.

Senior Ryan Vasbinder ’21 won the 197-lb. bracket to earn his first NCAA Division II Wrestling national championship title. The NCAA Division II Super Region 4 Wrestler of the Year and GLVC Wrestler of the Year, he finished the season with a 12-0 record and won the Super Region 4 Championship and was named to the All-GLVC first team.

Sophomore Cory Peterson was named the NCAA Division II Super Regional 4 Rookie of the Year. He finished the season with a 9-4 record, won the title in the 165 lb. bracket at the NCAA Division II Super Regional 4 Tournament and finished third at the NCAA Division II National Championships.

Along with Ryan and Cory, three wrestlers had All-American performances including senior Daniel Filipek ’20 (3rd place/184 lb.), junior Joshua Jones (4th place/174 lb.), and sophomore Christian Mejia (5th place/125 lb.). Other national championship qualifiers included first-years Ian Kuehl and Devin Schwartzkopf.





Sophomore Eugene Omalla qualified for the 400 meter finals at the Outdoor Track & Field National Championships and earned All-American honors.