June 30, 2010
Four Northwest athletes claimed All-America honors this spring, including a softball player who became just the second All-American in that program's history.
Track and field athletes Tyler Shaw, Ben McKim and Kate Walter earned All-America honors last month at the 2010 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Shaw placed sixth in the 110-meter hurdles, McKim took seventh in the shot put and Walter placed third in the hammer.
Shaw placed fourth in his event last season as a freshman and now has earned four All-America honors, including two in the indoor 60-meter hurdles. He is a sophomore journalism major from St. Louis.
McKim threw 57-feet-0.75-inches on the last of his six throws to earn his third collegiate All-America honor in the shot put (one indoor, two outdoor). McKim was the national runner-up last year and placed fourth in the shot put during the indoor championships back in March. He is a junior speech communication major from Maryville.
Walter threw 181-feet-7-inches, making her third-place finish the highest by a female Northwest track and field athlete since Mary Wirt placed third in the discus in 2004. Walter also is the third Bearcat to earn All-America honors in the event, joining Wirt who placed sixth in 2004 and Julie Humphreys, who took eighth in 1997. She is a sophomore marine biology major from Independence.
Shaw, McKim and Walter were among five athletes the Bearcats sent to the Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Sophomore Angela Adams placed 15th in the 5,000-meter run (17:13.95). Senior Emily Churchman (heptathlon, long jump, high jump), a four-time NCAA participant, finished 10 points shy of All-America honors in the heptathlon, despite breaking her own school record.
On the softball diamond, Northwest junior Dacey Hassey was named a second-team All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). With the announcement, Hassey joined Teresa Gumm (1983) as the only All-Americans in Northwest softball history.
Hassey, a psychology from Carson City, Nev., made the team as a utility player and for good reason. She started games at catcher, third base, right field and designated player for the Bearcats this season. At the plate, she hit .375 with four home runs, 24 runs scored and 38 RBIs, which tied for the team lead. She also had 15 doubles and an on-base percentage of .433.
Hassey struck out eight times in 160 at-bats and was the 53rd toughest player to strikeout in the nation. She started all 50 games for Northwest, which finished with a 26-24 record.
She also was selected to the first team of the National Fastpitch Coaches' Association's all-region team and the first team of the 2010 All-MIAA Softball Team.
Hassey's teammate Erin Leslie, a senior second baseman, also was a first-team selection to the 2010 All-MIAA Softball Team and the 2010 Daktronics South Central All-Region Team.
Leslie, a marketing major from Shawnee, Kan., is Northwest's all-time leading scorer with 154 runs, and her .445 batting average goes down as the fourth-best in program history. She also hit eight home runs, 38 RBIs, scored 44 runs and stole 19 bases this season. She hit safely in 43 of the team's 50 games and led the MIAA in hits per game.