Reaching new heights

After a three-year probation period, California Baptist University was officially recognized last July as a full-fledged National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II member.

With the 2013 fall semester of athletics completed, CBU stands tall in NCAA Division II rankings.

CBU athletics have undergone many changes this past year. Teams have adapted to the new standard of NCAA Division II competition.

Arsen Aleksanyan, assistant coach of the men’s wrestling team, said the men on his team have stepped up their training.

CBU athletics has not shied away from tougher opponents; instead, they are rising to the occasion. For some teams, this means a more intense practice regimen and a new wave of recruits.

“The guys are more excited to compete at a tougher conference,” Aleksanyan said.

There is a noticeable increase in the men’s training compared to previous years, he said.

Aleksanyan said moving to Division II will help with recruiting, as incoming athletes are looking to compete at a higher level.

With the heightened competition, CBU teams are proving their place in NCAA Division II. One highlight for CBU athletics is the men’s basketball team’s consecutive victories in season play, breaking the record with 16 straight wins. Their streak, however, came to an end Jan. 24 against rival Azusa Pacific University.

Also making an impressive showing are the men’s and women’s soccer teams. Both were stiff competition for their opponents this season, with the men ending their season at 10-6-1 and the women owning a 12-5-1 record.

Women’s volleyball succeeded in the Pacific West Conference with a win-loss record of 14-6.

In addition, the wrestling team currently stands at 9-3-1.

With the start of CBU’s softball season, the team has played two games against St. Martin’s University of Lacey, Wash., and won both games.

Lancer pride continues to increase on campus with the growing success in athletics.

After a men’s basketball home victory against Point Loma, Jan. 20, CBU Crazy Christian Barrett, freshman mechanical engineering major, said watching the packed stands “Lance Up” was his favorite part of the game.

“You could cut the anticipation in the air,” Barrett said.

Fellow Crazy Mickey Hike, senior engineering major, said there has been an increase in fan involvement this season.

“The stands are a lot more packed this year than they were last year,” Hike said.

“I feel like this year, being a Crazy, we’re able to get people a lot more pumped up than last year,” Hike said.

About Jillian Johnson

Sports Editor

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