Athletics' Fall Sports
Kick Into High Gear

The 2018 Cougar Athletics Fall Preview


"We always put the focus on our student-athletes. It’s not about us; it never has been, and never will be."

— Tracy Jex, head coach, CC Cross Country

For the past four years, Tracy Jex’s focus has been on building the tradition and the trajectory of his cross country programs. Last season, the men’s and women’s squads swept the American Midwest Conference titles – for the men, the fifth in the six-year history of the program – and advanced to the NAIA National Championships. With the men finishing in second at the national meet, it’s safe to say Jex’s focus has been rewarded. Just don’t expect him to take the credit.

“We always put the focus on our student-athletes. It’s not about us; it never has been, and never will be,” he said.

While that may be true, it’s still Jex’s job to replace All-Americans like Tommy Skosky, who helped lead the Cougars to that second-place finish in Ft. Vancouver, Washington, by running the second-fastest 8-kilometer race in school history.

Junior Malik Holman is among those Jex and his assistant, Daniel Radkowiec, are turning to for leadership this season, and it’s easy to see why. Holman won the AMC individual title as a freshman in 2016, and followed that up with a seventh-place finish last year. Ten freshmen also join the men’s squad this season.

On the women’s side, the coaching staff is immediately counting on another freshman, Brianna Haller, who won a total of 10 state titles – including all four Class 2 Cross Country races – at Fatima High School.

“She’s pretty special. She had plenty of options, could have chosen a lot of schools, and she came here,” said Radkowiec, who’s beginning his third season as Jex’s right-hand man. “That reinforces that Tracy’s got the program in the right direction.”

The Cougars’ program has grown from fewer than 20 runners combined when Jex took over in 2016, to nearly double that now.

“It’s cool that we have the rural kid that graduated with 20 others in his class, that thinks a thousand students is huge, and we also have the kid from Webster Groves or Battle that graduated with five or six hundred that chose to go to a smaller school for college,” said Radkowiec. “It’s great to have that mix of kids, almost all from the state of Missouri.”

Both teams begin their 2018 seasons on Saturday, Sept. 1, at the SBU Bearcat Invite in Bolivar, Missouri. The AMC Championships take place on Friday, Nov. 2, in Elsah, Illinois., with the NAIA National Championships taking place two weeks later in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Check out the briefs below for the latest information on all of your favorite Columbia College fall sports teams!

To make a gift to support the Cougar Club and Scholarship Fund, please visit my.ccis.edu/givenow.

MEN

WOMEN

First Meet: Sept. 1 at Southwest Baptist

2017 AMC Champions, 2nd at NAIA National Championships

First Meet: Sept. 1 at Southwest Baptist

2017: AMC Champions, 30th at NAIA National Championships

Cross Country By the Numbers

4
Consecutive AMC team titles won by the CC men. The Cougars have won the team championship every year of the program’s existence besides 2013 (fourth).
8
Number of the 12 fastest races in the men’s team’s history that were run last season, by Seth Schenck (four), Tommy Skosky (three) and Tyler Lawson (one).
80
Percent of the combined men’s and women’s runners from the state of Missouri. Eighteen of the 19 men’s runners are from the Show-Me State.

MEN'S SOCCER

First Match: Aug. 22 vs. Bellevue

NAIA Preseason Ranking – No. 7 (first in the AMC preseason poll)

2017: 19-2-3, 10-0-1 AMC; conference regular-season and tournament champions; NAIA National Tournament quarterfinalist

2018 Roster

Men's Soccer By the Numbers

12, 0.39
Shutouts and goals-against-average, respectively, by now-departed senior goalkeeper Nicolau Neto. Both numbers led the entire NAIA last year.
15
Upperclassmen on this year’s roster.
236.7
Wins and AMC regular-season titles for John Klein in 18 seasons as the Cougars’ men’s soccer coach.

WOMEN'S SOCCER

First Match: Aug. 20 vs. John Brown

NAIA Preseason Ranking: No. 10 (first in the AMC preseason poll)

2017 Record: 21-2-0, 11-1-0 AMC; NAIA National Tournament qualifier

2018 Roster

Women's Soccer By the Numbers

18
Shutouts in 23 games played, which led all of the NAIA last season.
4.25
Average goals scored per match last season, which was third-best in the country. Three of the Cougars’ top four scorers from last year, forward Kelsey Mirts (19) and midfielders Molly Klein (17) and Lucy Kinglsey (10), return this season.
15
Number of this year’s 20 players from the state of Missouri.

VOLLEYBALL

First Match: Aug. 21 at Missouri Valley
First Home Match: Aug. 28 vs. Westminster 

NAIA Preseason Ranking: No. 14 (third in the AMC preseason poll)

2017 Record: 34-8, 11-1 AMC; conference regular-season co-champions; NAIA National Tournament qualifier

2018 Roster

Volleyball By the Numbers

30
Straight seasons in which the Columbia College women’s volleyball team has won 30 or more matches.
24
Appearances in the NAIA National Tournament in program history.
6
Missourians on this year’s roster – from Delta near the bootheel, to Springfield, to right here in Columbia.

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