Truman Athletes Continue to Build National Reputation

 

Did you know that the student athletes at Truman are among the best, not only in the Midwest, but in all NCAA Division II athletics? Although Truman is continually recognized for academic quality, the success of the student-athletes at Truman is not as well known.

 

Within the past year, Truman athletes have proven their worth both in athletics and in the classroom. The women’s swimming team won its fifth consecutive national championship in March. They have not finished lower than fourth in the nation since 1997. The men’s team is also a national powerhouse finishing tenth in the nation in 2005. This continues the team’s streak of finishing in the top sixteen every year since 1996.

 

Truman’s volleyball team capped off another successful season this fall by finishing 37-1 on the season, with the only loss being to host Barry University (Fla.) in the national title game. Over the past four seasons, Truman has compiled an outstanding 133-17 record while winning three conference titles during that period.

 

Both the men and women’s soccer teams have been extremely successful over the past several years. The women’s team finished the 2004 season with a 19-1-2 mark, the best in school history. They were also ranked as high as number two in the nation after winning their sixth consecutive conference title and qualifying for the national tournament for the fourth year in a row. The men’s team finished 2004 with a 12-4-3 record and reached the NCAA Elite Eight in 2003 with a 20-1 mark.

 

Truman is home to 21 collegiate teams and many competitive and successful athletes. Wrestler Merrick Meyer won the national championship at 141 pounds in 2004. Hurdler Christina Winkler and long jumper James Walton also won national track and field titles in 2004 and will attempt to defend their titles later this spring.

 

Currently Bulldog athletes ranked third in Division II in the United States Sports Academy Director’s Cup standings, their sixth consecutive top-ten finish. These standings are compiled by evaluating every school’s performance at the NCAA championships.

 

Perhaps the most amazing achievements by all these outstanding athletes are their combined classroom achievements. The NCAA’s 2003 graduation rates showed that Truman graduated 78% of its student athletes within a six-year period. This was the highest in the MIAA and Truman’s second consecutive top-ten finish. Only one other school in the nation (University of California at San Diego) finished in the top ten of the graduation standings and the Director’s Cup ranking.

 

Truman’s student-athletes are successful at making the transition from high school to college athletics as well as making the adjustment in the classroom. Freshman chemistry major, Marti Joyer, is also a member of Truman’s volleyball team and is just one example of a successful Truman student-athlete.

 

“I thought adapting to the school work, playing volleyball and making new friends in college was going to be difficult, but with a little work, it wasn't hard at all,” Joyer said. “I learned how to study on bus rides and in hotels.”

 

Making friends was also easy for Marti, even with a busy class schedule. “Of course I found time to make friends,” Joyer stated. “Playing Volleyball gave me 16 friends right away and I met other people through them. Living on campus also gave me an easy outlet to meet even more great people.”

 

For more information on athletics at Truman, visit the Athletics home page at http://gobulldogs.truman.edu.

 

-article written by Robert Kelchen

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