I still haven’t accepted that he’s dead. It’s one of those things where a person seems so alive and untouchable that when you’re reminded that he’s gone it just doesn’t feel real. You go about life assuming that he’s fine, just coaching Gigi, mentoring young players or shaming more seventh graders. But then the world gives you a harsh reminder that he is in fact gone. That he actually wasn’t a god, that he was, in fact, a human being like the rest of us.
In the second installment of the Portland Indoor series -- which featured 22 teams, more than double the teams from the last Portland Indoor -- the University of Portland men’s and women’s track teams continued to improve while achieving several personal bests and preparing for the outdoor season.
With her two goals on Wednesday at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying match for Team Canada against Saint Kitts and Nevis, Portland Pilot alum Christine Sinclair became the all-time international goals leader in the history of soccer both men and women at 185 goals.
Kobe Bryant’s death on Sunday seemingly made the whole world stop. People demanded for NBA games to be canceled. Players were visibly shaken both on and off the court, either fighting back tears in pre and post-game interviews or letting their emotions show on the court during tributes. His impact was something felt both on and off the court, and from battles in the playoffs against those legendary Los Angeles Lakers squads to coaching him at the All-Star Game, Porter witnessed firsthand the sudden rise and tragic fall of an NBA legend, and in his life sees some poignant lessons.
On Sunday afternoon, the University of Portland hosted its first full indoor track meet since the mid-1990s, according to men’s track and field head coach Rob Conner. The Portland Pilots posted personal bests and came away victorious in several races.
Welcome back, Pilots! Well, we’re all finally back on campus and trudging our way to classes in the cold and rain (with a little snow!). If you did your break right, you probably spent most of it disassociating yourself as much as possible from whatever was happening on The Bluff, treating yourself to Santa cookies, hot cocoa and cheesy Netflix Christmas movies (I highly recommend “A Christmas Prince”). But while we were all doing this, there was plenty going on in the realm of UP athletics. So, what did you miss? Here’s what you need to know.
After four seasons on The Bluff, Portland Pilots midfielder Rey Ortiz was drafted with the 29th pick in the MLS SuperDraft by FC Cincinnati. He is the fourth Pilot in the last three seasons to go to the MLS, with Kris Reaves and Paul Christensen joining the league after the 2017 season and Benji Michel doing so after the 2018 season.
Despite it being a rainy, cold and muddy Saturday in Terra Haute, Indiana, the men’s cross country team finished 10th nationally while redshirt sophomore Anna Pataki finished 57th as the lone individual qualifier for the women’s team at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
This year’s NCAA Cross Country West Regional in Colfax, Washington, ended with a somewhat familiar feeling for both University of Portland teams. The men’s team took home the team title on Friday while the women’s team took home sixth, just missing out on qualifying for the NCAA Cross Country Championships as a team.
The University of Portland women’s volleyball head coach Jeff Baxter will not return to the program, according to UP Vice President of Athletics Scott Leykam. Baxter will be replaced by interim coaches Megan Burton and Dylan Hamilton for the remainder of the 2019 season.