Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
TACOMA, Wash. - Pacific Lutheran University student-athletes choose a variety of activities to keep in shape during the offseason. For some, that includes participating in one of the six club sports offered on campus.
The Lutes offer 19 intercollegiate sports at the NCAA Division III level and have experienced tremendous success, winning six Northwest Conference titles this academic year while finishing second in the NWC's McIlroy-Lewis All-Sports standings. The Division III model allows PLU student-athletes to explore several activities on campus throughout the year. For some, its study abroad or a student organization. For others, it's competing in club sports which includes men's and women's lacrosse, men's rowing, men's and women's ultimate frisbee, and new this academic year: wrestling.
"It's a great way to stay in shape and have some fun while filling that competitive fire," said Assistant Athletic Director for Recreation Rob Thompson. "But at the end of the day it's all about relationships. Being a part of a club sport will expand your social network and forms friendships that last long after your playing days."
Five members of the club wrestling team dotted the rosters of varsity squads on campus, including football student-athletes Aaron Dickson and Cole Tucker who both competed at Club Nationals this spring. Dickson finished 3-2 at the national tournament, placing in the top 16 in the nation.
"Being a part of the the club was an amazing opportunity," Dickson said. "This season was pretty special not only for myself but for the University and the sport of wrestling as a whole."
Another student-athlete capitalizing on club sports in the offseason is women's swimmer Jennica Kelm. Kelm is a member of the PLU ultimate team in the spring and is gearing up for the team's trip to the D-III College Championships set for this weekend in Rockford, Illinois.
"I'm very thankful for the opportunity to swim and play frisbee," said Kelm. "I don't think it would be possible to do both at most schools, but I couldn't imagine my college experience without them both. Doing both swim and frisbee has allowed me to meet so many different people that have become some of my best friends. Since the swim season ends in the spring, I jump right into frisbee but all the training from swim makes the transition easy. If it were not for frisbee, I would not be able to start the swim season in such good shape in the fall. The exciting thing is, more and more swimmers have realized how fun frisbee is which makes us all in better shape for the swim season."
Lute varsity athletes have additionally taken their talents to the fields of play as members of men's lacrosse and men's ultimate.