By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University athletes Olivia Mancl (Sr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) and Alika Masei (Sr., Salem, OR/West Salem HS) have been named to the Northwest Conference Scholar-Athlete First Team for the 2016-17 athletic year. The award honors the top male and female athlete from each NWC college and university based on athletic success, academic accomplishments and community service.
Mancl competed for the Bearcats in women's cross country and was a distance runner on the women's track and field team. Masei swam in backstroke, breaststroke, individual medley and relay events for the Willamette men's swimming team.
NWC Scholar-Athlete First Team
Olivia Mancl (Sr.) graduated from Willamette this spring with major in Biology and a 3.76 cumulative GPA. She was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Mancl was chosen to receive the Jean Williams Award for 2016-17 as the top senor female student-athlete showing leadership, scholarship and athleticism.
Mancl earned All-America honors twice in cross country after placing second at the NCAA Division III Championships in 2015 and taking 13th place in 2016. She competed at the NCAA Championships all four years.
Mancl won Northwest Conference individual championships in cross country in 2015 and 2016. She received First Team All-NWC honors all four seasons and was the NWC Runner of the Year twice. She was named All-West Region four times, including second place finishes in 2015 and 2016. She holds second place on Willamette's list at the 6-kilometer distance with a time of 20:53.8 in 2016. She is seventh on WU's list at the 5-kilometer distance with a time of 17:47.9 in 2015.
In track and field, Mancl is ranked second all-time at Willamette in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 16:46.99 in 2016 and is third in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:30.85 in 2016. She is 10th in the 800-meter run at 2:15.75 in 2015.
Mancl was the NWC champion in the 1,500 and placed third in the 800 in 2015. She competed at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships twice, earning ninth place in the 1,500-meter run in 2015 and 19th place in the 5,000-meter run in 2016.
She earned multiple academic grants at Willamette. She was a team captain in both sports in 2015-16 and 2016-17. She earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors all four years in cross country and in 2015 and 2016 in track. She was a co-president of the Zena Farm Club. She volunteered at the Minto Island Growers Farm.
"Throughout her four years of competing at Willamette, Olivia was always very supportive and rooted for the success of her teammates as well as her fellow NWC competitors," said Willamette Head Cross Country and Track and Field Coach Matt McGuirk."
Alika Masei (Sr.) graduated this spring with a 3.74 cumulative GPA. He completed a double major in Sociology plus Women's and Gender Studies, and earned a minor in Asian Studies He was selected as the J.H. Booth Award winner for 2016-17 as the top senor male student-athlete in leadership, scholarship and athleticism.
During his Willamette career, Masei set school records of 1:53.82 in the 200-yard backstroke and 3:31.35 as a member of the 400-yard medley relay team. He is on Willamette's top 10 lists in the 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley. He achieved Second Team All-NWC honors in the 100-yard backstroke and the 200-yard backstroke during his sophomore and junior seasons, and in the 200-yard breaststroke during his senior year.
Masei helped the men's swimming team attain Scholar All-America Team honors four times from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA). He has received multiple academic grants.
He was a member of the Order of Omega Greek Honor Society while attending Willamette. He was selected as a presenter at the Lewis & Clark College Gender Studies symposium. Masei has completed quantitative and qualitative research on campus, and created a documentary on Oregon LGBTQ and College Students. He was involved in the President's task force on equity and inclusion at Willamette. He served in the Willamette Office of Multicultural Affairs for three years. Masei was a Mosaics Mentor, an Ohana Jumpstart Leader, and an executive member of the Asian Coalition for Equality Club.
"Not only did Alika show respect for his opponents, he also taught and set an example of that idea to his teammates," said Willamette Head Swimming Coach Leslie Shevlin. "For the past two years, he ran a session with our team on diversity and inclusion. He made it his mission to make sure that everyone in our program understood the importance of respecting and valuing what their teammates and their opponents bring to this sport. He did not show sportsmanship once or twice, but lived it every day."