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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Anderson helps Amherst run off with national title

By Stanley Lee
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Nicole Anderson

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Nicole Anderson shook off a series of bad races to finish the cross country season as a member of a national championship team.

Amid snow flurries that fell the morning of the race and 38-degree weather, Anderson ('Iolani '05 of Kailua) and her Amherst women's cross country team won Saturday's NCAA Division III Championship in Northfield, Minn., the first in program history.

Anderson was the sixth finisher for Amherst and was 69th overall in 22 minutes, 43 seconds on the 6-kilometer course. Winning is nothing new for Anderson, the state cross country champion in 2002. 'Iolani won the state title from 2001 to 2003, but this title had more significance.

"I have to say that feeling pales in compassion to this one," Anderson said. "I'm very thankful that I got to be part of something this big. I'm not exactly one of the front-runners. I had to work hard for my position as a member of the varsity squad and I made it. It makes it that much better to work that much harder to get some place. I'm really thankful that I got a chance to be part of it and it all worked out."

Anderson was the New England Small College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year as a freshman and raced at nationals that year. Last year, she found out she was anemic. The low iron levels in her blood made it difficult to recover after running, and her times dropped. She didn't make the team that finished second at nationals missing first place by one point.

Coach Erik Nedeau, who was named national coach of the year, helped Anderson after some bad races during the middle of this season.

At the conference championship, Anderson finished 14th, was named to the league's second team and picked by Nedeau for the regional meet. She finished 23rd at the Northeast Regional and Amherst claimed the regional title.

"He definitely had a very big role in making the program what it is," Anderson said. "After I went in and talked to him in the middle of season, I don't know how exactly it worked, but somehow he inspired me to be able to end my season on the note that it did."

Depth carried Amherst at nationals as all seven runners finished before any team's fourth. Amherst finished with 120 points to Plattsburgh State's 159.

Anderson's mother, Kathy Foti Anderson, flew up and brought lei for the men's and women's teams. Christina Wong (Punahou '07) was a freshman on the 22-member Amherst squad. Though she didn't attend nationals, Wong and other teammates put together boxes filled with goodies and personalized them with collages for those racing.

"When I was starting to hurt, I thought about that and it kept me going," Anderson said.

Willamette senior Carly Killam (Punahou '03) finished 185th in the 280-runner field with a time of 23:30.7.


  • Gonzaga senior goalkeeper Vito Higgins (Academy of the Pacific/Pac-Five '03) had four saves in a 1-0 double overtime loss to Santa Clara Friday. Despite going 0-3-1 to end the season, the Bulldogs received an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament, where they will open at Southern Methodist Saturday. Tye Perdido (Seabury Hall '06) has three goals and an assist for Gonzaga, whose roster includes Nick Love (Punahou '07) and Daniel Scott (King Kekaulike '03). Kekoa Osorio (Kamehameha '07) has one goal and two assists for SMU. Osorio's cousin, Keoki Haole (Kapolei '07), has one goal. Cameron Holm (Hawai'i Baptist '06) is also on the SMU roster. The winner will play at Creighton next Wednesday. Jeremy Wittig (Lutheran/Pac-Five '06) has one goal and one assist for Creighton.

  • Also in the NCAA Tournament are Satoshi Mitsuda (Punahou '03) of top-seeded Boston College, C.J. Cintas (Hawai'i Prep '06) of 12th-seeded UC Santa Barbara, Stephen Fung ('Iolani '06) and Daniel Phelps (Leilehua '06) of Washington, and David Gualdarama (Kamehameha '04) of New Mexico. The winner of Friday's Washington-Portland game faces UCSB. New Mexico plays UCLA Saturday. Seeded teams earned first-round byes and play next Wednesday.

  • Azusa Pacific sophomore midfielder Dana Yoshizu (Hawai'i Baptist '06) came off the bench in three of the top-seeded Cougars' four matches at the NAIA Tournament in Olathe, Kan. Yoshizu attempted a shot in the semifinal against Simon Fraser. Azusa Pacific beat sixth-seeded Concordia-Irvine, 2-0, in yesterday's final. The Cougars lost in the title game in 2005 and 2006.

  • Redlands senior midfielder Max Bowman (Honoka'a '04) scored four of his team's seven goals in four NCAA Tournament matches. He scored both goals in a 2-0 win over UC Santa Cruz in the first round, and the game-winning goal in the 89th minute in a 1-0 second-round win over Emory (Ga.). He also scored in a 3-1 loss to Loras on Sunday in the Elite Eight. Brother Eli (Honoka'a '06) attempted two shots off the bench during the tournament.


  • Duke senior goalkeeper Allison Lipsher (Punahou '04) made three saves in a 1-0 win over host Georgia in the NCAA Tournament second round Sunday. Lipsher had two saves against South Carolina in the first round. Duke faces host Indiana in the Sweet 16 Sunday.

  • Denver sophomore midfielder Lizzy Carlson (Punahou '06) started in Denver's 5-0 loss to second-seeded Portland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday in Boulder, Colo.

  • Penn freshman midfielder Marisa Schoen (Punahou '07) had one shot attempt off the bench in the Quakers' 2-0 loss to James Madison in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday in Morgantown, W. Va.

  • Azusa Pacific junior midfielder/forward Sarah Yoro (Mililani '05) started in all four matches at the NAIA Championship in Daytona Beach, Fla., finishing with two goals and one assist. Yoro scored for the third-seeded Cougars in yesterday's 2-1 loss to fifth-seeded Martin Methodist in the championship game. Mari Kasamoto ('Iolani '03) also played against Martin Methodist. Azusa Pacific also lost in the title game last year.


  • Washington junior defensive tackle Daniel Te'o-Nesheim (Hawai'i Prep '04) had eight tackles and senior defensive tackle Wilson Afoa (Saint Louis '03) had one in a 37-23 win over California Saturday. California sophomore defensive end Tyson Alualu (Saint Louis '05) had seven tackles and junior defensive tackle Mika Kane (Kamehameha '05) had four.

  • Montana Western freshman quarterback Henry Keomalu (Wai'anae '06) was named Frontier Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Nov. 12. He completed 35 of 52 passes for 426 yards, five touchdowns and one interception in a 41-21 win over Rocky Mountain.


  • Three teams with Hawai'i players advanced to quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Championships in Bloomington, Ill. Puget Sound sophomore Leigh Sumida ('Iolani '06) had nine digs, a kill and an ace in her team's loss to Wisconsin-Whitewater. Cousin Kris Sumida ('Iolani '07) added a dig in Thursday's loss. Also on the Puget Sound roster were Kayla Matsunaga (Kamehameha '07) and Courtney Kandler (Kaiser '07). Freshman Sara Budar (Punahou '07) had two assists in Stevens Tech's loss to Wittenberg in Thursday's quarterfinal. Freshman Marya Kaminski's ('Iolani '07) Washington University in St. Louis squad won the national title. Kaminski didn't appear in any tournament games.

  • Siena junior libero Kathi Kobayashi (Punahou '05) had 28 digs and an ace, and sophomore defensive specialist Kau'i Robello (Punahou '06) added 24 digs, three aces and a kill in the Saints' five-game win over host Fairfield in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament final Monday. Fairfield senior Jazmin Pa'akaula (St. Joseph '04) had 27 digs and three aces. Teammates Lindsey Lee (St. Joseph '04) had 17 digs and an ace, and Brandi Higa (Hawai'i Baptist '05) had 13 digs and two aces. Siena won the tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament by defeating Fairfield for the third straight year. Kobayashi's mother, Evie, made the trip to Connecticut and brought lei for the entire Siena team.

  • Hofstra senior setter Shellane Ogoshi (Roosevelt '04) earned her third straight Colonial Athletic Association first-team honor. Hofstra lost to Delaware in Sunday's CAA Tournament final. Ogoshi finishes her career with 4,597 assists and 1,660 digs, both first in program history.

  • Winthrop junior libero Pohai Nu'uhiwa (Punahou '05) was named Big South Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She was also named to the first team and all-tournament team. Winthrop lost to Liberty in the tournament final.

  • South Dakota State freshman setter Melia Iwamoto (Kalani '07) was named to the Summit League all-freshman team. She had 67 assists and 11 digs in the Jackrabbits' five-game win over host IPFW on Saturday in the Summit League final. SDSU advances to the NCAA Tournament. Iwamoto has 1,489 assists this year, seventh in program history.

  • St. John's (N.Y.) junior libero Lena Yee (Moanalua '05) earned her second straight Big East Conference Libero of the Year award. She was also named to the all-tournament team as St. John's swept Louisville in the championship game Sunday to advance to the NCAA Tournament.

  • Butler sophomore setter/defensive specialist Brittany Awai (Kamehameha-Maui '06) had eight digs and two assists in Friday's loss to Valparaiso in the Horizon League Tournament quarterfinals.

  • Kevin Aoki ('Iolani '80) finished his 12th season as Pacific Lutheran's coach by being named American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III West Region Coach of the Year. The Lutes went 23-4 this season and finished 16-0 in Northwest Conference play en route to its third league title in four years. His record stands at 202-110 (.647) and Aoki was honored with the same award in 2004.

  • East Tennessee State libero Kaena Apana (Nanakuli '04) was named Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year. Apana led the league in digs, averaging 6.22 a game. ETSU was eliminated in the Atlantic Sun Tournament semifinals by Jacksonville.

  • Adelphi freshman setter/defensive specialist Heather Mau (Maryknoll '07) helped the Panthers to a 27-8 record and its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Mau averaged 2.29 digs per game and was third on the team in aces with 59. Adelphi lost to Bryant in the Northeast Regional first round.

  • Menlo senior libero Christa Hewett (Kamehameha '04) was named California Pacific Conference Libero of the Year. Hewett was named to the first team, along with Holy Names junior middle hitter Miya Frank (Mid-Pacific '05). Mills junior outside hitter Loke Davis (Hilo '05) made the second team and Menlo freshman setter LaRisa Parker (Roosevelt '07) made the all-freshman team. Hewett was named the conference's libero of the week on Nov. 12 and is first in program history with 2,027 digs. Mills' coach is former University of Hawai'i men's volleyball player Daniel Rasay (Konawaena '01).


  • Whitworth freshman Courtney Gaddis (Kalani '07) earned all-tournament honors at the University of Chicago Midway Classic, scoring 22 points in two games off the bench. Johanna Sai (Kamehameha '07) had four points off the bench in Whitworth's tournament win over Concordia (Minn.). At nearby Gonzaga, Rachel Kane (Punahou '03) is averaging 4.0 assists and 2.7 points per game and Tatriana Lorenzo (Kamehameha '06) is averaging 2.3 points. Players are allotted tickets for home games and Kane and Lorenzo have been sharing theirs with Gaddis and Sai.

    Reach Stanley Lee at sktlee@honoluluadvertiser.com.