The Master’s University Athletics, one of the top Christian college athletic programs in the country, recently completed one of the most memorable and successful semesters in the department’s history.
Entering 2023, TMU had won five NAIA national championships — all of them individual titles. But in the last few months alone, Mustang athletes have earned five more.
TMU was also home to the NAIA runner-up in women’s golf, a men’s volleyball team that reached the national semifinals, the NAIA men’s volleyball player of the year, and a four-time All-American swimmer.
On the professional level, one TMU alum was a top pick in the most recent WNBA Draft. Another is excelling at the highest level of Minor League Baseball.
TMU’s five newest national titles all came in golf and track and field:
Of note, Pouliot and Boggess each joined John Gilbertson as the only two-time NAIA national champions in school history. As a senior, Gilbertson won titles in cross country (2012) and in track and field (5K, 2013).
This year, TMU was competing in men’s indoor track and field for the first time. And Pouliot used the opportunity in Brookings, South Dakota, to become TMU’s first individual national champion since Karis Frankian in 2016 (women’s 5K). He cleared 16 feet, 8 3/4 inches in the final to match a season high.
On the track, Boggess, Garey, Ghiorso, and Jean teamed up to win the distance medley relay, a race that includes legs of 1,200, 400, 800, and 1,600 meters, respectively.
“We never even dreamed this could happen — but it did,” Ghiorso said. “It’s all a testament to God’s immense goodness.”
In May, Boggess and Pouliot each earned their second national title at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Marion, Indiana. Boggess’ came when he outlasted an opponent in the final stretch of the 10K for a thrilling win.
“Davis is distinguishing himself as one of the best NAIA distance athletes in the record books,” said TMU head coach Zach Schroeder.
Less than a week earlier, Easton Johnson distinguished himself by finishing 8-under par and winning a two-hole playoff at the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship in Mesa, Arizona. The Mustangs finished a program-best second place as a team.
Johnson is the first TMU freshman to win a national title in any sport. He’s also the second TMU golfer to win the NAIA’s top individual prize, following Chad Wensel who did it in 2004.
“I’m so blessed to have people around me that have poured into me,” Johnson said in an interview with the Golden State Athletic Conference. “Without my faith in God and their dedication to teaching me I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
TMU nearly swept the NAIA men’s and women’s golf individual trophies. Hannah Ulibarri, a freshman, finished second overall in Silvis, Illinois, in May.
Another top performer this spring was TMU Swim & Dive’s Kylee Sears. At the NAIA championships in Columbus, Georgia, in March, the freshman earned three individual All-American honors (500-yard freestyle, 200 free, 1,650 free) and was a member of TMU’s All-American 400 medley relay.
Then there was men’s volleyball.
In just the program’s fourth season, the Mustangs earned their first-ever NAIA No. 1 ranking and advanced to the national semifinals — becoming only the fourth team in school history to advance that far. Afterward, freshman Nolan Flexen was named NAIA Player of the Year, and Jared Goldberg was the NAIA’s Coach of the Year.
As it happens, Shackelford and Soares were both in the news this spring.
In April, Soares was picked fourth overall in the WNBA Draft by the Washington Mystics (before a draft-day trade to the Dallas Wings). And in May, Shackelford hit seven home runs for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate.
Also of note, TMU Men’s Basketball’s Kaleb Lowery was named a first-team NAIA All-American in March, only the fifth time in program history a Mustang has earned that honor.
The Master’s University fields 18 intercollegiate athletic teams, all of which prepare and perform as an act of W.O.R.S.H.I.P to Christ. To learn more about the acronym and to get recruited, visit gomustangs.com.
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