With 11 upperclassmen returning this season, including top runner Trevor Miller, the expectations are high for continued improvement for a team that recorded a top eight finish at the NCCAA National Championship in 2019.

Emma (Jankowski) Mott (SR) returns to lead the Pilots, fresh off her ticker-tape year with three All-American nods and a repeat victory as NCCAA Individual National Champion. Mott holds the program record, but the Pilots will need consistency up and down the lineup with just eight runners on the roster.

The Pilots begin their inaugural season in esports with competitions in Rocket League, Overwatch and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They will compete in the Great Lakes Esports Conference and Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference this year.

The Pilots return a bevy of talent and look to build on the Crossroads League semifinal finish from a season ago. Third Team NCCAA All-American Jose Barquin (SR) will lead the Pilots in a modified league schedule this fall for a chance to play for national titles in the fall (NCCAA) and spring (NAIA).

Interim Head Coach Jason Freeman takes the reins this season and has the deepest roster in seven seasons for the Pilots. NCCAA North Central All-Region defender Madison Byers (SR) returns, as does leading scorer Emily Smithberger (SO). With 15 returners, the hopes are high for the Pilots to take the next step.

With an All-Star caliber freshman class and four returning All-League honorees, the Pilots are ready to step into the fore of the Crossroads League. Madyson Beaver (JR) crossed the 1,000-assist milestone as a junior early in this year’s campaign, while several other Pilots are nearing milestones in a year that promises excitement in Wiekamp Athletic Center.

After competing as non-affiliated teams a season ago, the Pilots joined the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) this season for premier bowling competition. Lauren Jackson (SO) and Myles Moser (SO) return to lead the women and men, respectively, as they continue to build to a competitive level, year in and year out.

The Pilots competed in the NAIA National Championship meets in their inaugural season, sending a combined 22 entries. Vivienne Kunkler (SO) recorded the program’s first-ever NAIA All-American finish for the women in the 100 Breast. Coach Deb Thompson has this program primed for another stellar postseason.

Head coach Doug Porter brings his up-tempo system, made famous during his time at Olivet Nazarene, to the sidelines of Gates Gymnasium. In his career, Porter has won over 300 games and his teams have led the nation in scoring 11 times. Crossroads League honorees Kelsey Brickner (SR, 14.4 pts) and Jessica Erwin (SR, 10.8 pts) headline a solid core of returners and are joined by eight newcomers who are primed to surprise the Crossroads League this season.

The accolades continue to roll in for the men’s track and field program, as they are the four-time defending NCCAA National Champions (indoor and outdoor) and are coming off a season sweep of the Crossroads League championships. Danny Wilkerson takes over the program that has seen over 90 NAIA All-American performances during his tenure as an assistant coach.

The women are coming off a successful outdoor campaign in the spring, which saw them raise the banner for the NCCAA National Championship. A host of NAIA qualifiers return this season, including Queen Walker (SR, hammer throw), Jessica Tuttle (JR, high jump), and Emma (Jankowski) Mott (SR, 800). Danny Wilkerson takes over the program that has seen over 90 NAIA All-American performances during his tenure as an assistant.

Lucy Phipps ‘14 takes the helm of the cheer program, entering it’s third year in the realm of competitive cheer and dance. The Pilots will look to take the next step, after finishing third in the Crossroads League and10th in the NAIA Northeast Regional Qualifier a season ago.

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