Before their season was cut short, men’s basketball wrapped up the regular season Peach Belt Conference championship.
In the first year of competition in the Mountain East Conference, the swim team wrapped up the conference championship; the wrestling team won the MEC in their respective sport, as well as the women’s indoor track team. The men’s team placed second.
Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellations involved throughout the sports world, one thing cannot be argued: it was a great year for Pembroke sports.While these teams were massively successful, they were led by multiple standout performances from individual athletes.
Five UNCP wrestlers found themselves seeded to wrestle for individual season championships in Sioux Falls, S.D.Logan Nick Kee, Tyler Kaleb Warner, and Brandon Sloop were present before the cancellation of the championships.
The men’s track team had seven representatives, including Joshua Chepkesir, who were prepared to represent the university; and the swim team, led by Ketlyn Matos Rodriguez and Nathalia Silva, set a break-neck pace in multiple events, shattering school records throughout their season. Acai Pruitt earned an all-regional spot for his work on the hardwood.UNCP’s spring sports were on a tear, with the baseball team scorching their opponents in the truncated season.Before play was halted, they had raced out to an 18-5 record, with 11 straight victories.
The men’s basketball team was ranked 22nd in the nation and was en route to a first-round Division II NCAA Tournament re-match against Catawba College, who knocked them out of the same round last year, when their bus was called back from Tennessee.
While some of the student athletes did not get to complete their seasons, they had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. For a school of UNCP’s size, they out- performed the expectations of many who did not give them a chance.In not just one but two conferences, the Pembroke Braves represented themselves well. The performances of these teams are just a sign of things to come.