CWU News

Denham, Six Wildcats Represent CWU at NASC

Six Central Washington University women's rugby representatives will travel to Lakeland, Florida at the end of December for the National All-Star Competition.  The camp will start on Dec. 28 and end on Jan. 3.

The camp will be the largest assembly of female rugby athletes, the third of the year, following an update to the Pathway.

"This will be the best gathering of domestic women's rugby players ever," Women's Eagles Head Coach Pete Steinberg said. "We have spent the last year focused on player identification and almost all the players have been seen at an NASC or a national championship event."

"The winter NASC is the foundation of the women's pathway. Moving forward, this annual event will be where the national team pools for the year will be selected."

Central Washington Head Coach Mel Denham will join Leah Ingold, Yana Manoa, Nate Serevi, Hannah Lewandowski, and Kayla Postula as representatives from CWU.

"Nate, Leah, Hannah, Kayla and Yana (as well as the other Wildcats who were unable to attend due to the holidays) have all demonstrated standout qualities in their skill, athleticism, attitude, and game understanding/intuition," Denham said.  "They will be competing for selections to upcoming tours and camps- including the 2017 World Cup Player Pool and summer Collegiate All American tour.  Coming from Central's high performance program and culture, they should have no trouble adjusting to the environment at NASC.  In fact they should be very comfortable in it, which will help allow them to focus on their performance."

Denham has been selected to coach one of the U23 Collegiate All-American sides.

"It's an honor to have contributed to our National Team as an athlete, and now continue as a coach," Denham added.  "As a recent USA athlete, the transition from player to coach at these events has been an exciting shift in my rugby career.  Representing your country in the sport that you love is the ultimate honor and achievement for an athlete.  So to now attend these camps from the other side of the line, and work with young and aspiring athletes on the same journey, including five of our own CWU rugby women, is just an incredible experience and opportunity.  One that I am very grateful for."

Haley Schafer, Angela Ve'evalu, Jenny Johnson, and Joanna Moreira were invited, but unable to attend the camp.

"The preliminary World Cup squad for 2017 will be selected at the NASC," Steinberg said. "A squad of around 45 will be identified and will begin to follow the Eagles' strength and conditioning and skill development programming. They will be invited back with a few additional players to a senior NASC that will lead to the Super Series in the summer."