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Profiles

5 Best College Athletes to Watch

Bring your love of sports to the local level with these hot college athletes. From a couple of MVC Freshman of the Year winners to a swimmer who’s helped his school win the national championship, these five sports superstars are adding great excitement to

By Savannah Waszczuk

Jan 2014

Samuel Olson, 21
Men’s Swimming, Drury University
Major: Marketing/advertising 
Why He’s Hot: As a sophomore, Samuel Olson helped the 2013 Drury Panthers Men’s Swimming and Diving Team win the NCAA-II National Championship. Olson was on the National Champion 200 Free Relay Team, and among his fastest-ever times happened in this championship when he swam the 50-yard free in 20.27 seconds. Thanks to experience in competing in national-level meets in both 2012 and 2013, Olson is expected to be a top performer as a junior.
How to See Him in Action: Find a meet schedule at drurypanthers.com. 

Marcus Marshall, 19
Men’s basketball, Missouri State University
Major: Undecided 
Why He’s Hot: As the top-scoring freshman in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC), Missouri State University’s guard Marcus Marshall was named MVC’s Freshman of the Year in 2012–2013. The 6-foot-3-inch, 190-pound guard earned several other brag-worthy titles last year, including being named a member of the MVC All-Newcomer Team and named CollegeSportsMadness.com’s MVC Freshman of the Year. Last year, Marshall landed a fifth-in-the-league .800 free-throw percentage, averaged 11.6 points per game and broke the Missouri State freshman scoring record.  
How to See Him in Action: Find a schedule and buy tickets at missouristatebears.com.

Morgan Kensinger, 18
Women’s Volleyball, Evangel University
Major: Biology with a pre-veterinarian emphasis 
Why She’s Hot: Last season, middle blocker Morgan Kensinger lead the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) and ranked fourth nationally in the NAIA in blocks. Originally from Fair Grove, Kensinger also ranked sixth in the conference in hitting percentage and was 18th in kills, and she was named a first-team all-conference selection as a freshman.
How to See Her in Action: Find a complete schedule at evangel.edu/athletics.

Tate Matheny, 19
Men’s baseball, Missouri State University
Major: Hospitality administration 
Why He’s Hot: After only one year, Outfielder Tate Matheny already has a long list of honors, among them being named MVC’s Freshman of the Year, a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American and a Baseball America Freshman All-American in 2013. Matheny is one of the Bears’ top all-around players. He ended his first season in the MVC with a batting average of .336 and 77 hits, 40 runs, 4 home runs, 26 runs batted in and a .459 slugging percentage. Matheny averaged 1.426 hits per game, which ranks third among all Missouri State freshman in the history of the program. If his name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s the son of Mike Matheny, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals.
How to See Him in Action: Find a schedule and buy tickets at missouristatebears.com.

Emily Walker, 22
Women’s Basketball, College of the Ozarks
Major: Early childhood elementary education 
Why She’s Hot Right Now: Guard Emily Walker is the Lady Cats’ strongest all-around basketball player. Walker received Academic All-American and first-team All-Conference honors last
season, and she is arguably one of the best defenders in the program’s history. 
How to See Her in Action: Find a complete schedule at bobcats.cofo.edu.