Storm athletes break records across the boards

by Abbie CraneStaff Writer

The record books at Simpson are being rewritten this year due to three remarkable basketball players.

Junior Carlie Beals and senior Jason Parkinson broke the school record for career three-pointers and junior Ashley Katch broke the record for career blocks.

Beals, who has now made more than 156 three-pointers at Simpson, beating out the previous record holder Tiffany Whitsell’s record against Luther on Jan. 27.

Head Women’s Coach Brian Niemuth said he knew Beals would be a record-breaker even before she doned the Simpson uniform.

“When Carlie was on campus for orientation before her freshman year, I was sitting at lunch in Pfeiffer (Dining Hall) with Tiffany Whitsell, who held our three-point shooting records,” Niemuth said. “I told her that the girl walking out the door was going to break all of her records. That was Carlie.”

Beals scored 46 three-pointers as a freshman, 54 as a sophomore and already has 56 this season. Still, she has a team-oriented spirit about her abilities.

“Breaking the record is a nice honor, but it’s not what you play for,” Beals said.

Beals said the women have high team goals this year, and the team goals come first because they have big potential for this season and next.

“I didn’t expect it,” Beals said. “I’ll just keep playing and being part of the team.”

Katch has more than 189 blocks in her career at Simpson. She also leads the nation in blocks per game, averaging more than five per game this season. For Katch, the thrill of breaking the record was more about her contributions to the team, rather than her own success.

“I think it’s cool to break the record because when I get a block it means that the other team didn’t score during that possession,” Katch said. “(That) means I’m helping out the team.”

Katch didn’t play basketball her freshman year at Simpson but said she is very happy she decided to play for the Storm.

“Going out for basketball is one of the best decisions I’ve made during my time here at Simpson,” Katch said. “I really enjoy playing with this group of girls and enjoy…Coach Niemuth and the rest of the coaching staff.”

Niemuth is also proud of Katch for what she has accomplished as a basketball player at Simpson.

“She has done all this in less than two seasons of playing,” Niemuth said. “That’s incredible.”

As juniors, both Beals and Katch have ample time to add to their accomplishments for Simpson College basketball, but both say their main goal is to get back to the NCAA tournament.

Meanwhile on the men’s team, Parkinson has scored more than155 three-pointers in his career at Simpson but said he was nervous as he neared the record.

“It was like the hoop got smaller as the record got closer,” Parkinson said.

Head Men’s Coach Bruce Wilson is proud of what Jason has done for himself and for the team as a basketball player at Simpson.

“In the last four years, Jason has done a great job of stretching defenses with his ability to shoot the three-pointer,” Wilson said. “This skill is so important to the success of the team.”

All record breakers were accomplished athletes during high school.

Katch was a multi-sport athlete in high school, playing both basketball and volleyball and receiving honors in both. She graduated from Urbandale High School and was chosen for first team All-Conference in both basketball and volleyball her senior year, and first team All-District in basketball.

Katch led the team in blocks her sophomore year at Simpson and had already tied the school record for blocks in a game.

Beals graduated from Valley High School and also was chosen first team All-District and first team All-Conference her senior year.

As a freshman at Simpson, she led the team in three-point percentage with a 41.1 percent average. Her sophomore year she continued to increase her three-point statistics and was third on the team in scoring with an 8.1 points per game average.

For Parkinson, breaking the record was a challenge he hadn’t considered when he came to college to play basketball. He graduated from Horizon High School in Arizona where he received many honors, including leading the state in scoring as a senior.

As a freshman at Simpson, Parkinson was second in scoring on the team with a 10.3 points per game average.

He said one of his best memories playing basketball for Simpson was his freshman year when the men beat Buena Vista at Storm Lake in double overtime. That game was also Parkinson’s highest scoring game of the season, with 26 points.

“The crowd (at Buena Vista) was very hostile,” Parkinson said. “It was just a very cool environment to win in, especially in double overtime.