Westling maintains active role in Washburn athletics

Stephanie Lockhart

Lora Westling played Lady Blues basketball for four successful years in which time she helped them win the NCAA National Championship in 2005. Westling went on to graduate May of 2005 with a degree in marketing.

However, she did not stop there. She returned to Washburn and used her final year of eligibility to play Lady Blues soccer and is now a student assistant coach for the Lady Blues basketball team.

In Westling’s four year career as a Lady Blues guard, she tallied up 132 games played and set a school and MIAA record for most games played in a career. She made 397 3-point attempts and made 144 of those to make her No. 1 in school history for 3-point shots attempted and made.

Westling scored 965 points to land her at No. 20 on career points made and had 490 rebounds to put her at No. 16 on career rebounds made.

In her last two seasons she received All-MIAA honors and was named to the all-tournament team at the Elite Eight with 14.3 points per game average.

As a defender for the Lady Blues soccer team Westling played in all 20 games this season, had one assist and took eight shots on goal. She helped the Lady Blues finish 11-5-4 overall, 7-3-4 in the MIAA and in second place in the MIAA. The second place finish and 11 wins is the best for the third year soccer program.

Westling was named to the All-MIAA first team, the MIAA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll and named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Central Region second team.

“I wanted to try it. I liked the coaches and the program,” said Westling on playing soccer. “I couldn’t stay away and it was a huge opportunity.”

Tim Collins, head soccer coach, said there were four things about Westling that made her stand out:

– Her commitment to winning.

– Her commitment to excellence.

– Her athletic talent.

– Her fantastic personality.

“She is one of those people that you are proud to say is a friend,” said Collins.

Playing Lady Blues basketball and soccer and attending classes is not enough to keep Westling busy she also plays in the Intramural basketball league.

The reason behind Westling’s success according to almost everyone is her competitive nature.

“Most girls fear her and the guys don’t want to lose to her,” said Paul Resner, intramural teammate.

Resner went on to say that Westling is a competitor who is very intense on the court and is a smart basketball player who does a lot of little things that go unnoticed.

“She has a very strong presence on the court,” said Jenna Tinkel, intramural opponent. “You need a guy to guard her.”

Tinkel said that Westling expects the best out of herself and her teammates at all times.

Off the court or field Westling is described as very nice, someone who will talk to you and is always cracking a joke. Traci Nigg, soccer teammate said Westling is very supportive and she has a good time but knows when to be serious.

“She played one of the biggest roles by being very vocal and supportive. She kept the team going,” said Nigg. “Everyone looked up to her.”

Dustin Odum, assistant women’s basketball coach, said Westling shot well from anywhere and it was her shooting that made her successful.

“She will do what ever she can to win,” said Odum. “She is one of the toughest players.”

According to Odum as an assistant coach for the Lady Blues basketball team Westling attends practice everyday, helps with film exchange, recruiting and daily operations of the team.

Westling is a strong believer that if something is worth doing then it is also worth giving it your best. She also stands by not asking others to do what you are not willing to do yourself.

“I like being with the girls and being part of the program,” said Westling on what she likes about being an assistant this year.

Westling’s dream job would be coaching as a division one school.