Three Vikings Earn Weekly Conference Awards

Posted October 5, 2015


Marshall, Mo. (October 5, 2015)- Three Missouri Valley College student-athletes were chosen for weekly awards in the Heart of America Athletic Conference for their performances last week.  Junior Phillip Cheruiyot (Kericho, Kenya) was named the Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Week, Junior Kaz Sakai (Palm Desert, Calif.) was named the Men’s Golfer of the Week and Junior Desi Villanueva (Merced, Calif.) was named the Special Teams Player of the Week.


Cheruiyot earned his third weekly award of the season, and his seventh-career honor, after leading the Viking men’s cross country team at the SIU-Edwardsville John Flamer Invite.  Cheruiyot placed No. 10 overall, the highest-placing NAIA runner, with a time in the 8k race of 25:56, his best time this season.  The Viking men’s cross country team placed fifth in the team standings, the highest of any NAIA program.  Cheruiyot also earned weekly conference honors Sept. 4 and Sept. 21.  The men’s cross country team will next compete at the Haskell Indian Nations Invitational Saturday in Lawrence, Kan.


Sakai picked up his first weekly conference honor after winning the Evangel Fall Invitational at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield, Mo.  Sakai shot a three-round score of -8 (288) to win the tournament by four strokes.  Sakai’s -5 (67) in the second round was the lowest score of any golfer in the tournament.  Sakai helped the men’s program to a second place finish at the event.  The men’s and women’s golf teams will next compete at the MVC Fall Invitational Wednesday and Thursday at Indian Foothills Golf Course in Marshall, Mo.


Villanueva received his first weekly conference award after a successful day punting and kicking for the Viking football team in the 61-22 win over Culver-Stockton (Mo.) College.  Villanueva finished with 12 total points.  He made both of his field goal attempts, one from 30-yards and another from 26-yards, and was six of seven in extra-point attempts.  Villanueva also helped the team with his punting, as he finished with an average of 53.3 yards per punt on four punts.  His longest punt was 68 yards.  Villanueva also leads the NAIA in yards per punt average (47.3 yards).  The football team will next compete Saturday Oct. 17 at home against Central Methodist (Mo.) University at 1:30 p.m.



About Missouri Valley College

Known for its dynamic, richly diverse, and friendly educational environment, Missouri Valley College offers many opportunities to grow in mind, body, and spirit. Grounded in the liberal arts, undergraduate studies empower students to master interdisciplinary skills needed to succeed in a knowledge-based global society. MVC offers over 40 academic programs, study abroad program, honors program, extracurricular activities, and 13 sports. The most popular majors include education and business, and some new majors are ag-business, nursing, graphic design, and health information systems (associate degree). Above all, Valley is committed to student success. For more information, call (660) 831-4000 or visit

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