EWU Names Scholar-Athletes for December

Jan. 24, 2008

Mattie Bridgmon and Matt Nichols have been selected as the Eastern Washington University athletics department's Scholar-Athletes for the month of December.

In a league featuring national distance-running powerhouse Northern Arizona, Bridgmon made a mark of her own in the 2007 cross country season. Becoming just EWU's third female to ever compete in the NCAA Championships last fall, she finished 64th after placing fifth in the Big Sky meet. At the league's outdoor track and field championships last year, she was seventh in the 5,000 meters and fourth in the 10,000. Coming to Eastern from Laramie, Wyo., Bridgmon has earned Big Sky All-Academic accolades six times and has earned recognition on the EWU Dean's List on five occasions. Bridgmon is majoring in Spanish and exercise science.

"Mattie is coming off a great cross country season," said Eastern track and field coach Marcia Mecklenburg. "Having the experience of competing at the NCAA Cross Country Championships should be a great boost for her confidence going into the indoor season. It will be great to see her score some big points against the Big Sky distance powerhouses."

Nichols, like the rest of his Eagle football teammates, did an "about-face" in the 2007 season. Eastern closed the year with a quarterfinal appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs just one year after going a disappointing 3-8. The Eagles finished 9-4 and set 10 school records during the 2007 season, including five broken by Nichols. His honor-filled season was capped by earning Big Sky Conference Offensive MVP honors.

He broke the school record for touchdown passes in a single season with 34 just a year after tying the school record for interceptions with 17 as a freshman. Nichols had five 300-yard passing performances in 2007, including a 34-of-44 performance for 434 yards and two touchdowns in a 44-15 playoff victory over previously unbeaten McNeese State. For the season, the native of Cottonwood, Calif., led the league and ranked fifth in the FCS in both total offense (318.2) and passing offense (288.0) and was eighth in passing efficiency (156.5). Nichols is a double major in business management and education.

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