Ashlee Munsey has her first national championship, and with it an elusive pro card.
The North Central High School math teacher won the lightweight women’s division at the 2018 Strongman Corporation Nationals last weekend in St. Louis in her fourth attempt. But it took a come-from-behind effort and a tiebreaker to decide it.
In the first event for women who weigh less than 140 pounds, a clean-and-press of a 140-pound axle for 60 seconds, Munsey tied for ninth place in the field of 23. She had 10 repetitions to 17 for the leader and 16 for the woman with whom she would eventually wind up tied.
Wins in the next two events in the five-event competition drew Munsey within a half point of the leader. But she slipped to five points back by tying for seventh when she did nine reps lifting an 85-pound “circus dumbbell” with one arm, compared to 11 reps for the leader.
“I knew going into the last event,” a 90-second, three-part sprint medley, “that if I was going to win, I would have to beat her and six others would have to beat her, too,” Munsey said.
She did, finishing second, to earn 22 points. But the runner-up finished seventh, earning 17 points. They were tied with 98.5 points.
Munsey was on her way to watch her husband Andy compete in the middleweight men’s under-200 division when it was announced there was a tie in her division and a tiebreaker would be needed.
“They waited until everyone else was done. It was about two hours after my last event,” she said.
The tiebreaker was holding a 375-pound frame, the same object used in the second and third events, for time. Her opponent dropped it at about 40 seconds. Munsey held on for about a minute.
“It was pretty exciting; pretty cool,” she said. “It’s the biggest competition I’ve ever won.”
Her first Strongman was in 2015 when she competed as a middleweight. In her first attempt as a lightweight in 2016, she finished second. She was seventh last year.
Her reward? A 15-pound piece of metal trophy – “we got a lot of stares passing through the airport” – and the pro card she had barely missed twice before.
“Yes,” she told some of her students who asked, “now I can get paid. But I don’t think I’ll get as much as I have invested” in the sport.
Oh, yeah: Andy, his wife’s training partner in the gym they built at their home, finished seventh in his division.
Some of the best marks of the early season were posted in the Junior Bowlers Tour stop at Players & Spectators last Sunday with Mason Georgeadis leading the way with high game, high series and the championship.
Georgeadis turned in the high series, a 939, in the match-play portion of qualifying to take the No. 1 spot into the five-player finals then used the high game for a 278-207 victory over No. 2 qualifier Brenden Haight in the title match.
Kaleb Ramelow, who had a 902 series in qualifying, bested Josh Fleming 256-255 in the best match of the day to finish third; Fleming was fourth in his first time in the finals; and Cameron Comer was fifth in his first JBT event of the season.
Other high four-game series included an 884 by Georgeadis; an 865 and 851 by Haight; and an 877 by Comer.
Madison Hilden had high game for the girls, a 256.
The next JBT event is the doubles tournament at Lilac Lanes on Nov. 11.
• Luke English defeated brother Blake English, the No. 1 qualifier, 185-179 for the championship of the JBT tournament at Sunset Lanes in Coeur d’Alene on Oct. 14.
Georgeadis finished third, Austin Brown was fourth and Ramelow fifth.
Blake English had high game and high series, 278 and 904, and Hilden led the girls with a 224 and 864.
Taryn Miller of Montana, three Eastern Washington Eagles and six Idaho Vandals were named to the 2018 All-Big Sky Conference women’s soccer team.
Miller, a senior from Central Valley who was the 2017 Big Sky defensive MVP, was a first-team choice for a second straight year.
Eastern senior forward Jenny Chavez was a first-team choice for a third straight year after being a second-team selection as a freshman. Teammates Allison Raniere, a senior forward, and redshirt junior defender Maia Innis were named honorable mention, their first Big Sky honors.
Seniors Kelly Dopke and Makayla Presgrave led the Idaho contingent that also includes junior Mayah Merino, sophomore Hadley Sbrega and seniors Kayleigh Frederick and Bridget Daley.
Dopke, who played every minute in conference matches and was instrumental in the Vandals recording nine shutouts, six in nine conference games, was named the defensive MVP and landed a spot on the first team along with forward Merino, who tied for the league lead with five goals. Two were winners.
Presgrave, who had a 0.88 goals-against average, shared goalkeeper of the year honors with Taryn Benham of Northern Arizona and was honorable mention as were defender Frederick and forward Daley. Midfielder Sbrega was on the second team.
• With key goals and clutch saves, Washington State juniors Morgan Weaver and Rachel Thompson earned their second Pac-12 weekly awards.
Weaver was the offensive player of the week with two goals and two assists while Thompson was goalkeeper of the week after leading the Cougars to a win over Cal (4-2) and a draw (1-1) with No. 1 Stanford in two overtimes. Weaver’s career-high ninth goal of the season in the 77th minute got WSU even with Stanford and Thompson made it stand up.
• Washington State senior Chandler Teigen collected first-team honors and Colorado junior John Dressel from Mt. Spokane and Washington senior Tanner Anderson from North Central were on the second team of the All-Pac-12 men’s cross country team based on their finishes in the conference championships.
Teigen, from Anatone, Washington, finished seventh in 23 minutes, 12.1 seconds for his second straight top-10 finish. Dressell, who missed last season with an injury, and Anderson, who transferred to UW for his senior season after spending his first three at Oregon, were eighth and ninth in the same time, 23:12.4
The top seven are accorded first-team honors. The next seven are on the second team.
• Portland senior Nick Hauger, fromShadle Park, the conference champion, and Gonzaga’s James Mwaura, the freshman of the year, landed first-team spots on the All-West Coast Conference men’s cross country team. GU redshirt sophomore Peter Hogan was on the second team. Mwaura was ninth and Hogan 13th in the conference championships.
• Whitworth athletes swept the weekly Northwest Conference defensive soccer awards and picked up one weekly honor each in football and cross country.
Molly Webster, the Pirates’ senior goalkeeper, was the women’s soccer defensive player of the week after posting shutouts over Willamette and Linfield, the latter with the top scoring offense in the conference. She had nine saves.
Jesus Nunez, the Bucs’ junior goalkeeper, was the men’s soccer defensive player of the week after he turned in 135 scoreless minutes – a shutout of Pacific and a scoreless half against George Fox.
Colten Chelin, a freshman defensive back from Kennewick who had 12 tackles and a 21-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Pirates’ 37-16 win over Pacific, was the football defensive player of the week.
Senior Marissa Mount, who won the NWC championship by 16 seconds, was the women’s cross country runner of the week. She ran the 6K course in 22 minutes, 17.7 seconds at McIvor Park in Estacada, Oregon.
• Idaho senior Enrique Marin was named the Big Sky men’s golfer of the week for the first time this season and fifth of his career after he a shot 4-under-par 212 to tie for 24th at the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational that ended Tuesday.
He sandwiched 4-under 68s around a second-round 76 for his first sub-par tournament of the fall and his fifth straight top-25 finish. He had a 72.0 scoring average in the fall season.
• Seniors Chandler Teigen in men’s cross country and volleyball’s Claire Martin have been named Washington State’s student-athletes of the month for October.
Teigen, who has a 3.91 GPA in bioengineering and plans to attend medical school, finished seventh in the Pac-12 championship meet. He is a two-time team captain whose many academic honors include CoSIDA Academic All-American third team in track in 2018.
Martin, a middle blocker with a 3.22 GPA in mechanical engineering, holds the school record for block assists and has been named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week twice in her career, including earlier this fall.
• Elle Burland, a Holy Names University sophomore from East Valley, started the 2018-19 basketball season for the Division II school in Oakland, California, the way she finished 2017-18 as the Hawks’ floor general. She had a team-leading 10 assists in a season-opening 77-44 exhibition win over Pacific Union.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.