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Locally: EWU celebrates 20th anniversary of state track championships

From staff ,news services

The 2016 edition of the WIAA 1B, 2B and 1A track and field championships at Eastern Washington University Thursday-Saturday will mark the 20th anniversary of the meet in Cheney.

Six individuals remain constant – people who have been involved each year since the meet for the state’s smallest schools was brought to the EWU campus in 1996.

The contingent is led by meet manager Jay Rydell, the retired Central Valley School District coach and administrator, and includes starter Russ Brantner, head umpire Dale Jones, javelin head judge Ruth Van Kuren, high jump head judge Jun Yagawa and EWU sports information director Dave Cook, the entries/results coordinator. All six have worked at every meet except Rydell, who missed the first.

Lawson Van Kuren helped plan and organize 19 championships as facilities coordinator before he died June 26, 2015, after a bout with cancer. Photographer Ron Swords would be in that group but he missed the 2015 meet while recovering from a leg injury. He’ll be back this week.

Twenty-one area officials have been selected by their associations to work WIAA state championships in baseball, softball and soccer.

The officials by sport:

Baseball – Nolan Earley, Tyler Schmidt, David Ohl, Frank Wintersteen, Dwaine Schettler, Skip Taylor, Chuck DeBruin and Jeremy Burkhardt, all Spokane; Steve Pietroburgo and Kevin Wolfe, both Colville Valley; and Jordan Bishop and Nick Stevens (2B), both Palouse.

Softball – Jeff Camp (4A), Scott Hofstee (4A), Brian Hall (3A), Dennis Keys (2A), Paul Grubbs (1A) and Bob Baugh (2B/1B), all Spokane; DJ Postle (2B/1B), Palouse; and Bruce Richartz (2B/1B), Colville Valley.

Soccer – Brett Danielson (1A/2A), Spokane.

College scene

Chelsey Hayes and Makayla Lefever, who led Whitworth to a second straight Northwest Conference regular-season championship and a berth in an NCAA Division III Regional, have repeated on National Fastpitch Coaches Association D-III All-West Region softball teams.

Hayes, a sophomore first baseman from Puyallup, Washington, was a second-team repeater and Lefever, a junior right-handed pitcher from Woodland, Washington, was a third-team repeater.

Hayes led the Pirates in batting (.428), RBIs (32) and hits (59), all among the top four in the NWC. Lefever (19-4) led the NWC in wins and shutouts (four) and was second in ERA (1.95), complete games (17) and innings pitched (154 2/3).

Vanesa Shippy, an Oklahoma State sophomore from Lake City, collected an arm-load of softball honors last week.

The versatile Shippy, who started the season at second base, threw in a little outfield and finished as the starting catcher for the Cowgirls, was named to the Division I All-Midwest Region second team after being selected the Big 12 Conference co-Player of the Year and first-team all-conference as a utility player.

She was far from your normal perception of “utility.” An all-freshman selection last season, Shippy led the Big 12 with a .430 batting average, 55 runs scored and a.545 on-base percentage. She tied for third with 71 hits, was second with 39 walks and sixth with 14 doubles. She was even better against Big 12 pitching. She hit .500 in 17 games with a league-high 24 runs scored, eight stolen bases and a.627 on-base percentage.

Lindsie Scholwinski and Sydnie Malloy are headed to the NAIA softball World Series.

The juniors from North Idaho, pitcher Scholwinski (Coeur d’Alene High) and infielder Malloy (Timberlake of Spirit Lake), who helped Community Colleges of Spokane win the Northwest Athletic Conference championship last spring, played key roles as Southeastern University of Lakeland, Florida, earned its first World Series berth in just the program’s fourth year.

Scholwinski (31-7) pitched the Fire to three wins, two of them shutouts, and a regional championship last weekend to improve her numbers to 289 strikeouts in 255 innings and 12 shutouts. Malloy is hitting .326.

Southeastern (42-14), the only newcomer to the 10-team national field in Sioux City, Iowa, is the No. 6 seed and will play No. 3 St. Gregory’s of Oklahoma (46-5) in the first round Friday.

Nick Mandell, a Washington State junior golfer from Kennewick, advanced to U.S. Open sectional qualifying by winning a playoff in a local qualifier last weekend in Caldwell, Idaho.

Mandell earned the third and final spot out of Caldwell when he made par on the first playoff hole and his opponent made bogey after both shot 1-under-par 71s. Sectional qualifying, over 36 holes, will be conducted at 10 sites in the U.S. on June 6.

West Coast Conference women’s rowing champion Gonzaga claimed all the major awards and landed four on the all-conference team following the championship regatta last weekend.

Kara Soucek was Rower of the Year; Lauren English, Newcomer of the Year; Karly Dougherty, Coxswain of the Year; and the Bulldogs’ Glenn Putyrae was Coach of the Year.

Soucek was joined on the All-WCC team by Devyn Bell, Brooklyn Beeler and Ingrid Stansberry.

Mark Seely, a Western Washington junior from Central Valley, won the men’s triple jump at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships last weekend in Monmouth, Oregon, with a personal-record 48 feet, 3/4 inches.

“Mark really did a great job today and pulled kind of an upset,” coach Pee Wee Halsell said of Seely, who was third in the event last year and moved into a tie for second all-time outdoors at WWU. It was “a great moment for him and our team.”

J.T. Konrad, a Western junior from Mt. Spokane, placed fifth in the men’s pole vault (15-3 1/2) and Deja Svastisalee, a sophomore from North Central, was fifth in the women’s 400m hurdles (1:04.79). The Vikings men finished second and the women fourth.

Golf

Corey Prugh of Manito Golf & Country Club had the best finish for local golfers in a couple of events at Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent, Washington, last week.

Prugh tied for fourth in the Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational with a 3-under 213 after being tied for the lead after the first round at 5-under 67. Jeff Coston of Semiahmoo G&CC in Blaine, Washington, won with a 7-under 209.

Earlier in the week, Prugh and amateur partners John Dimmer, Micah Tilley, Jon McCaslin and Mike Henslee tied for sixth at 43-under 245 in the Washington Open Pro-Am that benefits the Folds of Honor charitable foundation.

Hockey

Seven 2001-born Spokane Chiefs prospects selected in the WHL Bantam Draft earlier this month have been invited to their provinces’ summer camps as part of the selection process for provincial teams that will play in the 2016 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup in Calgary in October.

The players by province: Alberta – Eric Van Impe, D; Carter Chorney, F; Kurtis Labant, F; and Ross Hayryluk, G. British Columbia – Ethan Leyh, F. Saskatchewan – Adam Beckman, F; and Cordel Larson, F.

Letters of intent

Eastern Oregon men’s basketball – Max McCullough, G, 5A IEL MVP, Post Falls.

Washington State men’s track & field – Justin Janke, distance, North Central; Nick Johnson, hurdles/decathlete, Gonzaga Prep; Kennan Schrag, distance, Issaquah, Washington; and Daniel Stokes, sprinter, Diamond Bar, California.

Washington State women’s track & field – Attina Kamasi, javelin/heptathlon, Novi Sad, Serbia; Kelsey Kehl, discus/javelin, Baldwin City, Kansas; Lauren Newman, LJ, La Salle (Union Gap, Washington); Alexis Redfield, distance, Zillah, Washington; Desiree Stinger, distance, Temecula, California; and Jordyn Tucker, sprinter, Monrovia, California.

Lewis-Clark State women’s track & field – Alison Carlson, discus, Lake City.

Eastern Washington men’s tennis – Scott Paz, Rancho Santa Margarita, California/Irvine Valley Community College; Flavien Raveau, Paris/Irvine Valley CC; and Ricardo Almeida, Carcavelos, Portugal/Seminole State College.

Softball

Rob Hough of Spokane, an umpire since 1998, is working the NCAA Division I Seattle Regional this weekend.

This is the first Division I regional for Hough, who umpires in several D-I conferences, including the Pac-12; has umpired in D-I conference championship tournaments; for the U.S. Olympic Team during a tune-up tour; and in the Amateur Softball Association’s top girls fastpitch event, the 18U Gold.

Triathlon

Greg Billington of Spokane will represent the United States in the men’s triathlon at the 2016 Rio Olympics, earning his spot on the three-man team following the International Triathlon Union World (ITU) Triathlon Yokohama in Japan last weekend.

Billington, who will be 26 on May 30 and lives in Poway, California, did not finish the event but earned his spot based on his quality of work. He was the top U.S. man at the triathlon test event in Rio last summer and last month had 10th-place finishes at the ITU World Triathlon Gold Coast and ITU World Cup in New Plymouth, New Zealand, a week apart.

That had him ranked first in the U.S. team’s Quality Rankings System entering Yokohama and he came out of it with enough points to retain a top-two position. The men’s triathlon will be Aug. 18 in Rio. It will be the first Olympics for all three of the U.S. men’s qualifiers.

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