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Locally: Three area golfers earn player of the year honors

UPDATED: Sat., Oct. 26, 2019

Washington State junior Emily Baumgart has been named the 2019 Washington Golf Women’s Player of the Year. (WSU Athletics / Courtesy)
Washington State junior Emily Baumgart has been named the 2019 Washington Golf Women’s Player of the Year. (WSU Athletics / Courtesy)

Three area golfers – Emily Baumgart, Reid Hatley and Russell Grove – have collected player of the year honors for 2019.

Washington Golf, one of the largest amateur golf associations in the United States, honored Baumgart and Hatley. Baumgart, a redshirt junior at Washington State, was named Women’s Player of the Year, and Hayden Lake’s Hatley received the Men’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year award for a fifth straight year.

For the third straight year, the Pacific Northwest Golf Association selected Grove, a PGA professional and the men’s and women’s coach at North Idaho College, its Omega Player of the Year.

WSU assistant coach Emma White said Baumgart “overcame adversity early on in her collegiate career, coming back from two knee surgeries that resulted in her not being able to compete for a year. (She redshirted her freshman year.) To see where she is today to win this award is a huge testament to Emily’s character and work ethic.”

Baumgart was the stroke-play medalist and reached the quarterfinals at the Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur, had a top-10 finish in the Washington Women’s Amateur and qualified for the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur.

Hatley won the Oregon Open, tied for sixth in the Northwest Open and tied for 15th in the Rosauers Invitational, all competing against the region’s PGA club professionals. He also won the Washington Amateur and finished fifth in the Mexican Amateur in 2019.

The Washington Golf honors will be handed out Nov. 2 at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washington.

Grove, who earned a spot to the PGA Professional Championship next spring, where he tied for 71st in 2019, highlighted his year by winning the Inland Empire Chapter championship and tying for second at the PNW PGA Professional Championship.

He also had top-10 finishes at the Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational, where he tied for sixth, and the Northwest Open Invitational, where he tied for eighth. He also tied for 19th at the Oregon Open Invitational and tied for 20th at the Rosauers Open Invitational.

• Hatley and his professional partner, Community Colleges of Spokane coach Corey Prugh, placed third for the best finish by an area duo at the 2019 Pacific Golf & Turf Pro-Amateur Championship earlier this month at Pronghorn Resort in Bend, Oregon.

Pro Gordon Corder and Jeff Sweat from Manito were in a four-way tie for sixth. Grove and his amateur partner, Tony Hanna from Avondale, and pro Trevor Fox and amateur partner Tim Kohn from The Golf Club at Black Rock, were in a four-way tie for 12th.

College scene

Spencer Swaim, a Carroll College sophomore from Lewis and Clark, was named the Frontier Conference men’s cross country runner of the week after he won the Montana Western Open in a field of 38, covering 8K in 26 minutes, 39 seconds.

• Community Colleges of Spokane swept the NWAC cross country runner of the week awards for their performances in the Sasquatch Invitational on Oct. 18.

Ashley Hauger, a sophomore from Shadle Park who has overcome two stress fractures suffered as a freshman and can only train three to four days a week because of a bone condition, received the female award. She covered the 5K course in 19:45.2.

The male recipient was freshman Ohan Correa, who finished third overall against runners from four-year schools, timing 24:48.1 for 8K. That’s 8 seconds off his PR and broke the hilly Downriver Golf Course record by 29 seconds.

• Gonzaga climbed into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division I men’s poll for the third time in program history, ranking No. 29 last week on the heels of a 16th-place finish at the Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin.

GU, which finished ahead of 10 of the 19 schools in the field that were ranked in the previous poll, was led by sophomore James Mwaura, who placed 15th in 23:56.5. He improved 24 spots over the last half of the 8K race and 38 spots over the last 6K.

• Idaho junior Taylor Brust, who moved to center back in recent weeks, was named the Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week in women’s soccer after scoring two goals as the Vandals split a pair of matches, including posting their first conference win of the season.

She connected on a 50-yard free kick in the 60th minute on Oct. 18 in a 2-1 loss to visiting Northern Arizona. Last Sunday, Brust nailed a 30-yard free kick with about 20 seconds left to produce a 2-1 overtime victory over Southern Utah in the Kibbie Dome.

• Senior end Andrew McCoy of Whitworth was named the Northwest Conference Football Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Pirates’ 19-14 win over George Fox.

McCoy had two of the Bucs’ three sacks, accounting for 19 yards in losses; three total tackles for loss; and tied for the team lead with seven tackles.

• Idaho senior defensive back Lloyd Hightower was recognized by the Big Sky Conference as its football Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Vandals’ 45-21 win over Idaho State.

Hightower scored twice, once on an interception return midway through the first quarter, and added a second score late in the third when he picked up an Idaho State fumble and returned it 49 yards.

Grace Hicks, a Point Loma Nazarene middle blocker from Sandpoint, was named the PacWest Conference volleyball Freshman of the Week after helping the Sea Lions become the first conference school to knock off league power Azusa Pacific.

Hicks had nine kills with two errors on 14 attacks and added three blocks, four digs and one assist. She has a .247 season attack percentage for the 8-2 Sea Lions, who are riding a five-match win streak and are fifth in the tightly packed title chase.

• Whitworth seniors swept the Northwest Conference player of the week awards in volleyball after leading the Pirates to victories over Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound as the Bucs regained sole possession of first place.

Madison Douglas earned defensive honors for her best blocking weekend of the season. She averaged 1.25 blocks per set, finishing with three solos and seven block assists.

The offensive choice was Emiko Kahler, who had one of the best weekends of her career. She averaged 5.38 kills per set, hit .368, both season-high marks for a full weekend, and added 3.63 digs per set.

• Kahler and fellow senior Reilley Hegarty were named the Whitworth student-athletes of the month for September.

Kahler led the volleyball team to a 10-4 record, averaging 3.76 kills and 3.06 digs per set, and added 17 service aces. She was selected NWC Offensive Player of the Week twice in the month.

Hegarty, a golfer, earned the male award for a month in which he compiled a 72.75 scoring average. He tied for eighth at PLU’s Collegiate Open and took third at the Linfield Invitational, finishing as Whitworth’s top individual in both.

• The Whitworth men’s golf team concluded its fall schedule by winning the Confluence Classic in Walla Walla last week by seven shots with a 13-over-par 589.

Sam Stiles, a senior from Mt. Spokane, had his best tournament of the fall with a 2-over 146 to tie for low individual score, but lost medalist honors on the second hole of a playoff.

• The Idaho men’s doubles team of Francisco Bascon-Perez and Esteban Santibanez made the finals of the International Tennis Association D1 Mountain Regionals in Denver, knocking off the top seed and 42-ranked team in the nation, before falling in the finals.

• Washington State senior Melisa Ates produced the biggest win of her career when she defeated the tournament’s No. 2 seed and 24th-ranked player in the country, Julia Rosenqvist of California, 6-2, 6-4, in the Round of 32 in the ITA Northwest Regional tennis tournament before losing in her next match.

Hall of fame

Marcia Mecklenburg, in her 25th season as head women’s track and field coach at Eastern Washington University, where she coaches the women’s and men’s throwers, on Thursday was one of 32 individuals inducted into the Edmonds-Woodway High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

A 1975 graduate of Edmonds High School, she was a three-sport standout – track, volleyball and basketball – and was a double Washington State track champion in 1975, capturing the shot put and discus. Her winning shot put of 48 feet, 2 1/4 inches broke the state-meet record and remains a school record.

Mecklenburg competed four years at Seattle Pacific, qualifying all four years for the AIAW National Championships in the shot and discus. She also competed in three U.S. Olympic Trials and made three U.S. international teams.

She was a three-time national masters hammer champion and set an American record in the event for her age group at the Nike World Masters Championship in 1998.

Before arriving at EWU in the fall of 1995, she was an assistant at her alma mater, Montana State and Washington State. She coached four All-Americans and two national champions at WSU and has had 10 national qualifiers and two All-Americans at Eastern.

Hockey

A franchise-record 31 former Spokane Chiefs are attending college during the 2019-20 fall semester on the Western Hockey League scholarship program funded by member clubs. They are part of a league-record 391 former WHL players taking advantage of the opportunity.

Of the former Chiefs, 21 are continuing their hockey careers at the university level. Among former Chiefs who followed a similar path were Jason Fram, twice named his collegiate conference defenseman of the year, and Derek Ryan of Spokane, who played four years at the University of Alberta and is now a forward for the Calgary Flames of the NHL.

Former Chiefs and their schools (*- indicates playing collegiately):

*Matt Berlin, Zach Fischer, *Dalton Hamaliuk, *Curtis Miske, *Luc Smith, all University of Alberta; Tanner Wishnowski, University of British Columbia; *Luke Harrison, *Jordan Henderson, Jayden Sittler, all University of Calgary; *Jeff Rayman, University of Lethbridge; Cedric Chenier, Lasse Petersen, both University of Manitoba.

*Connor Chartier, *Tyson Helgesen, *Mitch Lipon, all Mount Royal University; *Tyler King, University of Regina; *Jeff Faith, *Evan Fiala, *Wyatt Johnson, *Nolan Reid, all University of Saskatchewan; *Rykr Cole, *Matt Sozanski, both Carleton University; *Keanu Yamamoto, McGill University; *Riley Whittingham, University of Prince Edward Island.

*Markson Bechtold, University of Waterloo; *Kolten Olynek, University of Western Ontario/King’s University College; Marcus Messier, University of Windsor; Alex Mowbray, York University; Dawson Weatherill, Red Deer (Alberta) College; Jacob Cardiff, Saskatchewan Polytechnic; Jake Toporowski, Western Illinois University.

• The Chiefs announced that 10 games during the 2019-20 WHL season will be televised on SWX, beginning with the Jan. 18 game against the Regina Pats at Spokane Arena.

Six of the games will be against the Tri-City Americans, three each in Spokane and Kennewick.

The full schedule:

Jan. 18, Regina; Jan. 25, at Tri-City; Feb. 1, Kelowna; Feb. 8, Tri-City; Feb. 15, at Tri-City; Feb. 28, Seattle; Feb. 29, Tri-City; March 13, Portland; March 14, Tri-City; March 21, at Tri-City. All telecasts will begin at 7 p.m.

Miscellany

Matt Peterson, who grew up in Pullman and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Gonzaga University, has been hired as assistant athletic director at University of Montana Western in Dillon.

Peterson rowed for the Bulldogs’ varsity men’s crew while earning his undergraduate degree in sport management and public relations at GU and received his masters’ degree in athletic administration in May.

While at GU, he also worked in the athletic ticketing department, primarily with men’s and women’s basketball. He has also worked the last five years with the Cougar Athletic Foundation at Washington State and served internships with both the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks of the NFL.

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