The last three years, Patty Aunan has returned from the U.S. Tennis Association National Indoor Championships in Chicago with trophies - two for titles, one for a third-place finish.
But she is more excited about a celebrity sighting than a trophy won.
“Two years ago when we won, playing on the next court was Billie Jean King,” said Aunan, the Central Valley High School coach and tennis pro at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. “It was pretty exciting and I was kinda nervous. Actually, I was surprised we won.
“I was waiting for (an errant shot from King or her opponent) so I could hand-deliver the ball to her.”
Aunan and her friend and partner, Hilary Marold of Glen Ellyn, Ill., this spring regained the women’s 40-and-over doubles title they had won in 1994 but gave up last year when they lost in the semifinals.
King plays in the 50-and-over division. Don’t be surprised if Aunan drags her feet turning 50 until King graduates into the 60-and-over division.
Because of their success in the Indoor, Aunan said she and Marold likely will play in the USTA’s senior hard-court tournament in La Jolla, Calif., this summer.
“If we win that,” Aunan said, “we’ll probably be ranked No. 1.”
The Big Sky Conference announced All-Academic teams for basketball and indoor track from Eastern Washington and Idaho.
To qualify, a student-athlete must have a grade-point average of at least 3.0 and compete in at least half their team’s games.
Men’s basketball: EWU-Luke Egan, junior, 3.06, chemistry; Kevin Groves, jr., 3.87, psychology.
Women’s basketball: EWU-Jennie Bailey, sophomore, 3.56, biology; Kelly Bartleson, freshman, 3.48, nursing; Katy Hollingbery, soph., 3.07; Shana Ray, fr., 3.49, physical therapy; Tina Smith, senior, 3.23, applied psychology; Jennifer Sutter, jr., 3.47, criminal justice; Resa Watterson, sr., 3.84, chemistry. Idaho-Jan Ackerman, sr., 3.40, sports science; Heather Beard, sr., 4.0, sports science; Sarah Blakley, fr., 3.35, undeclared; Michelle Greenwood, jr., 3.78, music; Kelli Johnson, so., 3.60, communication; Melisa McDaniel, so., 3.50, education; Ari Skorpik, jr., 3.40, business; Jill Morris, sr., GPA unavailable, consumer science; Mindy Rice, sr., una., physical education.
Indoor track and field: Idaho-Dawna Dennis, soph., food science; Sarah Dudley, sr., political science; Kerri Fife, jr., biology; Tara Gehrke, jr., elementary education; Sharry Olsen, jr., molecular biology; Tia Taruscio, soph., Spanish; Jessica Welk, sr., sport science; Jill Wimer, sr., sport science; Katherine Hough, fr., education; Andrea Jenkins, soph., sport science; Brigitta Sera, fr., sociology; Frank Bruder, jr., economics; Aaron Denham, fr., psychology; Richard Gere, jr., criminal justice; Bernd Schroeder, soph., studio art; Paul Thompson, sr., psychology; Scott Whalen, sr., mechanical engineering; Eric Hisaw, sr., education.
Two months before their season opener, the Spokane Indians have drawn more than 100,000 fans.
The Indians announced they have sold a record 1,510 full-season tickets. Added to the 1,480 miniplans and 210 skybox season tickets already sold and the Northwest League team is guaranteed six figures in attendance. Spokane drew 162,336 last year.
The Indians’ season opener is June 18 in Everett. Spokane’s home opener is June 21 against Eugene.
Two Inland Empire athletes, Scott McSpadden of Spokane and Kirk Willett of Pullman, will be among the more than 150 cyclists expected for the Microsoft Grand Prix May 19 in Seattle, the first event of the U.S. Olympic team trials.
Five spots on the men’s Olympic team will be at stake.
McSpadden, fourth in the 1994 Tour of Belize, is competing in Central America and Europe this spring to prepare himself the trials. Willett, whose strength is sprinting and climbing, has competed around the world and won the Exeter Road Race this spring.
Former Central Valley standout and Greater Spokane League most valuable player Laura Fralich averaged 11.3 points and 6.5 assists for The Master’s College women’s basketball team last season.
Fralich, a 5-foot-7 junior guard, was named to the Pacific Northwest Region NAIA Division I women’s team. She averaged almost 38 minutes a game for the Mustangs of Santa Clarita, Calif., and had season highs of 22 points, seven rebounds, 14 assists and seven steals.
It was a memorable, but not very rewarding, senior hockey season for Ryan Fleming of Spokane (Mead) at Michigan State.
Fleming, a defenseman, missed all but seven games of his final season with mononucleosis. Fleming, named the Spartans’ most improved player the season before, had career totals of five goals, 26 points and 28 penalty minutes in 94 games.
His last game was a 6-2 loss in the first round of the NCAA West Regionals as the Spartans finished 28-13-1.
Luke Wotruba, a University High senior, has signed a letter-of-intent with Southern Illinois University to swim for the Salukis.
SIU coach Rick Walker said Wotruba, a butterfly specialist who finished fourth in the Junior Nationals last year, should make an immediate contribution. Wotruba also is a National Honor Society member.
Former University of Idaho and Kennewick football coach Ed Troxel will be honored at a celebrity roast May 3 at 7 p.m. in the Kennewick High School auditorium.
His friends and former players are invited. All proceeds go to the Ed Troxel Scholarship Fund of the Kennewick Education Association.
Info: (800) 838-4015.
Running/track and field
The Performance Training Track and Field Club will hold an informational meeting for athletes and parents Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Whitworth College track.
The club is open to athletes from junior high through masters, with the emphasis on quality training and performance. Athletes of any age who meet certain standards can enter the club’s elite program.
Info: Arnie Tyler, 466-5801 or 459-3792.
Rogers High School will be the site of the second annual Gerry Lindgren Fun Run and “carbo-load” April 26-27. It’s a 2-mile run or walk.
The preregistration deadline is Wednesday. The cost is $10, which includes a T-shirt. On-site registration race day is $5 with no T-shirt.
The weekend starts with a carbo dinner April 26 from 4:30-8 p.m. in the Rogers cafeteria. Tickets, available at Rogers and Shaw Middle School, are $3.50, $5 and $6. Race-day registration begins at 9 a.m. April 27, with the fun run and other activities running 10 to noon.
The Moose’s Coors Light Northwest Showdown softball tournament, July 13-14 at Kalispell, Mont., will be for men’s A, B and C and coed slowpitch teams. There’s a three-game guarantee. The cost is $140.
Info: Judy Chapman, (406) 755-6667; or Travis Peterson, (406) 756-8300.
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