It was, said West Valley coach Jim McLachlan, difficult to comprehend the impact of his track team’s state-qualifying effort.
“It was a strange year because we were so strong in the field,” he said. “I’m used to having kids win races.”
The Eagles won eight of 17 district championships in qualifying seven athletes in nine events to Star Track in Tacoma this weekend.
Only two of those came on the track where senior Clayton Holmes won both the 1,600 and 3,200 meter finals.
Everything else happened in field venues, where the efforts are not as readily seen.
The exception was Vinnie Pecht’s imposing 207-2 discus record toss.
McLachlan gave assistants Herm Caviness and Howard Dolphin and distance coach John Preston full share of the credit.
Dolphin coached Pecht to his amazing throw, got Mike Schroder to state in the javelin and Ryan Stockton in the shot put.
Caviness got strong efforts from Devion Tensley in the long jump and triple jump, and Rick Collins in the pole vault.
Tensley, who upset EV’s Jerry Claridge in the triple jump, gave credit to a lucky quarter.
“Tuesday I found a quarter on the track and it came up heads,” said Tensley. “I long jumped 22-8-1/4. I had the same lucky quarter (on Friday) and it came out to 44-9-1/2.(in the triple jump)”
McLachlan coached Ryan Schroder in the high jump.
“He’s come through a number of times,” said McLachlan of his jumper. “This is a big deal for him.”
East Valley’s Brandon Blize won both hurdles, and seven others are going to state in second place.
“We had a few surprises,” said coach Dave McCarty, “(freshman) Andrew (Burgess) in the high jump, and it was nice to see Ken Skogen go.”
We meet again
All season long EV’s Christy Blindauer and WV’s Stacey Roberts jockeyed for discus supremacy in the Frontier League.
At district, Blindauer got the upper hand, 120-6 to 114-11. It culminated a comeback of sorts for the Knight senior.
“Last year was rough,” said Blindauer. “I don’t think I threw past 110 feet. I’m ecstatic. It made my day.”
Then, Blindauer, one of three Knight district champions, quickly applauded her foe.
“Stacey’s awesome,” she said. “Luckily, we get along pretty good.”
Knights Ann Marie Adams in the 800 and freshman Crystal Gerky in the high jump were other titlists, although Gerky was disappointed missing out in the open 400.
Loretta Serbell was an upset winner in the shot put.
Between them, the two schools have a dozen state qualifiers. WV’s Staci Adams won two individual events and ran on two winning relays. Cindy Simpson won the 200 and ran on the relays along with Rhonda Barney and Erica Frampton.
Jessica Riehle won the 1,600 and qualified in the 3,200.
GSL tracksters do their thing
Things didn’t quite work out as as hoped for some Valley Greater Spokane League track teams.
But all have their state qualifying athletes. University qualified six boys and two girls.
Included are Tim Buchanan, who won the 300 hurdles and is part of University’s qualifying relay teams, and Julie Schroeder who qualified in both jumps.
Central Valley got its girls relay teams, as expected, plus three boys. Josh Kruse saved his best pole vault for regionals, clearing 14-1 to join 800 runner Rob Warnock and high jumper Marc Hinckley at state.
Titan softball back to state
University High is making its second trip to the State AAA softball tournament.
“We did it the hard way, but we’re back,” said coach Ken Van Sickle.
After losing to Walla Walla 4-1 in their regional opener, the Titans came back to defeat Central Valley, Richland and Mead for the state berth this weekend in Yakima.
“Walla Walla had six all-league players,” Van Sickle said. “They were second in the Big Nine but fourth seeded in the tournament.”
Walla Walla went on to win the regional playoffs and the Titans never lost again.
Pitcher Cheryl Andrizzi allowed just nine hits in three games and senior shortstop Lisa Muroya went 8 for 13 during the playoffs.
The Titans won 7-1 over CV, 2-1 over Richland and 4-1 over Mead, running their overall record to 25-1.
Eagles, Knights to state
The bracketing couldn’t have fallen better for West Valley, which qualified for its 10th trip to state in the last 13 years.
And while it wasn’t quite as good for East Valley, it was good enough for the Knights to return to state following a year’s absence.
In an all-Frontier finale, the Eagles defeated Colville 4-2 in eight innings for seeding and the Knights beat Cheney 4-0 for the district’s third berth in the State AA tournament this weekend in Tacoma.
WV had drawn Cheney, fourth out of the Frontier, in its second-round playoff game, winning 7-0. The Knights lost 6-2 to Colville but bounced back for a 9-3 triumph over Freeman to remain alive in the tourney.
Valley View golfers in good form
Valley View ladies golfers were in good form during last week’s weekly medal play for the 9-hole club.
Three golfers broke 50, led by Marjie Haser’s 48 in B flight. In A, Joyce Jacobs shot 49, as did no-handicapper Merilyn Lloyd.
In C flight, Loriene Rankin was far back with her 51.
Net winners were Edith Rains with 29 in A, Cathy Mileson with 26 in B and Bea Bladek with 22 in C.
Odd holes, half handicap
Liberty Lake Ladies 18-Hole club members counted only the odd holes and scored half their handicap during play last week.
In A flight the net winners were Louise Newtson with 34 and Diane Hicks with 36-1/2.
B flight leaders were Marion Jordan with 30-1/2 and Nancy Monteith with 32.
Anne Meyers won C flight with 32 and Barb Hafner won D with 34.
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