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LC sophomore Main places sixth at youth climbing event

Melissa Main, 15, returned to Spokane last week after finishing in sixth place in the girls Youth B “difficulty” division of the 2005 World Youth Climbing Championship in Beijing. The event featured the top teenage climbers from 37 countries.

“We had two days of qualifying to narrow the field to 26 and then a day of semifinals to get down to the final eight climbers in my division,” Main said. “I didn’t climb as well as I did in the semis, but I was happy with sixth place in the world.

“It exceeded all my goals.”

The international routes are longer than those used in U.S. competitions, the Lewis and Clark High School sophomore said, “and the girls from other countries have really good technique. The girl who won my division was from France.”

The only member of the USA team, girls or boys, to place higher than Main in any age group of the “difficulty” events was Paige Claassen of Estes Park, Colo., who finished fourth in girls Youth B.


Leah Merrell Gilbert, a 1998 graduate of Mead High School, who has been a part-time assistant track and field coach at Northwest Nazarene University the last four years, has been promoted to full-time status, the Nampa, Idaho, school announced.

Gilbert, a 12-time All-American at Eastern Oregon University and the 2000 NCAA Division III champion in the hammer, earned the promotion through an NCAA Division II coaching enhancement grant. Also a certified athletic trainer, she coaches the throwing events and will become the recruiting coordinator.

Jeff Puckett, vice president for corporate and foundation relations at Washington State since 2003, has been named the executive director of the school’s athletic foundation, announced John Johnson, senior associate director of athletics.

Puckett came to the WSU Foundation after serving as the director of development and alumni relations for the WSU College of Liberal Arts from 1999-2003. During his tenure, the college more than doubled its annual fund-raising totals and benefited from the largest corporate and foundation gifts in the college’s history.


The Spokane Riverhawks Fall High School Baseball League will conduct tryouts Saturday at Spokane Falls Community College from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The league has been in operation for seven years.

This will be the league’s only tryout, and players must attend in order to be selected. The $150 league registration fee, which also covers jersey and hat, will be collected at the tryout. There will be no telephone registration. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.

Coaches will select 12 to 14 players per team on Saturday. Players will be contacted by coaches Saturday evening and practice will be held Sept. 11.

League play begins Sept. 18, with doubleheaders on Sundays at 1 p.m. through Oct. 16 at Central Valley, Mt. Spokane, Shadle Park and Gonzaga Prep high schools along with SFCC.

Info: Keith Snyder, 533-3648 or Joe Everson, 354-6031.

College scene

Washington State mascot Butch T. Cougar has been named to the fourth annual Capital One All-America Mascot Team, made up of 12 characters nationwide.

Fans, voting online at, will select the mascot of the year, which will be announced during the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 2.

“We are so excited to be part of the Capital One All-American Mascot Team,” said WSU spirit program coordinator Amanda Hoppert. “Butch works really hard and has been one of the top mascots in the Pac-10 for many years so it’s great to see him recognized at the national level.”

Other schools with mascots in the competition are Auburn, Baylor, UCLA, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Massachusetts, Miami, Nebraska, Purdue, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Voting consists of 11 weekly matchups. The mascots with the best win/loss records face off in online playoffs in December leading to the announcement of the winner at the Capital One Bowl.

Cross country

During its annual Centennial Trail fund-raiser, the University boys cross country team will run Tuesday to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The team will sell T-shirts, donated by Eagle Sportswear, said coach Linda Lanker, at the clock tower in Riverfront Park starting at 3 p.m. and accept donations during the run along the trail to Mirabeau Park in Spokane Valley.

All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross.

“The guys are willing and wanting to do something for the victims,” said Lanker. “Anyone who wants to can join in, buy a shirt or donate. Then we’ll have a pizza party at Brown’s Park at 7 p.m. and people can make donations there.”

Track and field

George Mathews of Hayden Lake continued his strong showing in the World Masters Athletics Championships in San Sebastian, Spain, last week.

Mathews won the silver medal in the men’s 60-64 weight pentathlon following a fourth-place finish in the hammer with a season-best 52.51 meters. The week before, he won the gold medal in the weight throw.

Ian Percy of Great Britain broke the world meet record with 4,220 points to better Mathews’ 4,131 points in the weight pentathlon, which consists of the hammer, shot put, discus, javelin and weight throw and took six hours to complete.