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Roskelley latest in long line of pole vault stars

Jordan Roskelley won the pole vault at Saturday’s Pasco Invitational at 12-feet, but you could pardon her if she wasn’t satisfied.

Two days earlier Roskelley had vaulted a Greater Spokane League record 12-6 which, according to her Mt. Spokane pole vault coach Shawn Gumke, ranks her seventh in the nation.

The vault was nearly a foot more than her previous best this year. “A couple of us pole vault gurus kind of knew it was going to happen,” said Gumke. “We just didn’t know when.”

Roskelley, he said, had perfected her takeoff and plant, but “wasn’t going upside down at all. It was basically jump and pulling her feet up. She was not moving her torso.”

Now the tall gymnast, which Gumke said is a perfect combination for a pole vaulter, is getting her feet up over her head, but the plant is not as good as it could be.

The sky, literally, is the limit he said for the athlete who also played volleyball and began as a distance runner in cross country and track.

“Last year she was on nobody’s (college) radar,” said Gumke. “Now she’s on everybody’s radar.”

Gumke is a 1997 Mead graduate, himself a pole vaulter who cleared well over 15-feet in college and as high as 16-2 in an open meet. Last year he had two boys finish in the state’s top three, including 4A champion Beau Carrillo at 15-3.

Roskelley is his latest star.

•Unbeaten Shadle Park and East Valley girls are at North Central in Thursday’s GSL track and field showdown. Mead, Lewis and Clark and Central Valley boys are unbeaten in the GSL entering this week. They meet at LC the following week.

3A teams intrude

These are exciting times for 3A baseball and softball teams in the GSL.

Mt. Spokane baseball, following last week’s sweep of district foe Mead, is first by two games. North Central softball, after rallying to beat University is second.

“It was a great win for us,” said coach Herm Marshall, whose Indians swept two games from the Titans for the first time in his nearly 20 years as coach.

And the fact that the Wildcats are atop GSL baseball was not lost on coach Alex Schuerman.

“A goal of ours is to win the league,” said Schuerman. “I don’t care if you’re 3A or 4A or why else play in the league?”

But it also means that the 4A schools they lead needn’t despair. Baseball teams could finish second or third in league and still get the top two spots in their district tournament. And a softball team could finish third in league and automatically qualify for regional.

As U-Hi softball coach Jon Schuh noted following Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Indians, “The game doesn’t mean anything, other than we didn’t add a game (in the standings on other 4A teams).”

The Titans (8-3) are tied with Mead for third, two games behind NC (10-1) and three behind unbeaten Shadle Park (11-0).

•In baseball, the Wildcats are 11-1 and return to action Thursday against fourth-place Ferris (6-5) home and home. And co-second-place teams Mead and University (both 8-3) play each other twice as well after the Panthers finish with the Saxons and the Titans with North Central on Tuesday.

Shootouts rare

Unlike last year when there were 11, shootouts in GSL soccer have been rare. So far there have been only two.

But with still much to be resolved in the final two weeks of the season, shootouts down the stretch could impact the outcome for four teams with title aspirations.

University and East Valley, tied atop the league with 6-1 records, have the final two byes. The Titans beat the Knights 1-0 earlier.

Mead, at 5-1, plays both teams back-to-back beginning Friday. Its loss was to Central Valley.

And lurking in the wings is Lewis and Clark (5-2), which has already played all three, losing to the Panthers and Knights and beating the Titans. The Tigers are at CV on Friday.