Arrow-right Camera


CCS Hall of Fame inductions Saturday

Sun., March 15, 2009

Five former female athletes, four involved in cross country and/or track and field, will be on the dais during the Community Colleges of Spokane’s 2009 Hall of Fame induction Saturday night at the Red Lion River Inn.

Slated to join 10 women’s teams, a former coach and a contributor to be inducted in the Class of 2009 are:

Kathy Kinniburgh and Gayle Falconer, (both 1977-79), who helped lead CCS to a NWAACC cross country title in 1978 and track title in 1979. Falconer won the NWAACC 800 track title in ’79 and Kinniburgh had two third-place cross country finishes.

Joanne Lahti (1978-80), who followed a second-place cross country finish for the ’78 NWAACC champions with an individual title for the ’79 team champions. In track, she won 5,000 NWAACC titles in both 1979 and ‘80 and had a record-setting 1,500 win in 1980.

Janet Buntin (1979-81), a long jumper and sprinter who won the NWAACC long jump championship in 1981 and helped CCS to two straight team titles.

Kalai Kepa (1980-82), a volleyball setter who was first-team All-NWAACC in both 1980 and ’81. CCS had a 67-14 record her two years, with only one loss to a two-year college in that span.

Saturday’s event begins at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. For information or tickets, contact Nancy Zacher at 533-3630, or

College scene

Track and field freshmen are the Community Colleges of Spokane student-athletes of the month for February.

Mark Weller from Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy, a sprinter who ran the first leg on the CCS 1600-meter relay team that beat host Idaho in a meet in Moscow, is the male choice. He has a 4.0 grade-point average.

The female winner is Vanessa Harris, a sprinter-triple jumper who ran the third-fastest indoor 60 meters in school history. She has a 3.4 GPA.

•Whitworth swept the men’s West Regional athletes and coach of the year awards for the 2009 Division III indoor track and field season.

The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association selected Toby Schwarz, in his 13th season as Pirates coach, coach of the year; junior Cody Stelzer, the national leader in the high jump at 6 feet, 103/4 inches, field athlete of the year; and junior Emmanuel Bofa, the second-ranked 800 runner in D-III at 1 minute, 52.54 seconds, the track athlete of the year.

•Montana State track coach Dale Kennedy named Nick Atwood, a junior from East Valley, as the Bobcats’ outstanding track athlete for the 2009 indoor season. Atwood was second in the 3,000 meters and seventh in the 5,000 at the Big Sky Conference Indoor championships. He ran the season’s best 3,000 in the Big Sky, 8:09.9.

Eric Burck, a former Community Colleges of Spokane athlete who is a junior at Concordia in Portland, placed third in the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships last weekend to earn All-America honors. He timed 14:46.58.

Emilee Lepp, a Linfield freshman first baseman from Colville, was the Northwest Conference student-athlete player of the week in softball after hitting .400 as the Wildcats won four games. She had 16 total bases in 13 plate appearances, stole two bases, drove in five runs, scored eight and played error-free ball.

Dara Zack, a Saint Martin’s sophomore from University High, was named to the All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference first team in women’s basketball after leading the Saints in scoring and rebounding.

Zack averaged 14.3 points, shooting 48.3 percent from the field, and 8.8 rebounds while averaging 30.5 minutes a game for the 16-12 NCAA Division II school. Roni Jo Mielke, a Saint Martin’s sophomore from Harrington, was All-GNAC honorable mention. She averaged 9.6 points and 2.7 rebounds.

The Saints also got contributions from four other area athletes: Megan Teade, a freshman from Colfax, who came off the bench to score 16 points in one late-season game and a team-leading 14 in another and averaged 7.0 points and 2.0 rebounds; Katee Nauert, a senior from Central Valley; Kelsey Baker, a freshman from Lewis and Clark; and Danika Lawson, a junior transfer from North Idaho College.

Sara Fairburn, a 2005 graduate of Northwest Christian, ended her college career at Simpson University as the Lady Red Hawks’ all-time leading scorer with 1,425 points. She also had 638 rebounds for the Redding, Calif., school.

Matt Penoncello from Moscow, Idaho, and Jake Beitinger, Central Washington seniors who started their careers at Eastern Washington before transferring, were named to the second team on the Daktronics NCAA Division II West Region men’s all-star basketball team.

High school scene

The Greater Spokane League, National Electrical Contractors Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers announced scholar-athlete winter winners.

One boy and one girl athlete are selected from each school. The winners and their sport:

Central Valley – Colby Davis, wrestling; Emily Juhre, wrestling. East Valley – Morgan Manchester, basketball; James Dorr, basketball. Ferris – Karina Caprez, gymnastics; Parker Geren, wrestling. Gonzaga Prep – Tiffany Arnold, basketball; Nick Hanson, basketball. Lewis and Clark – Emily Travis, basketball; David Sheppard, basketball. Mead – Taylor Gray, gymnastics and dance/drill; Chance Johnstone, wrestling.

Mt. Spokane – Holleigh Berstrom, basketball; Zach Wilkes, wrestling. North Central – Samantha Pryor, basketball; Justin Materne, basketball. Rogers – Jesica Carpenter, basketball; Thomas Kaley, wrestling. Shadle Park – Tori Dezellem, basketball; Anthony Brown, basketball. University – Katelyn Williams, basketball; Austin Peasley, basketball.


Natalie Nichols, a North Idaho College redshirt freshman forward from Lakeland of Rathdrum, has signed a letter of intent with New Mexico State, which will inaugurate a women’s soccer program in the Western Athletic Conference this fall.

Nichols had 14 goals, six assists and 34 points to lead the Cardinals and collected several postseason honors, including NJCAA first-team All-American.


Jessica Ross, a senior outfielder at Lake City High School, has signed a letter of intent with North Idaho College.

Ross batted .368 for the state runner-up Timberwolves as a freshman, hit .333 and was second-team All-Inland Empire League as a sophomore, and batted .317 as a junior and was again second-team All-IEL.


Washington State has signed three high school seniors to letters of intent, Cougars coach Lisa Hart announced.

Cara Brown, from South Bend, Ind., was all-conference first team as a junior and her school’s MVP and No. 1 singles player for three years; Jackie Owens, Maui, Hawaii, No. 1-ranked in the Hawaii Pacific Section and No. 118 in the USTA in 2008; and Erin Troedson, Portola Valley, Calif., ranked No. 7 in doubles and No. 18 in singles in Northern California, signed with WSU.

Compiled from staff, wire and news service reports.


Click here to comment on this story »