The sun shined on the Spokane Ski Racing Association when the Pacific Northwest Ski Association U16 Series wound up at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association U16 finals at Mission Ridge last weekend.
Led by Elyse Burandt and Michael Estrella, both Ferris High School students who captured the ladies and men’s individual championships, respectively, SSRA finished second to perennial power Crystal Mountain in the season-long overall team competition.
SSRA executive director Chuck Holcomb said it’s the first time in recent memory that two skiers from the same club stood on the top of the podium after the long season.
SSRA was second in the women’s team standings and fourth in the men’s. Also on the SSRA teams were Rianne Ellingwood, Berkeley Guenzel, Briley Thompson, Nic Dixon, Will Gottsch, Kyle Luiten, Adrian Markewych and Connor Peck.
• In last weekend’s season-ending races outside of Wenatchee, SSRA and Schweitzer Alpine Racing School each had three skiers with top-15 places.
For SSRA, Burandt was second to earn the silver medal in the ladies giant slalom, sixth in slalom and 13th in super G; Estrella earned bronze with a third in men’s super G and was fifth in giant slalom; and Guenzel was 15th in ladies giant slalom.
For SARS, Matt Duchow was ninth in men’s super G and 13th in giant slalom; Maddie Collins was fifth in ladies giant slalom and 12th in slalom; and Halle Campbell was 13th in ladies giant slalom.
Ryan Looney of Seattle Pacific, a former North Idaho College assistant, is one of 15 finalists for the 2013 Clarence “Big House” Gaines National Coach of the Year honors in Division II schools.
Looney, whose coaching resume includes a stint at NIC in 2001-02, guided the 2012-13 Falcons to a 27-4 record and into the third round of the NCAA Division II championships.
Redshirt sophomores Jordan Arakawa and Emma Murillo of the track and field team have been selected as the Eastern Washington athletic department Scholar-Athletes of the Month for April.
The award recognizes athletic and academic success of student-athletes based primarily on performances during the prior month.
Arakawa, who has a 3.91 cumulative grade-point average in exercise science, twice eclipsed his personal best in the javelin during March. He had throws of 196 feet, 8 inches, then topping 200 for the first time at 208-1 that not only leads the Big Sky Conference this spring but also is second in school history. It earned him a Big Sky field athlete of the week honor.
Murillo, a Spanish education major with a 3.58 GPA, hit personal bests in all three of her throwing events – hammer (163-9), discus (143-0) and javelin (142-10) – that qualified her in all three for the Big Sky outdoor championships.
• John Allen, the Western Washington senior guard who started his basketball career at Washington State before transferring, was named to the 2013 Division II Bulletin Men’s Basketball All-America first team.
Allen led the Vikings to a 31-3 record with 17.1 scoring average, 4.1 assists per game and 69 3-point baskets. His postseason honors include third-team Daktronics All-America and both Daktronics West Region and Great Northwest Athletic Conference player of the year.
Letters of intent
Lewis-Clark State women’s basketball: Caelyn Orlandi, Coeur d’Alene High School, who plays several positions including point guard, was first-team 5A All-Inland Empire League as a senior, second-team 5A All-State when the Vikings were state runners-up and honorable mention All-State as a junior when the Vikings were state champions.
• Washington State track and field: Abu Kamara, a hurdler from Kent, Wash., with top-five State 4A finishes in 300 hurdles the last three years; Abby Regan, a distance runner from Coonamble, New South Wales, Australia, who runs cross country, track and triathlon; Cole Smith, a high jumper from Hoquiam, Wash., two-time State 1A champion with PR of 6-10, and also placed fifth in javelin for state championship team; and Josh Wallin, a quarter-miler from Meridian, Idaho, State 5A runner-up in 400 in 2012 after finishing seventh as a sophomore.