Rowan Henry is a national champion.
The third-grader at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Spokane Valley was the table-setter for the Coeur d’Alene-based North Idaho Cross Country team at the 2018 USA Track and Field Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships last weekend in Reno, Nevada.
Henry won the boys 8-and-under 2K race in a field of 242, clocking 7 minutes, 56.7 seconds through snow, slush, ice and mud to finish 22 seconds ahead of the runner-up. Teammate Alistair Smith was 38th in 8:54.78.
Twelve of the 32 NIXC runners returned as All-Americans for top-25 finishes. Four besides Henry had top-five finishes and three age groups had top-five team finishes.
The club proudly reported “NIXC posted its best results at a national championship since its founding in 2005.”
While Henry got things started, Christian Kuplack wrapped it up with a second-place finish in a field of 68 in the 17-18 boys 5K race, timing 17:15.2.
Others with top-five finishers were Mitchell Reitze, third in boys 9-10 (3K, 11:30.59); Max Cervi-Skinner, fifth in boys 11-12 (3K, 10:57.19); and Lauren “Lu” Forster, fifth in girls 15-18 (5K, 20:11.92).
The NIXC boys 11-12 team placed third out of 27 teams, girls 9-10 were fourth out of 22 and girls 11-12 were fifth out of 30.
Other NIXC top-50 finishers (* indicates All-American): Girls 8U (2K): Paisley Ray, 33rd, 9:34.96. Girls 9-10 (3K): *Helen Oyler, 20th, 12:58.88; *Adalyn Depew, 24th, 13:01.05. Boys 9-10 (3K): Kingston Wilson, 39th, 12:33.31; Ronan Kennedy, 50th,, 12:41.27. Girls 11-12 (3K): *Elli Rietze, 18th, 12:17.90; Olivia May, 40th, 12:30.90. Boys 11-12 (3K): *Neil McCarthy, seventh, 10:57.56; *Zack Cervi-Skinner, 14th, 11:16.64; *Lachlan May, 23rd, 11:27.05. Girls 13-14 (4K): Gracie Averill, 46th, 16:59.30. Girls 15-18 (5K): *Dorothy Gallus, 21st, 21.23.75; Fiona Hart, 44th, 22:21.05.
Washington State has been honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association on the court and on the bench.
Associate head coach Burdette Greeny was named the 2018 AVCA Division I Assistant Coach of the Year and three Cougars were selected All-Americans. Senior Taylor Mims was named to the third team with McKenna Woodford, a senior, and junior Jocelyn Urias earning honorable mention.
In his eighth season as the top aide to his wife and head coach Jen Greeny, Burdette Greeny is credited with being instrumental in the Cougars’ recruiting as well as coaching.
WSU had two Top-25 and one honorable mention recruiting class between 2013 and 2015 that produced three straight trips to the NCAA Tournament’s second round, capped by this season’s No. 16 overall seed and advancement to the Sweet 16. The 2013 and 2015 recruiting classes are two of the highest-ranked recruiting classes in any sport at WSU.
The 2018 Cougars stood out on and off the court. The All-Americans and junior Ashley Brown were honored by the Pac-12 and five Cougars were Pac-12 All-Academic selections.
Mims, the Cougars’ fourth AVCA All-American but the first since 1996, leaves WSU ranked second overall in program history with 411 total kills with a hitting percentage of .224. She ranks in the top 10 in multiple team and Pac-12 categories.
Woodford led WSU with 436 kills this season and her 3.35 kills-per-set ranked second to Mims’ 3.81. Urias was third on the team with 298 kills, averaging 2.29 per set. All were earlier honored on AVCA All-Pacific North Region teams.
• Santa Clara junior Kelcie Hedge from Post Falls and Washington State’s Morgan Weaver and Maddy Haro have been recognized among the top women’s collegiate soccer players in the country when they were named to TopDrawerSoccer’s Top 100 list.
Hedge, a first-team All-American midfielder and the West Coast Conference Player of the Year, is listed No. 21. Weaver, a junior forward, and Haro, a junior midfielder, are listed No. 70 and 77, respectively. They all earned all-region honors; Hedge also was first-team All-WCC, Weaver first-team All-Pac-12 and Haro second team.
WSU’s Mykiaa Minniss was ranked No. 10 on TopDrawerSoccer’s Top 100 Freshmen list as well as earning a spot on the Best XI team. Starting at center back in 19 of 20 games, Minniss helped lead the Cougars to five shutouts while giving up an average of just over one goal a game and was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team.
• Brianna King, the Western Montana senior guard who was the 2017-18 Frontier Conference Player of the Year, was named the league’s Women’s Basketball Player of the Week after leading the No. 9-ranked Bulldogs to two wins the previous week.
The North Central and Community Colleges of Spokane product averaged 23 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals and shot 55 percent (18 of 33) from the field that included 4 of 9 on 3-pointers. She also made all six of her free throws.
• Madison Hovren, the Army West Point senior forward from Central Valley, collected the 11th Patriot League women’s basketball Player of the Week award of her career and the first this season after turning in two double-doubles in Black Knights victories.
Hovren had a season-high 32 points in one game and a career-high 22 rebounds in the other and averaged 31 points, 18 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.5 assists in the two victories. It brought her season averages to 18.0 points and 12.0 rebounds through games last weekend. She is second in the league in both scoring and rebounding.
• Gonzaga senior Sophie Whittle is one of eight collegians selected to play in the Blizzard Wild Card Challenge tennis tournament this weekend in Orlando, Florida, that is hosted by the USTA player development and collegiate departments.
Whittle defeated Sara Daavettila of North Carolina 3-6, 6-4, 10-4 in a three-set tiebreaker Saturday. The tournament champion will earn a spot in the main draw of a 2019 $60,000 tournament. The participants will also be competing for a spot on the 2019 Collegiate National Team.
Jim Northcott and Dan Antonietti of the Spokane Collegiate Football Officials Association will serve as the replay booth crew for the Dec. 26 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl in Dallas between Boise State and Boston College.
Northcott will be the replay official, Antonietti the communicator, the same roles they had for the Pac-12 Championship game in which Washington defeated Utah 10-3.
Chris Runyan of Spokane and Jim Hofmeister of Liberty Lake were among 13 Pacific Northwest PGA professionals honored by the PGA Pacific Northwest Section with 2018 special awards.
Runyan, a teaching professional at GolfTec, received the Patriot Award for the fourth time. He has reached over 800 veterans through his multiple programs that include Northwest Golfers for Warriors, Vets on the Green and the Dan Kleckner Golf Classic, which raised $151,000 in 2018. He also received the Patriot Award in 2013, ’14 and ’15.
Hofmeister was named the recipient of the Perry Williams Award for his service to the section’s rules of golf committee. He also serves on the National PGA Rules Committee and is a frequent rules official for section championships.
• Runyan also received the Patriot Award from the Inland Empire PGA Chapter when it named 2018 award recipients.
Other winners: Russell Grove, North Idaho College, player of the year; Billy Bomar, Prairie Falls Golf Club, senior player of the year; Matt Baine, Gozzer Ranch Golf & Lake Club, professional of the year; and Austin Westphal, Avondale Golf Club, assistant professional of the year.
Also, Randy Potter, GolfTec, Bill Strausbaugh Award; Tim Connor, GolfTec, Horton Smith Award; Josh McKinley, GolfTec, teacher of the year; Derek Siesser, Indian Canyon Golf Course, player development; Jim Colliflower, Coeur d’Alene Golf Club, youth player development.
Also, Tom Davidson, Circling Raven Golf Club, merchandiser of the year-resort; Gordon Corder, Manito Golf & Country Club, merchandiser of the year-private; and Chris Johnston, Trailhead Golf Course, merchandiser of the year-public.
Hall of fame
Gary Picone, who was an athlete, coach and administrator in nearly 4 1/2 decades at Lewis-Clark State College, heads the fifth class of inductees into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame that will be seated April 6, 2019, at the Clearwater River Casino & Lodge in Lewiston.
Picone’s career at LCSC began in 1972 as a baseball player and except for three interruptions for career side trips continued through the 2017 school year. He was an assistant baseball coach on a couple of occasions, head baseball coach and served two terms as athletic director.
In 2017, Picone was selected to the NAIA Hall of Fame for Meritorious Service and was honored with the NAIA Championship Legacy Award “for his efforts in elevating the NAIA and its championship events.”
He’ll be joined on the dais by World Series baseball champions and All-Americans Beau Mills (2007), brothers Lonnie and Montie Phillips, three-time All-American women’s basketball player Jasmine Stohr (2011-12), two-time All-American volleyball player Joy Dunn (1989, ’99) and NAIA World Series champion baseball teams from 1985, 1988 and 2007.
The Phillips were on the ’85 championship team and were All-Americans in 1986 and ’87.
Four Spokane Chiefs prospects, who are on the club’s 50-man protected list after being selected in the Bantam Draft, have been chosen to play for their provincial teams in the 2019 Canada Winter Games Feb. 16-22 in Red Deer, Alberta.
Defenseman Graham Sward from Abbotsford, B.C., a first-round bantam selection, will be on the 19-player British Columbia team. Second-round draftee Owen MacNeil, a forward from Calgary, was named to Hockey Alberta.
Saskatchewan’s team will include two Spokane prospects, forwards Blake Swetlikoff from Regina, drafted in the third round, and Logan Cox from Prince Albert, a fourth-round pick.
• Former Spokane Chiefs Jason Fram and Wyatt Johnson were members of the Canadian university program’s hockey all-star team that defeated Hockey Canada’s World Junior Prospects two games to one last week in Victoria, B.C.
WJP won the first game 3-2 in a shootout. The collegians won the next two, 5-3 and 5-1.
Fram, the university program’s reigning Defenseman of the Year who attends the University of Alberta, was a repeater on the collegiate team. Johnson, a forward, is at the University of Saskatchewan.
Letters of intent
Carroll women’s track: Katie Rhodes, HJ/multievents, Mt. Spokane; 2018 State 3A high jump champion, two-time GSL and district HJ champion.
Gonzaga women’s soccer: Lyza Bosselmann, GK, Flagstaff, Arizona.
Idaho women’s golf: Meghan Singh, Mesa, Ariz.
L-C State women’s basketball: Sara Muehlhausen, Post, Lake City.
Spokane Junior Rifle Team’s Mason Maystrovich and Cassidy Wilson finished second and third, respectively, in the 2018 Washington State Indoor International Rifle Championships Oct. 28 at the Spokane Rifle Club and in Olympia when scores were compared to determine the results.
Maystrovich, 17, Northwest Christian, shot 1,131 in the small-bore match with competitors taking 40 shots in each of three positions (prone, kneeling and standing) from a distance of 50 feet. Wilson, 18, home schooled, shot 1,130. The winner shot 1,141.
Three other SJRT members finished in the top half of the field: Taylor Christian, 16, Spokane Valley Tech, 13th; Zachary Pearsall, 17, homeschooled, 15th; and Ben Tafoya, 16, Gonzaga Prep, 16th.
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