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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Compiled from staff, wire and news service reports The Spokesman-Review

Spokane swimmers win national titles

Susanne Simpson and Larry Krauser of Spokane led the showing by a seven-member Inland Northwest contingent at the U.S. Masters Swimming National Short Course Championships in Indianapolis, Ind.

Four had top-10 finishes in the event that attracted more than 1,500 swimmers ages 19-91.

Simpson captured two national championships in her 40-44 age group – the 500-yard freestyle in 5:22.16 and the 1,650 free in 18:14.68 – while Krauser won the men’s 50-54 200 freestyle in 1:49.58.

Additionally, Simpson had seconds in the 200 butterfly and 200 free, a third in the 100 fly and ninth in the 50 fly. Krauser had seconds in the 500 and 1,650 freestyle races, fourths in the 50 and 100 frees, and seventh in the 400 individual medley.

Other Inland Northwest placers: Suzanne Dills, Spokane, women’s 55-59, second 200 and 400 IM, third 500 and 1,650 free, third 100 IM, third 100 backstroke; and Rob Morrison, Colville, men’s 50-54, sixth 100 breaststroke, seventh 50 breast and ninth 200 breast.

Also competing were Steve Wolcott, Colville, 55-59, and Bernard Kingsley, 45-49, and Murray Allen, 40-44, both of Spokane.

Basketball

Ezechiel “Zeke” Bambolo, one of the more popular players ever to don a North Idaho College men’s uniform, has been promoted to head coach at Juanita High School in Kirkland, Wash.

Bambolo, 33, has assisted at Juanita the last two years. His wife, Teena, is the Juanita volleyball coach. A native of Liberia, Bambolo became a fan favorite at NIC with his hard-working approach and positive attitude.

• Their season is long over, but the Washington State women aren’t quite finished playing.

Coach Sherri Murrell will lead the Cougars on a 12-day tour of Italy May 17-28, playing games against four Italian teams while getting in some sightseeing.

Murrell called the trip “a great team-building experience,” noting in a release “the combination of the culture and the international competition will help our young team develop in many ways.”

College scene

NCAA Division III All-Americans Leslie Nelson, a cross country and track standout, and swimmer Kevin Wang were honored as Whitworth’s senior female and male athletes of the year, respectively.

Also at the school’s senior honors forum last week, Kristen Shields, an All-American sprinter, and record-setting basketball player Bryan Depew were presented with Dennis Spurlock Memorial awards for exhibiting superior athletic ability, devotion to teammates and natural leadership ability.

Nelson, from Omak, Wash., became Whitworth’s first NCAA Division III All-American in cross country when she finished 14th in the national meet last fall.

Wang, from Redmond, Wash., a two-time NCAA champion in the 400-yard individual medley, was second in the event at this year’s national meet and figured in points in seven events.

Shields, from Grand Coulee, holds school records in the 100 and 200 and was named the women’s athlete of the meet at the Northwest Conference Championships this spring. Depew, a Central Valley graduate, became Whitworth’s all-time men’s basketball scoring record holder with 2,013 points.

• Four players with area ties were named to All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference teams in softball.

Amanda Nilles, a Seattle University freshman from North Central, and Mandy Kaestner, a Western Washington sophomore from Lake City in Coeur d’Alene, were second-team all-conference selections. Nilles was named at first base. Kaestner, who led the league in stolen bases with 21 in 23 attempts and hit .333, played second base and was selected as an infielder.

The honorable mention list included Saint Martin’s shortstop Crystal Perry, a senior from Rogers.

Stephanie Stone, a Seattle University junior outfielder from Gonzaga Prep, made the all-academic team with a 3.97 grade-point average. Perry, who has a 3.57 GPA, and Kaestner, 3.25, also were all-academic selections.

Ashley Lynn‘s record-breaking softball season at Wichita State has come to a disappointing end.

The versatile sophomore from Shadle Park, who had started all 58 games at six different positions, suffered a knee injury a week ago prior to the Shockers’ game against Drake that ended her season.

She ranks among the top five in the Missouri Valley Conference with a school-record 13 home runs, 39 RBIs (two shy of the school record) and a school-record 103 total bases. She led the team with 12 multiple-hit and 15 multiple-RBI games and had a 12-game hitting streak earlier.

Layne Pavey, Montana State-Billings’ junior softball catcher from Lewis and Clark, finished the season with a three-home run weekend last weekend to lead the NCAA Division II Pac West Conference in home runs with eight.

Pavey, who also led the league in total bases with 83 and was fourth in RBIs with 28 while batting .307, was a second-team All-Pac West and All-West Region D-II selection.

• Three former Greater Spokane League softball players were able to hold a reunion last weekend at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., during the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament.

Jessica Murray, a junior from Shadle Park, and Francine Raffini, a freshman from Ferris, play for Delaware State. Destiny Gordon is a Florida A&M freshman.

Delaware State finished second to Bethune-Cookman, which won three games the final day from Delaware State, which had been undefeated in the tournament, to capture a fifth straight league title and NCAA Division I regional berth.

Murray, who had a 14-7 record with two saves and a 1.32 ERA as a pitcher, hit .315 and was 12th in the country in doubles per game (0.31) with 19 in 54 games. She also hit five home runs and had a team-leading 38 RBIs. Raffini started all 63 games in the outfield, hit .233 and had 10 stolen bases in 12 attempts.

Gordon saw action in 31 games, had one hit in 31 at-bats and a 0-5 record and 5.01 ERA as a pitcher.

Drew Piston, a junior from Lewis and Clark, is one of the leaders on the Carleton College men’s tennis team, which qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships for only the second time in school history.

Piston has a 14-4 singles record playing at Nos. 4, 5 and 6, and a 17-3 doubles record with three partners playing primarily at No. 3.

• Sophomores Mkristo Bruce of Washington State and Eric Mendoza of Gonzaga have been chose by their schools to attend the NCAA Leadership Conference May 30-June 3 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Bruce, a defensive end from Renton, Wash., played in 13 football games last fall as a redshirt freshman. Mendoza is a cross country runner from Kent, Wash.

The conference is designed to enhance a student-athlete’s leadership and communication skills and enable them to become effective leaders and motivators on campus.

Powerlifting

Pullman barber Bud Bower captured a USA Power Lifting championship in the 60-and-over category last weekend in Denver.

Bower, 61, who took time off from national competition the last two years, won a masters title by lifting 518 pounds in the squat, 341 in the bench press and 518 in the dead lift.

Soccer

Jen Hart, an All-Greater Spokane League defender from University, has signed to play at Concordia University in Portland.

Hart, rehabilitating an ACL injury suffered in January, was a second-team all-state selection last fall as a senior and a second-team All-GSL pick as a junior. She has played four years with the Spokane Vision club team and has a 3.55 grade-point average.

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