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Locally: Chaplin, Lanker added to track and field hall of fame

From local and wire reports

John Chaplin and Linda Lanker, who have taken their love of track and field and knowledge of the sport onto the international stage, will sit on the dais at the Washington State Track & Field Coaches Association Hall of Fame induction Saturday at Hotel Murano in Tacoma.

The addition of Chaplin, who made his biggest impact on the sport during 27 years at Washington State University, and Lanker, a nationally recognized hurdles coach who continues to be a much-loved mentor in Eastern Washington and North Idaho, will bring to 75 the number in state shrine since the initial class in 1995. Lanker is only the third female to be inducted.

Chaplin, Wapato High School, Oregon State University, WSU: One of the most accomplished track and field coaches in the history of WSU, Chaplin’s teams had top-four NCAA Championship finishes 19 times, including winning the 1977 indoor title. His athletes earned 218 NCAA All-America certificates, 17 as individual champions, and six held 10 different world records.

A graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Los Angeles in 1955 and WSU in 1963, Chaplin organized the first girls’ high school track and field program in the state in 1964 while at Wapato. He left Wapato for Oregon State, where he was an assistant coach while earning his Master’s Degree, and became head cross country coach at WSU in 1968, a position he held until 1993. Following an assistants role, he was head track coach from 1973-1994.

Chaplin, meet director of three Pac-10 track & field and two cross country championships, was Pac-10 Coach of the Year four times, NCAA District VIII Coach of the Year eight times and International Coach of the Year in 1978. He was head coach of two U.S. international teams, including the men’s team for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Lanker, Valley Christian High School, University HS, Coeur d’Alene HS, Community Colleges of Spokane: Raised in Arizona, she got involved in track in 1970 in the sprints and in 1971 at 14 was an age-group national champion in the 440-yard dash, running 59.4 seconds on a dirt track. In 1972 she began competing in the hurdles and that turned into a love affair that continues today.

A nationally-ranked youth hurdler, Lanker was a two-time regional champion and an All-American while at Arizona State. In recent years she has won three Masters National championships in the hurdles.

She started her coaching career as a high school assistant while in college. After moving to Spokane, her teams won the first state championships in school history at Valley Christian (2001 and 2002), earning her a boys coach of the year honor, which she repeated twice while at CdA. At CCS, Lanker’s hurdlers won 15 conference championships and 38 were junior college All-Americans.

She has served on U.S. team coaching staffs for four international championships, and will be the head coach for the United States women’s team at the 2017 Junior Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.


Broadcasters Rick Rizzs and Mike Blowers are scheduled to be joined by infielder/outfielder Shawn O’Malley, outfielder Ben Gamel, right-handed pitcher Dan Altavilla and the Mariner Moose when the Seattle Mariners annual winter caravan rolls into Spokane on Wednesday.

The group will make a Get-Well Tour stop at Sacred Heart Medical Center from 2-3 p.m. to visit with patients and their families, an event that is not open to the public. The Mariners party will appear at the Warehouse Performance Center, 800 N. Hamilton across from Gonzaga University, from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m., which is open to the public and free.

Besides getting autographs and taking pictures, kids 14 and younger will have the opportunity to participate in MLB Pitch, Hit & Run skill activities at the Warehouse.

College scene

Josh Hawkinson of Washington State and Przemek Karnowski and Elle Tinkle of Gonzaga are among 60 NCAA Division I basketball players nationwide named candidates for 2016-17 Senior CLASS Awards.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Thirty men and 30 women with notable achievements in the specified areas were selected.

Hawkinson graduated in just three years in May 2016 with a 3.33 GPA and a degree in management operations within the college of business. The two-time Pac-12 All-Academic honoree and CoSIDA Academic All-District first team choice in 2015-16 is working on his master’s in business administration.

Out of the classroom and off the court, Hawkinson helps at many school and community events and has served as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC).

Karnowski also completed his undergraduate degree in May 2016, graduating with a bachelor of education in sport management with a 3.19 GPA, and is in his first semester of graduate work in the MBA program. He has been on the WCC Commissioner’s honor roll each year he’s been at GU.

He has also been involved in the SAAC as well as volunteering in multiple community and campus-wide projects.

Tinkle, a nursing major who balances classes and clinical rotations in the hospital with her time on the court, has a 3.43 GPA and will graduate in the spring. She’s a two-time WCC All-Academic selection and has made the President’s List and Dean’s List during her time at GU.

Besides volunteering for several organizations, Tinkle has been a member of the Gonzaga Athletics Leadership Institute and in GU’s SAAC.

–Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington’s much-honored, record-setting wide receiver, was honored again for scholastic achievement when he was named to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Athletic Directors Association Academic All-Star Team for a second straight season.

Kupp, one of 44 winners from a group of 126 nominees, was an economics major at EWU with a 3.63 GPA. He completed his degree work but continued his studies through fall quarter.

A total of 20 Academic All-Star Team awards have been won by Eagles since 1998. In 2015, Kupp and tight end Jake Withnell were honored.

Idaho State linebacker Hayden Stout was the only other Big Sky Conference player named.

–Eastern Washington’s stellar football season has generated a fifth and sixth Eagle to earn All-America recognition.

Kendrick Bourne, a senior wide receiver, and Spencer Blackburn, a sophomore center, were named to Hero Sport NCAA Football Championship Subdivision All-America teams along with four teammates named to previously announced teams – wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Shaq Hill, quarterback Gage Gubrud and defensive end Samson Ebukam.

Bourne, who had 79 catches for 1,201 yards and seven touchdowns, was named to the Hero Sport third team along with Ebukam. Kupp and Gubrud were first-team selections and Hill a second-team choice. Gubrud also was selected to the Hero Sport All-Sophomore team, as was Blackburn.

Elyse Bennett, a forward from De Pere, Wisconsin, and Jamie Rita, a midfielder from Burien, Washington, have enrolled at Washington State for spring semester as freshmen and are eligible to play for the Cougars women’s soccer team this spring.

–Gonzaga student-athletes earned an athletic department record 145 academic honors for the Fall 2016 semester while posting a departmental-record cumulative grade-point average of 3.38 that included a record 17 with perfect 4.0 GPAs. Three programs also posted semester-record GPAs - women’s rowing (3.49), baseball (3.30) and men’s basketball (3.27).

The 4.0 student-athletes: Kiara Kudron, women’s basketball; Jordan Mathews, men’s basketball; Daniel Bies, baseball; Emily Arnesen, Micailah Donner, Marie Hayman and Alison Steinbeck, all women’s rowing; Jennifer Albrecht, Emily Anderson, Michaela Bruns, Megan Glenski, Jessica Mildes and Lauren Saunders, all women’s cross country; Philip Fishburn, men’s cross country; Sydney Anderson and Kristin Standish, women’s soccer; and Morgan Douglass, volleyball.


The Spokane Junior Rifle Club gold team placed seventh in a U.S. Army-sponsored Junior National Air Rifle Championship sectional match that finished a 10-week competition in mid-December to qualify for the national championships.

Taylor Christian, 14, Spokane Valley Tech; Cassidy Wilson, 16, home school; Maiiya Hillman, 18, Lewis and Clark; Mary Maystrovich, 17, Northwest Christian; and Aidan Maddox, 17, Riverpoint Academy, combined to shoot 2,283 out of a maximum 2,400 to earn a spot in the nationals Jan. 27-29 in Fort Benning, Georgia. The top 20 teams qualified. Winning score was 2,344.

SJRC had three place in the top 50 individually out of 386, where competitors took 10 shots in a standing position from 10 meters. Christian (576 out 600) placed 30th, Wilson (572) 44th and Hillman (571) 49th. The top 25 advanced to the national finals.

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