Community Colleges of Spokane is turning to one of its hall of famers to lead the men’s and women’s track and field programs.
John Spatz, a two-time, record-setting Northwest Athletic Conference decathlon champion, has been named the Sasquatch’s new head coach, returning to the campus where he also cut his coaching teeth 33 years ago.
“Just the thought of coaching in the same program as many of my coaching heroes is hard to believe,” Spatz said. “There are some big shoes to fill, and I look forward to working hard to stay on top. I am so grateful … for this chance to come home and contribute to a school that has always meant so much to me.”
Besides Spatz, CCS has also hired Lindsey Kunkel, a graduate assistant last year at Western Oregon, as an assistant coach. From Fayette, Missouri, Kunkel competed at Central Missouri and Emporia State. She will specialize in sprints, jumps and hurdles.
Spatz began his coaching career as an assistant at CCS from 1985-88 while also assisting at his high school alma mater, University, in 1987-88.
He has spent the last 16 years as head cross country and track and field coach at Northwest Nazarene, an NCAA Division II school in Nampa, Idaho, following 14 years at Eastern Oregon, the last 12 there as men’s and women’s head track coach. He has developed 87 All-Americans and seven national champions.
As an athlete at CCS from 1981-83, he won the NWAC decathlon title both years with record-setting performances. He went on to compete in the decathlon at Nebraska-Omaha before enrolling at Eastern Washington, from which he graduated in 1988 with a teaching degree.
In 2014, Spatz was inducted into the CCS Athletic Hall of Fame as an athlete and part of the coaching staff for both the 1986 and ’87 men’s track teams. His ’82-’83 team is also enshrined.
Spatz replaces Jason Cash, who left after seven highly successful years to accept a teaching and head coaching position at Southwest Oregon Community College in Coos Bay.
Juliet Jones, a point guard who played last season at Cal State San Marcos after spending her freshman and sophomore years at Idaho State, is joining the Idaho women’s team as a graduate transfer and will have one year of eligibility with the Vandals.
The San Diego native, who transferred to San Marcos after not playing the 2016-17 season at Idaho State, played in 26 games for the Cougars, including nine starts, and led the team with 71 assists, was second in minutes played (25.4) and third in scoring (7.4).
Idaho senior soccer defender Kelly Dopke has been selected as the recipient of the Athlete CRUSH College Impact Awards major award, the Lead Award.
It recognizes one student-athlete nationally for their selflessness while displaying “all the qualities of a good leader, both on and off the field.” It carries a $531 award that will be donated to charity in her name.
Why $531? For the 5 CRUSH attributes (Character, Role model, Uniqueness, Skill and Humor), its 3 awards (Lead, Catalyst and Random Act of Kindness), and the organization’s 1 goal, to make the world a better place.
The Arcadia, California, athlete chose the National Breast Cancer Foundation because her mother is a breast cancer survivor; National Foundation for Teen Safe Driving because her older brother was killed in a fatal accident; and the YMCA because it gives children a healthy outlet and opportunities to play sports.
She is studying medical sciences in the Honors Program with a 4.0 GPA and hopes to become a doctor.
• Several athletes and area schools were recognized when the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced its All-Academic student-athletes and teams for the 2018 indoor and outdoor seasons.
Individuals needed a GPA of 3.25 or better to qualify; teams 3.0 or better.
Division I men: Gonzaga – Alex Heffelfinger, so.; Scott Kopczynski, jr.; Brandon Pollard, sr.; Mason Villarma, jr. Idaho – Benjamin Doucette, so.; Kaizer Gillispie, jr; Zachary Short, so. Washington State - Peyton Fredrickson, jr; Chandler Teigen, jr.; Michael Williams, sr.
Montana State – Alex Lewis (Moscow), jr. (repeater).
Division I men’s teams: Gonzaga, 3.44; Idaho, 3.23; WSU, 3.09.
Division I women: Eastern Washington - Erin Clark (Cheney), sr.; Madison Doepker, jr.; Paula Gil Echevarria, RS sr.; Kari Hamilton (Clarkston), sr. Idaho – Andrea Condie, jr.; Rechelle Meade, so. WSU - Greer Alsop, RS sr.; Devon Bortfeld, sr.; Stephanie Cho, jr.; Atina Kamasi, so.
Division I women’s teams: Eastern Washington, 3.47; Gonzaga, 3.48; Idaho, 3.69 (third best in the country); WSU, 3.47 (second best in the Pac-12).
Division II women: Seattle Pacific – Scout Cai (Colfax), so. (repeater).
Division III men: Whitworth - Andrew Bloom, sr.; Nicholas McGill, so.; John-Robert Woolley, sr.
Division III men’s team: Whitworth, 3.42.
Division III women: Whitworth - Kayla Brase, sr.; Isabel Clark (Northwest Christian), jr.; Sarah Cool, so.; Kayla Leland (Gonzaga Prep), sr.; Sarah Michael Martinez, sr.; Kameha Medallada, jr.; Marissa Mount, jr.; Danielle Openiano, sr.; Chloe Quinnett (Moscow), sr.; Bailey Scott, sr.
Division III women’s team – Whitworth, 3.64.
NAIA women: Lewis-Clark State – Delaney Warren (Mead), fr.; Jennifer Sapp (Potlatch), jr.
• The area’s four Division I schools and Division III Whitworth all came in for honors when the International Tennis Association named its All-Academic teams and Scholar-Athletes for 2018.
Individuals needed a 3.50 GPA or better to qualify; teams a 3.20.
The Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, Idaho and Washington State women had All-Academic Teams, with the Eagles and Vandals repeating.
ITA Scholar-Athlete women: Eastern - Rylee Braeden, fr.; Stephanie Broussard, fr.; Zoey Nelson, fr.; *Janaya Smith, sr.; *Valentina Sottile, so.; *Rachel Swindell, sr. Gonzaga - Sophie Whittle, jr.; Graciela Rosas, jr.; Kate Ketels, so. Idaho - Maggie Chen, so.; Marta Magalhães, fr.; *Maria Tavares, jr.; *Marianna Petrei, jr.; Laura Spataro, fr.; *Shion Watabe, so. WSU - Michaela Bayerlova, so.; Aneta Miksovska, sr. *-repeater.
ITA Scholar-Athlete men: Gonzaga - *Kyle Everly, so.; *Simón Homedes Dualde, so.; Matthew Perkins, fr. Idaho - *Mark Kovacs, sr.; *Esteban Santibanez, so.; *Lucas Coutinho, jr. *-repeater.
The Whitworth men were a Division III All-Academic team for a seventh straight year with a 3.40 GPA.
ITA Scholar-Athletes: Whitworth - *Ben Bethards, so.; *Jake Bethards, so.; *Ian Fisher, sr.; *Nick Hughes, jr.; Kincaid Norris, fr. *-repeater. Fisher earned the honor for the fourth year in a row.
• Eight student athletes with area ties are among a record 207 recognized for high academic achievement, maintaining GPAs of 3.85 or higher, with the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Faculty Athletic Representative’s Scholar-Athlete Award.
Male: Seattle Pacific - Travis Swallow, freshman, Lake City, soccer, 4.0 GPA.
Female: Central Washington - Sarah Absalonson, fr., Mead, volleyball, 3.87; Katie Collins, junior, Nine Mile Falls, track & Field, 3.87; Emily Phillip, fr., Lewis and Clark, cross country/track, 3.91; Kayla Wyatt, fr., Spokane, track & field, 3.96. Northwest Nazarene - *Madi Taylor, jr., Lewiston, soccer, 3.90. Seattle Pacific - Talia Ferguson, fr, Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy, rowing, 4.00. Western Oregon - *Rachel Bayly, sophomore, Moscow, cross country/track, 3.97. *-repeater.
• Gonzaga’s Ben DuBois, David Ganz and Tyler Munetake and Washington State’s AJ Armstrong were named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars for compiling stroke averages of 76.0 or under and maintaining GPAs of 3.2 or better.
It’s the second straight honor for Ganz, who graduated with a degree in business administration. DuBois received his masters in business administration and Munetake is a junior, also a business administration major.
Armstrong, a junior, compiled a 73.03 stroke average and 3.89 GPA.
• The Gonzaga and Idaho men’s golf programs have been recognized with 18Birdies Team Academic Awards for 2017-18 the Golf Coaches Association of America announced.
Gonzaga earned President’s Special Recognition for turning in a 3.5 GPA or better while Idaho was named an All-Academic team with a team GPA of 3.0 or higher. It’s the ninth time in 10 years GU has been an All-Academic team and the second in three years on the President’s Special Recognition list and the third overall.
• Gonzaga led the way once again with 223 student-athletes named to the 17th annual West Coast Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll. The Bulldogs had 53 receive Gold status (3.75-4.0 GPA), 51 Silver (3.50-3.74 GPA) and 119 Bronze (3.00-3.49 GPA). Besides its overall total, GU’s gold and bronze honoree numberss also led the WCC.
Derrick Phelps, who played two seasons for Whitworth men’s coach Scott Kramer at Community Colleges of Spokane when Kramer was coach of the Sasquatch, will join the Pirates as a senior transfer after one year at St. Martin’s.
The two-time All-NWAC performer at CCS joins a Pirates team that returns all 10 players from a second-place Northwest Conference finish in 2017-18.
Scott Thompson in swimming, Christopher Morlan in running and the Papermill Printing men’s 3-on-3 basketball teams led the way for area competitors in the 22nd annual Washington State Senior Games last weekend in the South Sound area.
Thompson medaled in six events in the men’s 65-69 age group in backstroke, butterfly and individual medley events, collecting five gold and one silver. Morlan was a double gold medalist in men’s 50-54, winning the 1,500 in track and the 10K road run.
Papermill continued its dominance, collecting three gold and one silver medal in 60-64, 65-69 and 70-74 age divisions. In 21 Senior Games appearances, the Papermill teams organized by Jon Heimbigner have compiled a record of 112-30, collecting 35 gold medals, four silvers and one bronze.
Additionally, two Papermill players earned medals in individual competitions in 65-69. Jack Soliday of Reardan (22 of 25) was first and Doug Watson of Deer Park (20 of 25) third in the free throw contest and Watson won gold in hot shot shooting.
Papermill defeated Bucket Makers of Issaquah in a replay of last year’s final 42-35 to cap a 4-0 run to the 70-74 championship and went 3-1 and beat Five Cobras of Tacoma 69-33 in the 60-64 championship game. It was Papermill No. 1 that includes Soliday and Watson that beat Papermill No. 2 50-40 in the 65-69 final to finish with a 3-1 record.
The teams: 60-64 - Robert Jones, Bill Tri, Dave Huss, Dan Zenner. 65-69 No. 1 - Terry Souhrada, Watson, Soliday, Dan Steward, K. Baumgartner. 65-69 No. 2 - Dale Soden, Willie Brown, Bill Maxey, Joe Pettit, Ray Stein. 70-74 - Harvey Depew, Mike Etter, Heimbigner, Tedd Nealey, Terry Nealey.
Other area competitors (Spokane unless otherwise noted):
Archery – 65-69 women’s compound release, Debra Johnson, 1st.
Cycling – 60-64 men’s 5K time trial, Paul Turner, 5th. 65-69 men’s 40K road race, Curtis Froscheiser, 4th.
Road running – 60-64 men’s 5K, Turner, 3rd. 65-69 men’s 5K, Michael Tonkyn, 2nd.
Track and field – 60-64 men’s 800, Grant Maassen (Medical Lake), 2nd; 400, Maassen, 1st. 65-69 men’s 100, Danny Lee (Nine Mile Falls), 3rd; 200, Lee, 2nd; Tonkyn, 7th; 400, Lee, 4th; 1,500, Tonkyn, 2nd. 80-84 men’s 200, Sherwyn Heckt, 2nd; 400, Heckt, 2nd.
Brianna Smallidge has been hired as an assistant coach for the Eastern Washington women’s team after serving one year in a similar role at Cal State Bakersfield, rounding out head coach Chad Bodnar’s staff.
A record-setting goalkeeper at Seattle University during her four-year collegiate career, Smallidge followed that with two years of professional soccer with the Chicago Red Stars and Seattle Reign before beginning her coaching career last season. While at Seattle U, she served as a strength and conditioning intern and a student assistant athletic trainer.
Track & field
Alissa Brooks-Johnson, a recent Washington State graduate and the 2018 Pac-12 champion in the heptathlon, is competing in that event for the United States this weekend at the Thorpe Cup in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The event is an annual competition between U.S. and Germany decathletes and heptathletes. Brooks-Johnson, from Doty, Washington, has finished in the top-10 at the NCAA Championships the past two years.
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