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Wednesday, December 11, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Area sports

Locally: Former Whitworth runner Andrew Bloom awarded postgraduate scholarship by the NCAA

UPDATED: Sat., July 27, 2019

Andrew Bloom, a Whitworth graduate who was a three-time NCAA Division III All-American and three-time Google Cloud Academic All-American, was awarded a postgraduate scholarship by the NCAA.

Bloom, from Stanwood, Washington, who competed in track and field from 2015 through 2018, graduated in 2017. The highlight of his career came in 2016 when he won the NCAA Division III javelin championship. He holds the school record with a throw of 229 feet, 5 inches.

After spending a year of graduate work at Whitworth in 2017-18, Bloom is finishing his first year in the master of physician assistant studies program at Idaho State University in Pocatello.

Bloom is the first former Pirate to receive one of the prestigious scholarships.

Basketball

Former Gonzaga women’s players Zykera Rice and Chandler Smith will continue their careers overseas after signing professional contracts for the 2019-20 season.

Rice will play for Peli-Karhut out of the Finnish Korisliiga, the top-tier professional league in Finland. After a second-place finish in league play during the 2018-19 season, Peli-Karhut won the league playoffs and finished with a 19-8 overall record.

Rice completed her career with 1,061 points, 20th all time at GU, and her 50.6 career field-goal percentage ranks fifth. The Tacoma native was named first team All-West Coast Conference in 2018-19 along with WCC All-Tournament. She led the Bulldogs in points per game (15.0), rebounds (5.8) and blocked shots (0.8) and was second in field-goal percentage (52.3).

Smith will play for Snæfell in the Urvalsdeild (Iceland-Dominos) League, the premier women’s league in Iceland. Last season, Snæfell, based in Stykkishólmur, just missed the playoffs after finishing fifth overall in league play with a 16-12 record.

The Brewster, Washington, native ranked second in scoring in 2018-19 at 9.2 points per game with a team-best 28.6 minutes per game. She was twice All-WCC, earning first team her final season. She was part of three WCC regular-season championship teams and two WCC Tournament titles along with three NCAA Tournament appearances.

Jamaari Jones, a power forward who was Gonzaga Prep’s leading rebounder as a junior and a key ingredient in the Bullpups’ unbeaten run to the State 4A basketball championship in 2018, signed to play at North Idaho College.

An All-Greater Spokane League selection in basketball and football, Jones missed all of his senior year in both sports while recovering from a knee injury he suffered playing summer ball in 2018.

College scene

Three Gonzaga Bulldogs and two Washington State Cougars were named 2018-19 Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholars by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

Seniors Tyler Munetake of GU and AJ Armstrong of WSU were honored for a second straight year. Munetake had a 73.89 scoring average and a 3.43 GPA. Armstrong had the top GPA in the Pac-12, 3.82, and a 75.76 stroke average.

Minimums to be eligible for the awards are a 76.0 stroke average and 3.2 cumulative GPA.

GU juniors Chris Mogg (73.89, 3.32) and Nick Nolan (75.33, 3.40) and WSU junior Nicklaus Chiam (75.0, 3.49) were on the list for the first time.

• Women’s teams from Big Sky Conference neighbors Idaho and Eastern Washington led the showing by area Division I schools when the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association passed out All-Academic Team and Scholar-Athlete awards for 2018-19.

To be eligible for an individual award, student-athletes needed a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better. Team’s needed a 3.0 or better.

Idaho posted the third-highest NCAA Division I women’s grade-point average in the nation for the second straight season, finishing the year with a cumulative GPA of 3.69. The Vandals men also made the list with a 3.28.

UI individual All-Academic awards went to women Andrea Condie, a senior, and freshman Henrike Fiedler, and senior men Zachary Short and Ben Doucette and sophomore Zachary Nunkis.

Eastern ranked ninth with a collective 3.62 GPA, the 12th straight year the Eagles women have been on the list. The EWU men were honored for the sixth time in that span with a 3.02.

Eagles honored were sophomore Isaac Barville (University) on the men’s list and seniors Madison Doepker, Elizabeth Prouty and Samantha Raines on the women’s.

The Gonzaga women’s team ranked 20th at 3.58 and the men 15th at 3.40.

GU had five men earn USTFCCCA All-Academic status, seniors Andrew Gardner (Mead), Scott Kopczynski (East Valley), Kellen Manley and Brandon Pollard and sophomore Yacine Guermali.

Washington State’s women had a 3.47 GPA and the men a 3.09 to make the list.

Cougars collecting all-academic awards were sophomores Emily Coombs and Zorana Grujic, juniors Aoife Martin, Molly Scharmann and Jordyn Tucker on the women team and seniors Peyton Fredrickson, Nathan Wadhwani and Kyler Little (LakeCity) and junior Paul Ryan (Logos of Moscow) on the men’s.

In Division III, the Whitworth women (3.67) and the men (3.42) had the highest GPAs in the Northwest Conference.

Pirates receiving all-academic honors were senior Jacob Hubbard and juniors Nathanael Drotts and Nicholas McGill on the men’s list and seniors Izzy Clark (Northwest Christian), Marissa Mount and Kameha Medallada and freshman Kayla Rambo on the women’s.

Other area athletes to receive recognition were Montana State senior Alex Lewis from Moscow, Idaho, on the D-I men’s list and Seattle Pacific junior Scout Cai from Colfax on the D-II women’s.

For a seventh straight year and 16th time in program history, the Eastern Washington volleyball team has earned a Team Academic Award from the American Volleyball Coaches Association with a 3.31 team GPA.

Golf

Zachary Stocker, a 2018 Central Valley graduate, shared medalist honors at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla on Thursday to lead five golfers with area ties who qualified for the 2019 Washington State Men’s Amateur, Aug. 6-8 at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman.

Stocker, who will join the Gonzaga University men’s team this fall after playing last school year at Community Colleges of Spokane, and two others shot 3-under-par 69s.

The others among a group of 18 who earned spots in the men’s amateur were Tucker Keyes of Lewiston, who shot 1-under 71 to tie for fourth; Ferris graduate Tanner Comes, who plays at the University of Colorado, tied for sixth at par 72; Gonzaga Prep student Matt McGann tied for eighth at 73; and Austin Mitchell, who plays at North Idaho College, was at 75.

Travis Hansen of Clarkston is the first alternate and Joe Johnson of Spokane the fourth alternate. They were in a group of four who shot 76s.

Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake was 13 over par for 72 holes with a 297 to tie for 70th in the 53rd Pacific Coast Amateur on the University of New Mexico Championship Course in Albuquerque that wound up Friday. Quade Cummins from Weatherford, Oklahoma, shot 20-under 264 to win by four strokes.

Hockey

The Spokane Chiefs acquired defenseman Jordan Chudley and a fifth-round selection in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft from the Winnipeg Ice in exchange for defenseman Mike Ladyman and a fifth-round pick in the 2021 bantam draft.

• The Chiefs extended the contract of assistant coach Adam Deadmarsh through the 2019-20 season and announced they are losing two of their more experienced employees.

Deadmarsh, who has playing experience internationally and in the NHL, will be entering his third season on the Chiefs’ bench.

Chris Moulton, assistant general manager of hockey operations who has been with the Chiefs for 14 years, has been hired by the hockey division of Wasserman, a sports marketing and talent management company based in Los Angeles, and won’t be back in 2019-20.

Moulton joined the Chiefs as director of player personnel in 2005 and in 2016 was promoted to assistant GM, where he coordinated scouting in preparation for the bantam draft and supervised the team’s annual training camp.

Ryan Cyr, the Chiefs’ goaltending coach the last eight years, also will not return after joining the ownership group of 50 Below Sports + Entertainment.

The Winnipeg-based company owns, among other things, the Ice of the WHL.

Letters of intent

Idaho men’s basketball – Damen Thacker, PG, Meridian, Idaho/Walla Walla Community College, will be a junior.

Softball

Six former players formed the 43rd class of the Inland Empire Softball Hall of Fame and were inducted during a banquet and ceremonies on Saturday.

The Class of 2019: Dave Maxwell, fastpitch and modified; Dave Blevins, fastpitch; John Rhodes, modified; Terry Koentopp, fastpitch; Jon Schuh, modified; and Greg Branum, slowpitch.

Also, a men’s modified team that made several national appearances and had four different sponsors through the decade – LB Franco, Stoneway Electric, Food Rainbow and Northwest Yankees – was honored as the 1990s Team of the Decade.

Tennis

Natalie Pluskota-Hamberg, an assistant women’s coach at Gonzaga from 2016-18, will return to the Bulldogs in the same capacity this fall after spending one season at Arkansas.

During her earlier stint, Gonzaga had back-to-back second-place finishes in the West Coast Conference and Pluskota-Hamberg was named the TASC Performance ITA Assistant Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in 2017-18.

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