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Monday, October 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Locally: Former Northen Colorado standout Krystal Leger-Walker transferring to Washington State

UPDATED: Sat., May 25, 2019, 6:52 p.m.

Northern Colorado’s Krystal Leger-Walker drives against Idaho during the first half of a Big Sky Tournament game  in Reno, Nev., on  March 10, 2018. (Tom R. Smedes / AP)
Northern Colorado’s Krystal Leger-Walker drives against Idaho during the first half of a Big Sky Tournament game in Reno, Nev., on March 10, 2018. (Tom R. Smedes / AP)
From staff ,news services

Kamie Ethridge is being reunited with her former floor general.

Ethridge, heading toward her second season as Washington State women’s basketball coach, announced that 5-foot-9 combo guard Krystal Leger-Walker is transferring from Northern Colorado and will be eligible for the 2020-21 season after sitting out 2019-20 under NCAA transfer rules.

She has one season of eligibility remaining.

“We recruited Krystal out of high school in New Zealand and coached her for two years at Northern Colorado,” before she accepted the Cougars position, Ethridge said.

At UNC, Leger-Walker led the Bears to 69 wins the past three seasons, including the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018 after winning the Big Sky Conference championship.

With a distributor-first mentality, Leger-Walker had 378 assists in three seasons, the fourth most in UNC history. Her 148 assists as a junior ranks seventh all time despite missing four games with injury. Her 5.5-assist average led the Big Sky and ranked 26th nationally. She also average 8.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals.

“She is an exceptional competitor and leader,” Ethridge said. “Krystal comes from elite-level basketball DNA. Her mother, Leanne Walker, (played) in the Olympics and World Championships and is considered one of the best players to have ever played for New Zealand.”

Basketball

Former Gonzaga standout Zykera Rice has been selected to the 3D China Women’s All-Star Team, part of the 3D Global Sports programs out of Canada, and is among 10 players who will represent the program in the annual Sino-International Women’s Basketball Challenge.

Rice and her teammates will face China’s Senior National Women’s Team in three exhibition games between Friday and June 4 as part of the Sino-International challenge. China is using the games to help prepare for the FIBA 2019-20 Asia Games and 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Rice attended training camp with the Seattle Storm and saw action in the Storm’s first preseason game against the Phoenix Mercury on May 15, but was waived shortly thereafter.

College scene

Gonzaga and Washington State women’s tennis collected major honors when the Intercollegiate Tennis Association passed out its regional and national awards.

GU senior Sophie Whittle was the recipient of the ITA’s Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award and the Most Improved Senior Award, at both the regional and national levels, and the Bulldogs received the ITA Community Service Award for the Northwest region.

The Ashe award, which dates to 1982, recognizes individuals in all divisions who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.

Whittle, the school leader in singles and doubles victories and the first player from the school to compete in both at the NCAA Championships, was the West Coast Conference Player of the Year and a three-time WCC all-academic selection. She climbed to No. 1 in the ITA rankings early this season and remained in the top 15 nationally all season.

She lost in the first round of the NCAA singles tournament to complete a 29-9 season with a school record for wins. She and fellow senior Graciela Rosas lost in the second round of the doubles tournament and finished 22-4.

WSU collected three ITA regional awards. Freshman Hikaru Sato was named Rookie of the Year, sophomore Michaela Bayerlova was the Player to Watch for a second straight season, and senior Aneta Miksovska received the Cissie Leary Sportsmanship Award, which goes to a player displaying dedication and commitment to her team that exemplifies the spirit of college tennis.

Bayerlova, ranked No. 42 nationally, lost in the second round of the NCAA singles tournament to complete a 23-8 season. Sato and senior Tiffany Mylonas, ranked No. 22, lost in the second round of doubles and finished 27-7.

• Gonzaga claimed its fifth straight West Coast Conference women’s rowing championship last weekend and sixth in the past seven years on Lake Natoma in Sacramento, California, thanks to wins by its varsity eight and second varsity eight boats, and swept the major individual awards.

The Bulldogs’ varsity eight has been seeded No. 20 in varsity eight in the 22-school field for the NCAA Division I Championships this coming weekend in Indianapolis and No. 21 in both second varsity eight and varsity four. GU finished 17th in varsity eight and 18th in second varsity eight and varsity four last year for 18th overall.

Freshman Grace Calahane was named WCC Newcomer of the Year, junior Alexa Jadallah was Coxswain of the Year for a third straight year, senior Lauren English was Rower of the Year, and Marisa Wortman was named Coach of the Year in her first season as head coach after three as an assistant.

English repeated on the All-WCC team along, with twin sister Lindsey. They were joined by sophomore teammates Zoe Calambokidis and Lauren McCallum, the 2018 WCC Newcomer of the Year.

• The Gonzaga men’s rowing team fell short at the Western Sprints last weekend on Lake Natoma and was unable to secure automatic qualification to the 2019 IRA National Championships. After strong finishes by the second and third varsity eights, the varsity eight was late to the starting line for its race and was disqualified.

• The Washington men and women swept the Pac-12 rowing titles on Lake Natoma last weekend for a third straight year and are headed to the national championships.

The Washington State men finished fifth and the women seventh. WSU’s best finishes were second in the men’s novice eight and fourth in the women’s novice eight. The Cougars women finished better than their seed in three of the five races.

Nicholas Nerud, Whitworth’s senior shortstop who won the Northwest Conference batting championship, was named to the D3baseball.com All-West Region second team.

Nerud, a first-team All-NWC selection who batted .392, also led the conference with 71 hits, 13 of them doubles, drove in 31 runs and stole 22 bases in 23 attempts. He had a .964 fielding percentage with just seven errors in 194 chances and participated in a team-high 23 double plays.

Maddi Mott, the two-time Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year who led North Idaho College to a second straight NWAC softball championship, and sophomore teammate Bailey Cavanagh (Lake City), an outfielder, were named to the NWAC All-America team by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

• Mott and Cavanagh were on the Eastern Region softball first team along with NIC sophomore infield teammates Ashlyn Winn and Devinne Amnesquita and outfielder Jori Kerr when the NWAC announced its all-region teams for spring sports.

NIC freshman infielder Sarah Williams and sophomore catcher Taylor Andersen were on the second team along with Spokane freshman pitcher Cheyenne Rose (Lewiston) and outfielders Reilyenne Nahulu, a freshman, and Tabitha Bartolome, a sophomore.

Other Eastern Region spring teams included:

Baseball (all Spokane): First team: Christian Padilla, so., outfield; Marcus Cain (Mead), so., pitcher; McKabe Cottrell (Freeman), fr., pitcher; Reed Harrington, so., relief pitcher; Justin Lutz, so., catcher; Jordan Summers (Lewis and Clark), fr., utility. Second team: Brenden Duncan (North Central), fr., infield; Cameron Liss (Ferris), fr., pitcher. Coach of the Year: Bryan Winston, Spokane. Gold Glove: Jermaine Ducham (Lewis and Clark), so., infielder.

Golf: Men’s first team: Chance Moseley and Will Alexander, both Spokane; Dawson Strobel (Tekoa-Rosalia), North Idaho. Men’s second team: Tyler Jones and Jesse Henderson, both North Idaho; Zach Stocker (Central Valley) and Jake Larson, both Spokane. Women’s first team: Shelby Baum, Spokane. Women’s second team: Caitlyn Fisher and Mackenzie Robins, both North Idaho; Emma Torres (Rogers), Spokane.

Tennis (all Spokane): Men’s first team: Michael Manion, so. Men’s second team: Ryan DeMars (Lewis and Clark), fr.; Jay Nearents, fr.; Campbell Schulke, fr. Women’s first team: Hannah Plank (Gonzaga Prep), fr. Women’s second team: Alex Odell, fr. Men’s Coach of the Year: John Grant, Spokane.

Justin Blatner, a redshirt senior pitcher at Gonzaga from Gonzaga Prep, received honorable mention when the West Coast Conference All-Academic baseball team was announced.

• Golfer AJ Armstrong of Washington State, who graduated earlier this month with a 3.82 GPA in accounting, was named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District 8 Men’s At-Large Team and is eligible for All-America consideration. He was three-time Pac-12 All-Academic first team.

• Six Whitworth athletes were on the list when the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association passed out Division III All-West Region honors.

Senior Isabel Clark (Northwest Christian) led the Pirates with honors in four women’s events, the 100 and 400 hurdles, javelin and heptathlon. Teammate Marissa Mount, a senior, was honored in the steeplechase and freshman and Kayla Rambo in the discus.

On the men’s side, junior Nicholas McGill was selected in the javelin and decathlon, senior Jacob Hubbard in the hammer and junior Nathanael Drotts in the pole vault.

• Seattle Pacific junior Scout Cai moved up three places in the final two events and scored a career-high 5,054 points to finish third in the heptathlon at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Friday in Kingsville, Texas, and earned first-team All-America honors.

Tracy Melville, a Western Washington senior from Lind-Ritzville/Sprague, was named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Academic team in track and field for a third straight year as one of eight athletes from area schools honored.

Juniors Cai, Jackie Mahowald of Northwest Nazarene (Lakeside, Nine Mile Falls), and Rachel Bayly of Western Oregon (Moscow), repeated among the women’s selections. They were joined by Central Washington senior Katie Collins (Lakeside) and sophomore Kayla Wyatt (Gonzaga Prep).

The men’s selections included Western Washington junior Liam Cossette (Ferris) and Northwest Nazarene sophomore Grant Brookover (Chewelah).

Golf

Russell Grove, golf coach at North Idaho College, tied for sixth with a 7-under-par 209 in the 2019 Washington Open Invitational that wound up a 54-hole run Wednesday at Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent.

Shane Prante from The Home Course in DuPont, Washington, won with a 14-under 202. A three-way tie for second at 207 included Ryan Benzel, who grew up in Ritzville and played at the University of Idaho.

Gonzaga junior Chris Mogg finished third among the amateurs with a 2-under 214 and Reid Hatley from Hayden Lake Country Club was fourth at 215.

A five-man team led by pro Mark Gardner from The Creek at Qualchan tied for ninth in the pro-am at 48-under 240 for 36 holes. The winning score was a 64-under 224.

• Gonzaga women’s assistant coach Victoria Fallgren caddied in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open for friend and mentor Leslie Folsom, of Tukwila, Washington, in Southern Pines, North Carolina, last weekend. They had teamed to win the 2018 Washington State Golf Association women’s best-ball.

Hockey

Grady Lane, a 2003-born forward from Virden, Manitoba, an eighth-round pick by Spokane in the 2018 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft, signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement and committed to playing for the Chiefs.

Lane, the fourth player from Spokane’s 2018 draft class to sign, played in the Manitoba Midget League last season, scoring five goals with seven assists in 32 games. The season leading to his drafting, he had 22 goals and 20 assists in 35 games in the Winnipeg Bantam AAA League, but he missed the Chiefs’ training camp with an injury.

Letters of intent

Alaska Fairbanks women’s shooting: Cassidy Wilson, Spokane, homeschooled; member of Spokane Junior Rifle Club Gold Team, four-time Junior Olympian.

Gonzaga women’s cross country/track: Natasha Bernal, distances, graduate transfer from New Mexico.

Idaho women’s track and field: Keeley Rasmussen, thrower, Sandy, Oregon.

Whitworth volleyball: Eva Millan, OH, Clarkston, GNL MVP, second-team All-State 2A; Joelle Forbes, S, Naches Valley HS (Washington); Jordyn Foxen, MH, Stanwood, Wash.; Laura Stricker, M, Louisville, Colorado; Abigail Wolverton, RSH, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Carroll College women’s track and field: Amber Jones, sprints, Oakesdale.

Officials

Charlie Groth coached softball at Curlew High School for 34 years and took the Cougars to 11 state tournaments – four in slowpitch and seven in fastpitch – winning the 2007 fastpitch championship in the first year of the 1B classification.

Now retired, he was back at state this weekend. In his second year as a softball umpire, Groth was selected by his Colville Valley association to umpire in the State 2B/1B tournament in Yakima.

He was one of at least 14 area officials this spring working their first state-level tournaments in softball, baseball and soccer.

The others include Jim McCoy, Jamison Edwards, Tim Lewis and Tony Mangini in baseball; Darryl “Skip” Taylor, Chuck De Bruin, Dave Bakken, Mike Czmowski, Dan Allen, Dan Lowe and Terry Burke in softball; and Jeff Ripley and Josh Madison in soccer.

Area state tournament officials:

Baseball: Washington: Inland Empire association: Kevin Wellington, State 2A/1A finals; Jeff Golding, 4A regional; Ryan Olson, 3A regional; Jeremy Burkhardt, 2A regional; Clark Cosby, 1A regional; Paul Sorensen, 2B regional; McCoy, 2B regional; Edwards, 1B regional; *Danny Adams, 1B regional. Colville Valley: Steve Pietroburgo, State 2B/1B finals; *Bruce Richartz, 2B regional. Palouse: Lewis (Winthrop), 2B regional; Mangini (Moscow), 1B regional.

Idaho: District 1, all State 2A: Chad Chittenden, Frank Garcia, Jerry Wicks.

Softball: Washington: Spokane association: Kathleen Burns, State 4A Umpire in Chief; Ron Snyder, State 4A; Craig Adams, State 3A; *Bob Baugh, State 3A; Taylor, State 2A; *John Isles, State 2A; Steve Quaid, State 1A; *David Birdsell, State 2A; Jeff Camp, State 1B/2B; De Bruin, State 2B/1B. Colville Valley, Groth (Republic), State 2B/1B; Palouse: Bakken (Moscow), State 1A; Czmowski (Clarkston), State 2B/1B.

Idaho: District 1, all State 5A/4A/3A: Ted Yurek, UIC/umpire; Russell Lacy, UIC/umpire; Allen; Leanne Brenner; Dave Broughton; Burke; Kevin Campbell; Lowe; Jeff Owens; Scott Verburg; *John Wilkey.

Soccer: Washington: Inland Empire association, Ripley, State 2A/1A; Madison, State 3A/4A.

(* indicates selected; injured, unable to officiate or did not attend.)

Shooting

Kylie Delaney of Spokane picked up three major awards for compiling the highest total aggregate score in major smallbore championships during the 2019 Washington State Rifle and Pistol Association season that wound up earlier this month in Wenatchee.

Delaney, 17, a member of the Spokane Junior Rifle Club who is home schooled, received the Dorothy Kipple Trophy as Girls State Champion; the Launi Meili Trophy, in honor of the former SJRC standout from Cheney, as Washington State Indoor/Outdoor Grand Aggregate; and the High Girls Indoor-Outdoor Position Trophy.

• Members of the Spokane Junior Rifle Club picked up 15 medals, including five golds, at the 2019 Washington State Conventional Outdoor Smallbore (0.22) Championships earlier this month in Wenatchee.

Ben Tafoya, 16, Gonzaga Prep, was first in A class in the 3-position event and in Prone only, where he finished second overall. Garrett Pearsall, 14, homeschooled, won the C class in both 3-Position and Prone only. Sean Kegley, 14, homeschooled, was first in the beginner’s Prone Only class.

Other SJRC medalists:

3-Position: Delaney, 2nd Jr. Master; Anna Pearsall, 16, Mt. Spokane, 2nd A Class; Joel Moore, 14, The Oaks Academy, 2nd C Class; Kegley, 2nd beginner’s Prone Only; Ensley Breeden, 10, Midway Elementary, 3rd beginner’s Prone Only. SJRC Gold team (Delaney; Cassidy Wilson, 18, homeschooled; Taylor Christian, 17, Spokane Valley Tech), 3rd.

Prone Only: Delaney, 2nd Jr. Master, 2nd High Intermediate Junior; Anna Pearsal, 5th A Class; Moore, 2nd C Class; Breeden, 2nd Prone Only.

Miscellany

Lewis-Clark State College, which has been a member of the Frontier Conference since 1999, will become a member of the Cascade Collegiate Conference in the summer of 2020 after that conference’s council of presidents voted to approve LCSC’s application last week.

The Lewiston school, the only Frontier member not located in the state of Montana or in the Mountain Time Zone, will remain in the Frontier through the 2019-20 academic year.

LCSC will become the 12th full member of the CCC, joining College of Idaho, Eastern Oregon, Evergreen State, Multnomah, Northwest University, Northwest Christian, Oregon Tech, Southern Oregon, Walla Walla University, Warner Pacific and Corban.

College administrators say the move presents a number of potential advantages, including improvements to sport alignment, travel, scheduling and recruiting. The Cascade offers 10 of LCSC’s 12 sports, excluding only tennis (men’s and women’s), while the Frontier offers league play for just seven of LCSC’s sports.

LCSC plays in the NAIA West for baseball that includes four CCC members.

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