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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Locally: North Idaho XC wins title at USATF National Junior Olympic Championships

From staff and news services

With Max Cervi-Skinner of Coeur d’Alene leading the way, 38 area runners brought home arm loads of trophies, including two national championships, three top-three individual finishes and 20 All-America honors from two major youth cross country meets this month.

Cervi-Skinner figured in both national titles, two of the top-three finishes and earned two All-America certificates.

The 14-year-old eighth grader at Canfield Middle School won the 13-14-year-old boys championship and led North Idaho XC to the division team title at the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships Dec. 13-14 in Paris, Kentucky, a week after he placed second in boys’ 14 at the 2020 AAU National Championships in Tallahassee, Florida.

Joining Cervi-Skinner on the boys 13-14 national championship team were his brother, Zack Cervi-Skinner (Canfield), fourth place; Kyle Rohlinger (STEM Charter Academy), 32nd; Dante Carr (St. Michaels (Academy), 53rd; and Ethan Hickok (Upper Columbia Academy), 59th.

Also in the National Junior Olympics, NIXC teammate Helen Oyler (Coeur d’Alene Charter) placed third in girls 11-12 and the NIXC boys’ 11-12-year-old team finished second.

Valley Flash of Spokane, with a team comprised of Central Valley High School runners, finished second in girls 15-18 at the USATF meet. Four of its five runners earned All-America honors, led by Nicole Bissell’s seventh-place finish in girls 15-16. The 15-16- and 17-18-year-old divisions were combined for team scoring.

The top 25 finishers in the Junior Olympics and top eight in the AAU Nationals were All-Americans. NIXC had eight, Valley Flash six and Spokane Mercury Athletic Club two in the Junior Olympics. NIXC also had four in the AAU Nationals.

NIXC had an additional two runners with a pair of top-10 finishes. Mitchell Rietze (Canfield) and Wyatt Carr (Woodland MS) placed ninth and 10th, respectively, in boys 11-12 in the Junior Olympics race and fifth and eighth, respectively, in boys 12 at the AAU championships.

  • The other results by team; -indicates All-American:

North Idaho XC

USATF National Junior Olympics: Girls 9-10 (3k) – Paige Dance (Pine Grove Academy), 30th;

  • Paisley Ray (St. Mary’s Catholic School), 34th. Boys 9-10 (3k) – Rowan Henry (St. Mary’s), 11th; Alistair Smith (Sorensen Elementary), 57th; Will Wood (Prairie View Elementary), 74th. Girls 11-12 (3k) – Adalyn Depew (Evergreen MS), 28th. Boys 11-12 (3k) – Parker Sterling (Lakeland JH), 25th; Davey Dance (CdA Charter), 33rd; Nicholas Ray (St. Mary’s), 120th. Girls 13-14 (4k) – Zara Munyer (CdA Charter), 9th; Ann Marie Dance (Coeur d’Alene HS), 28th; Elli Rietze (CdA HS), 55th.
  • AAU National Championships: Girls 10 (3k) – Paisley Ray, 57th. Boys 10 (3k) – Henry, 38th. Girls 11 (3k) – Depew, 8th. Boys 11 (3k) – Nicholas Ray, 111th. Girls 12 (3k) – Oyler, 12th. Boys 12 (3k) – Sterling, 25th. Girls 14 (4k) – Munyer, 16th; Elliana Rietze, 112th. Boys 14 (4k) – Zack Cervi-Skinner, 11th; Rohlinger, 47th; Hickok, 163rd.

Valley Flash

USATF National Junior Olympics: Girls 8 – Hannah Horsley (East Farms Elementary), 9th. Boys 9-10 – Ryan Ewasko (Greenacres Elementary), 120th. Boys 15-16 – Giovanni Ferraro (Central Valley), 55th. Girls 9-10 – Olivia Olson (St. Mary’s), 45th. Girls 11-12 – Jolina Olson (St. Mary’s), 86th. Girls 13-14 – Ruby Bryntesen (CV), 17th; Landen “Ande” McLean (CV); 118th; Katherine Kuhl (CV), 158th. Girls 15-16 – Alivia Bruno (CV), 15th; Emma Fredekind (CV), 38th. Girls 17-18 – Sarah Pecha (CV), 11th; Chloe Bryntesen (CV), 14th.

Spokane Mercury

USATF National Junior Olympics: Girls 9-10 – McKinley Whitmore (Odyssey School), 79th. Girls 11-12 – Dakota Keyworth (Woodland MS), 97th. Boys 11-12 – Ethan Martin (Westwood MS), 13th. Boys 13-14 – Chase Fitterer (All Saints Catholic School), 13th; Parker Whitmore (Sacajawea MS), 118th.


The seventh edition of the Spokane Indians’ community update, Home Base, is available online with an edition that includes holiday trivia, a chance to catch some New Year’s Eve fireworks and an update on the Indians’ new major league affiliation. Check it out at

College scene


In a word, that describes the 39 men and women, including 13 former area high school standouts, named to the Whitworth All-Decade Track and Field Team for the 2010-11 to 2019-20 school years.

The group earned 50 NCAA Division III outdoor All-America awards, another 11 indoors, won a combined seven outdoor and indoor national championships and a combined 17 West Region Athlete of the Year honors while also collecting 10 Academic All-America awards.

And that’s not accounting for too-many-to-count Northwest Conference championships, honors and school records. So strong is the group, that five others who received All-America recognition were relegated to honorable mention status on the All-Decade Team.

The Whitworth men won seven consecutive NWC titles (2010-16) and placed among the top 10 at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships in 2013 (10th), ‘14 (9th) and ‘16 (7th), the women won conference titles in 2015 and ‘16 and placed ninth at the D-III outdoor meet in 2018.

All this earning Toby Schwartz NCAA D-III West Region Coach of the Year and NWC Coach of the Year seven consecutive seasons (2010-16).

Among the individual standouts were Carter Comito (2010-13, Mead), a three-time NCAA Division III National Champion in the discus (2011, ’12 and ’13) and three-time All-American in the shot put while setting school records in the two events that still stand;

Kayla Leland (2015-18, Gonzaga Prep), a five-time All-American outdoors and indoors in the middle distances, distances and steeplechase;

And Emmanuel Bofa (2007-11), a middle distance runner from Puyallup who ushered in the decade by winning two national championships and earning five All-America awards outdoors and indoors.

Others on the All-Decade Team:

Track: Matthew Landon (2012-15), sprints/relays; Nicholas Gosselin (2013-16, Lake City), sprints/relays; Sarah Martinez (2015-18), sprints/hurdles/relays; Kameha Medallada (2017-20), sprints/relays; Casey Monahan (2011-14, Mead), hurdles/relays; Jonathon Hoff (2011-14), hurdles/jumps; Elizabeth Mattila (2008-11), hurdles; Steven Acosta (2010-13), middle distance; Katie McKay (2013-16), middle distance; Tonya Turner (2008-11, Mead), middle distance/distance/steeplechase; Marissa Mount (2017-19), steeplechase; Nicholas Gallagher (2008-11), distance; Joy Shufeldt (2010-13), distance. Honorable mention: John-Robert Woolley (2015-18), hurdles; Dana Misterek (2008-11), middle distance.

Field: Joe Green (2012-15), pole vault; Everett Kleven (2014-16), PV; Chibron Tomero (2012-13, Mead), PV; Kierstie Shellman (2013-15, Lake City), PV; Frank Lima (2010-13), high jump; Jheri Gates (2011-12), high jump; Luke Mathews (2011-13, Freeman), jumps/decathlon; Christina Dobbins (2012-14, ’16), jumps/huddles; Kayla Brase (2015-18), jumps/heptathlon; Corey Burt (2013-16, Central Valley), shot put/discus; Keegan Shea (2011-14, CV), hammer; Andrew Bloom (2015-18), javelin; Alexander Hymel (2008-11), javelin; Chase Wright (2012-15, Mead), javelin; Courtney Fairhart (2013-16), discus; Danielle Openiano (2014-18), discus/shot; Erica Cox (2008-11), discus/hammer; Dakota Kliamovic (2013-16, CV), hammer; Kerry Wright (2013-16), javelin; Honorable mention: Joseph Ingman (2010-13), javelin; John McCormack (2009, ’11-‘13), javelin; Tyler Coopman (2013-15), javelin; Cooper Budden (2013-16), javelin; Sam Wright (2011-13), shot/discus.

Combined events: Nick McGill (2017-present), decathlon/javelin; Peter Delap (2011-14), decathlon/jumps; Izzy Clark (2018-19, Northwest Christian), heptathlon/hurdles; Sarah Cool (2016-18, ’20), heptathlon/relays.

Charlisse Leger-Walker had quite a debut for the Washington State women’s basketball team and was rewarded for it by the Pac-12.

The 5-foot-10 guard from New Zealand was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the week of Dec. 7-13 after she averaged a Pac-12-best 24.5 points with 7.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.5 steals as the Cougars defeated rival Washington 60-52 in Seattle and neighboring Idaho 74-55 in their home opener.

Against Idaho, Leger-Walker had 24 points in the second half, 18 in the third quarter. The 24-point second-half is the third-most points by a WSU player over the final 20 minutes of play and her 18 in the third ties for third-most in any quarter by a Cougar.


The Spokane Chiefs made a move last week to get their roster down to the Western Hockey League limit of three overage players, releasing forward Michael King and goalie James Porter Jr. from Bonners Ferry. The Chiefs announced both had cleared waivers.

King, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, was acquired from the Kootenay (now Winnipeg) ICE prior to the 2018-19 season. In 129 games with Spokane over two seasons, he had 16 goals and 21 assists, highlighted by career highs in most categories during the shortened 2019-20 season. In 251 career WHL games, he has 61 points (26G-35A).

Porter was acquired midway through the 2019-20 season from the Kelowna Rockets after a season-ending injury to starting goalie Campbell Arnold. In 10 games, Porter had a 1.94 GAA and .923 save percentage, allowing two or fewer goals in six of his eight starts. In 83 career WHL games, he has a 3.11 GAA and .900 saves percentage.

Remaining 2000-born players are Bobby Russell and Matt Leduc, both defensemen, and forward Eli Zummack.

Letters of intent

Gonzaga volleyball: Transfer: Keau Kamakeeaina, S, Laie, Hawaii/College of Southern Idaho, will be a freshman.

Idaho men’s track/cross country: Freshman: Evan Henkel, middle-distance/distance, Salem, Oregon.

Idaho women’s track/cross country: Freshman: Eimy Martinez, distance, Salem.

Eastern Washington women’s tennis: Freshman: Isabella Foshee, San Diego, California.


Chris King, radio voice of Idaho men’s basketball since 2013, will take on an expanded role in the Vandals’ broadcast booth. He has been hired to also handle play-by-play for football when that sport resumes in the spring of 2021.

Learfield IMG College, athletics multimedia rights-holder for the University of Idaho, announced that King will replace Dennis Patchin, who left to become sports director for KHQ-TV and SWX in Spokane. He called Idaho football for five seasons.

King, a Washington University graduate and the National Sports Media Association’s 2017 Idaho Sportscaster of the Year, previously called Vandals football games for broadcasts on PlutoTV. In the summers he calls baseball for the Tri-City Dust Devils.

• With eight of 10 member institutions electing to not participate in the conference season for men’s and women’s basketball due to COVID-19 reasons, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference announced it will not conduct a 2020-21 conference schedule and no regular-season champion will be declared in either sport.

The GNAC will also continue to look at the feasibility of spring seasons for baseball, softball, outdoor track and field, men’s and women’s golf and women’s rowing, and the suspended fall seasons for cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball.