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Locally: Stanford swimmer Daniel Roy breaks records in return to pool

UPDATED: Sun., Nov. 29, 2020

Stanford swimmer Daniel Roy won two events in his return to the pool after a seven-month layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic.  (Associated Press)
Stanford swimmer Daniel Roy won two events in his return to the pool after a seven-month layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Associated Press)
From staff and news services

Daniel Roy is back in the water, and breaking records.

The Stanford junior from Gonzaga Prep, who had been pretty much idle for more than seven months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, set a couple of personal records and a school record in collecting two wins for the Cardinal in a dual meet against California on Nov. 21 at Stanford’s Avery Aquatic Center.

The two-time All-American won the 200-yard breaststroke in a school- and personal-record 1 minute, 51.64 seconds, and had a personal-best 2:08.89 in winning the 200-meter breast, his first time under 2:09 in the event.

Fast starts were the key in both. He swam the first 100 in the 200m in 53.89 and the first 100 in the 200y in 1:02.01. The week before in a dual at Cal, he won the 100y breast in 52.75, the eighth-best time in school history.

After placing second in the Pac-12 Championships in March, Roy was scheduled to compete in the NCAAs, which were canceled because of the pandemic. With school facilities closed, he returned to Spokane, but found nothing but dry land here, too.

“There was no swimming pool available (here) until July,” said his father, Michael, in an email. “He was never out of the water for so long since he was 3 years old.”

Daniel returned to Stanford in September and practiced when restrictions allowed, his father noted. He had been scheduled to attend the U.S. Open earlier this month, but strict COVID restrictions on Stanford athletes curtailed those plans.

“On Saturday (Nov. 21) all just orchestrated together,” Michael wrote, noting the day would have otherwise been a training day for his son.

Daniel’s 200m PR of 2:08.89 ranks first in the nation and No. 5 in the world, Michael wrote.

Baseball

Darren Taylor, who has 31 years of varsity coaching experience and has won several Idaho state titles, has been named the new head coach of the Coeur d’Alene Lumbermen’s AA/19U American Legion team.

An assistant to former Lake City player Bobbi Darretta with the Coeur d’Alene High softball team in 2019, Taylor coached the Post Falls-based Prairie Cardinals Legion team in the 1990s and early 2000s, and has coached varsity baseball, varsity softball and girls varsity basketball at Lake City.

He replaces Erik Karns, the CdA HS baseball coach who had been head coach of the Lumbermen, and Lake City coach Paul Manzardo, who had been an assistant with the Lums.

• The sixth edition of the Spokane Indians’ Home Base newsletter, designed to keep Indians fans connected to the Northwest League team during the pandemic-impacted offseason, is available online.

Version 6 includes a Q & A with former Indians player Jose Trevino (2014) of the Texas Rangers, recipes from the Indians’ mascots (check out Otto’s turkey cranberry sliders), trivia and an item about the Indians winning a Washington State Recycler of the Year Award in the Business Generator category for the team’s zero waste campaign during the 2019 calendar year.

Check it out at milb.com/spokane/community/homebase.

College scene

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the Cascade Collegiate Conference.

The 23-school, NAIA-affiliated league, which earlier announced it was going to delay the start of its basketball seasons until after the first of the year, last week learned it will be missing a couple of schools.

Walla Walla University, a private Seventh-day Adventist school, announced it will withdraw from CCC 2020-21 schedules for men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and men’s soccer as part of its COVID-19 safety plan. The release said it plans to participate in cross country and golf schedules.

Evergreen State College announced it will not compete in basketball for the 2020-21 season for the same reason. It said no decision has been made about 2020-21 volleyball, soccer or track and field, its decision influenced by public health guidelines.

Horse racing

Richard Wright, one of the top jockeys and trainers in the Northwest who captured two riding championships at the defunct Playfair Race Course in Spokane during his heyday, died Nov. 9 at his home in Renton, Washington.

He was 81, three weeks shy of his 82nd birthday.

The native of Afton, Wyoming, revived a promising saddle career after leaving the Army in 1964 and overcame weight problems, a common issue with jockeys, to win seven Northwest riding championships in little more than a decade.

Teamed with trainer N.E. “Nub” Norton, Wright won Playfair jockey titles in 1967 and ’68 and finished third twice, winning eight Spokane stakes races.

He led Portland Meadows riders four times (1968-69 and 1971-72), and when he turned to training, he became one of the region’s most successful conditioners, saddling 963 winners before retiring in 2009. He sent out Native Rustler to win the 1994 Playfair Mile.

His son Blaine took over the stable and has since become a prominent conditioner at Emerald Downs in the Seattle area and Northern California.

Wright is survived by his wife, Susan, and four children, daughters Cherie and Susan, and sons Kenny and Blaine.

His siblings include a younger brother, Dale, who rode during many Playfair seasons. Dale’s wife, Kim, won the 1989 Playfair training title and finished in the top three seven times.

Letters of intent

Gonzaga women’s cross country/track: Rosina Machu, Boise HS.

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