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Tyson McGuffin has done most everything in the world of pickleball – a five-time professional major champion, former No. 1 ranked player in the world …
Now, thanks to a couple of first-time partners, the 31-year-old Coeur d’Alene pro fulfilled another goal: He won a major tournament triple crown, capturing the pro division’s top three events.
“I’m just the second male to have a triple crown,” he said of winning gold in pro men’s singles, pro men’s doubles and pro mixed doubles at the USA Pickleball Newport Beach Championships earlier this month. “It’s kinda cool.”
The $65,000 California tournament launched the USA Pickleball National Championship Series leading to the national championships in Indian Wells, California, this fall.
“All the big guns were there,” said the No. 2 ranked McGuffin, adding except for the guy who has replaced him at No. 1, Ben Johns of Maryland. “And that,” he added with a chuckle, “made my life a little easier.”
McGuffin defeated No. 3-ranked Zane Navratil of Wisconsin 11-4, 11-8, 17-15 in the singles final and teamed with the seventh-ranked singles player, Tyler Loong of Salt Lake City, to defeat Navratil and No. 4 Jay Devilliers of Kansas 11-3, 11-7 for the doubles title in their first competition as a team.
In mixed doubles, McGuffin was joined by longtime friend and protégé Lea Jansen of Spokane, who has risen to No. 2 in the women’s singles rankings, to defeat Californians Maggie Brascia and DJ Young 11-7, 11-1 for a title in their first outing together.
It was a big weekend for Jansen, too. The former Freeman High School and Washington State University tennis standout defeated 11th-ranked Jillian Braverman of California 11-5, 8-11, 11-2 for the women’s singles championship for her second pro title after capturing her first the previous weekend.
McGuffin grew up in a wrestling family in Chelan, Washington, and at age 14 “I found tennis and fell in love with it.
“My game was pretty raw; I was a fighter, that’s what wrestling taught me, but I had no technique. Lea’s dad, Andy (Jansen, the head pro at the Spokane Racquet Club) was my high school tennis coach, and took me under his wing. Throughout high school I lived with their family during the summers in Spokane.”
Tennis turned into pickleball, and a highly successful and lucrative career was launched.
Sponsored by Hayden, Idaho-based Selkirk Sport, McGuffin has self-branded and has a pickleball club, a camp, a YouTube channel and a news/blog site.
“I want to share what I’ve learned,” he said of instruction and training tips, hoping others will pick up the sport and have as much fun as he’s had.
Scott Penner, a four-year men’s soccer player, and Saylor Anderson, a versatile track & field and volleyball athlete, were chosen by Whitworth to receive the school’s 2020-21 All-Northwest Conference first-team Scholar-Athlete Award for their successes scholastically and athletically.
Penner, a two-year team captain who started 41 of the 43 games in which he played, earned All-NWC honorable mention as a junior. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA as a biology major, was named to the Provost’s Honor Roll eight times and earned President’s Cup honors. He also was a tutor at the Andrew Rypien School at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital.
Anderson, a junior, was a member of the Pirates’ 2019 NWC champion volleyball team after they finished second in 2018, and placed 11th in the javelin at the 2020 NWC Track & Field Championships. She has a 3.98 GPA as a psychology major, earned Provost’s Honor Roll six times, All-NWC Scholar-Athlete three times and been a peer advisor and teaching assistant.
• Laney Search, a four-year George Fox volleyball and tennis athlete from Sandpoint, received her school’s female 2020-21 All-NWC Scholar-Athlete Award. She was a two-time All-NWC second-team selection in volleyball, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a 3.99. She made the Dean’s List eight times, was All-NWC four times and twice received Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete honors.
• Johnny Sage’s collegiate baseball odyssey was capped by an award-filled spring at Biola.
The former West Valley HS standout, a 2016 Washington Player of the Year as a senior, was named to the 2020-21 CoSIDA Academic All-District VII first team with a 3.89 GPA while working on his Master of business administration and was selected to the All-PacWest third team.
Along with displaying his usual deftness in the outfield – he had 64 putouts and two assists – he batted .357 as Biola’s leadoff hitter with 10 multi-hit games. His last game he went 5-for-5 against Northwest Nazarene.
Last week, Sage was named a starting outfielder on the Northwest Athletic Conference All-Decade Team (2010-19) for the 2018 season he spent at Yakima Valley College, where he was NWAC Player of the Year and a first-team All-American.
• Gonzaga rising sophomore Gabriel Hughes started all three games in which he appeared with the U.S. Collegiate National Baseball Team on its 11-game, intra-squad tour in the Southeast.
The right-hander pitched seven innings, posting a 1-0 record with a 5.14 ERA. He allowed eight hits, including one double and one home run, while holding opposing batters to a .276 average. He also walked one and struck out two. His Stripes team lost the series 7-4 to the Stars.
• Former Lakeland of Rathdrum standout Katy Ryan, who will be a freshman at Washington State this fall, was named to the USA Volleyball Women’s indoor U20 National Training Team as an alternate. The 6-foot-5 opposite, who led Lakeland to the school’s first state championship as a senior, was the Idaho Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year.
• Gonzaga sophomore Cassie Kim from Yakima qualified for the 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur Golf Championship by tying for fourth at a qualifying tournament last week in University Place, Washington. Kim shot a 1-over-par 74 for 18 holes with two birdies and three bogeys. The 121st U.S. Women’s Amateur will be Aug. 2-8 in Rye, New York.
• Recent Washington State graduate Stephanie Cho was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America NCAA Division I Academic All-District 8 Women’s Track & Field Team with a 4.0 GPA and is eligible for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.
CoSIDA also honored two Division II area track and field athletes with All-District 8 honors, Scout Cai, a Seattle Pacific senior from Colfax with a 3.72 GPA, and Tyler Shea, a Northwest Nazarene junior from Northwest Christian HS, with a 3.93 GPA.
• Shea is one of two men and 13 area athletes overall who received Great Northwest Athletic Conference Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) Scholar-Athlete Awards for maintaining GPAs of 3.85 or higher.
The other male recipient is Travis Swallow, a Seattle Pacific soccer player from Lake City, with a 3.94 GPA. It is his fourth FAR award.
The women by schools: Seattle Pacific: Annika Esvelt, fr., West Valley, cross country/track & field, 4.0; Hailey Marlow, fr., WV, basketball, 3.90; Libby Michael, fr., Deer Park, XC/T&F, 3.95 (2nd FAR). Alaska Fairbanks: Cassidy Wilson, so., Deer Park, rifle, 3.97 (2nd FAR). Western Oregon: Carly Cox, so., Ferris, volleyball, 4.0.
Central Washington: Gracee Dwyer, jr., University, softball, 3.91 (3rd FAR); Katarina Smith, fr., Cheney, soccer, 3.89; Hannah Stires, fr., Lakeside-Nine Mile Falls, volleyball, 3.96; Kayla Wyatt, sr., Gonzaga Prep, T&F, 3.90 (4th FAR). Northwest Nazarene: Carolyn Moravec, so., Lewis and Clark, soccer, 3.90 (2nd FAR); Madi VonBrethorst, jr., Ferris, T&F, 3.85.
• Steady improvement helped Washington State’s Ilaria Macchi qualify for the C final in the women’s single sculls at the 2021 U-23 World Rowing Championships in Racice, Czech Republic, where the rising sophomore from Slovenia finished fifth in the race and 17th overall.
Macchi placed fourth in her first heat race of the week, clocking 8 minutes, 16.57 seconds. She shaved 21 seconds off that in her repechage heat to advance to the C/D semifinal, and lowered her time nearly six seconds in winning the semifinal to gain the C final. Cougars senior Kateryna Maistrenko helped her native Ukraine finish sixth in both the coxed four semifinals and finals, their time of 7:32.49 in the final more than four seconds faster than their prelim time.
• The area’s four NCAA Division I schools and Division III Whitworth once again made a hauling when the Intercollegiate Tennis Association named its academic team and individual academic award winners for the 2020-21 season.
Combined, the Division I programs produced 40 individual recipients with GPAs of 3.5 or better and Whitworth had 12. All the men’s and women’s programs at the five schools were ITA Academic Teams with GPAs of 3.2 or above.
Washington State women: Michaela Bayerlova, senior, 3.77 GPA; Maddie Egan, sophomore, 3.67; Yang Lee, junior, 3.58; Savanna Ly-Nguyen, jr., 3.82. WSU team, 15th straight award, 3.41 GPA.
Idaho women: Laura Spataro, sr., 4th award; Marta Magalhaes, sr., 4th; Maggie Chen, grad student, 4th; Nicole Horacek, freshman; Melissa Huchet, jr.; Saffron Dowse, fr.; Katherine Jhang, fr. Idaho men: Bruno Casino, so., 3rd; Brandon Hodge, fr., 2nd; Francisco Bascon, fr., 2nd; Adam Taylor, fr., 2nd; Matteo Masala, fr,; Alejandro Salvador, fr.; Vivek Ramesh, fr.
Eastern Washington women: Rylee Braeden, sr.; Yasmin Mansouri, jr.; Renta Gabuzyan, so.; Louise Waite, jr.; Jennifer Kida, fr.; Scout Mathews, fr. Team: 5th straight, 7th overall, 3.67 GPA. EWU men: Wout Doumen, jr., 2nd; Jeremy Mueller, sr.; Martin Bats, sr.; Manuel Balce, jr.; Erik Grimes, so.; Bruno Ortega, so.; Ryan Isguett, fr.; Erik Sarlvik, fr. Team: 4th in 6 years, 3.50 GPA.
Gonzaga women: Kate Ketels, grad student; Haruna Tsuruta, GS; Hanna Jones, GS; Adrianna Sosnowska, jr.; Cate Broerman, so.; Maria Frampton, so.; Jenna Sloan, so.; Tiegan Aitken, fr.; Kianna Oda, fr. Team: 3rd straight, 4th overall. GU men: Hunter Egger, sr.; Matthew Perkins, sr.; Theo McDonald, jr.; Oliver Anderson, so.; Matthew Hollingworth, so.; Leon Roider, so.; Sasha Trkulja, fr. Team: 3rd straight, 8th overall.
Whitworth women: Meredith Bedford, RS fr.; Jill Hughes, jr.; Lauren Ikeda, RS fr.; Aleah Kert, sr.; Froukje Lakerveld, sr.; Avery Liening, sr.; Kyndal Locati, jr.; Kara Nelson, RS fr. Whitworth men: Brenden Archer, RS fr. (Shadle Park); Cameron Brewer, jr.; Alex D’Agostino, RS fr.; Kincaid Norris, sr.
George Fox women: Laney Search, sr. (Sandpoint).
• The Washington State women’s basketball team, with its program-record 3.629 GPA, was named by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association to its 2020-21 Division I Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll for the first time in program history. Coach Kami Ethridge’s Cougars, ranked 20th, are the only area team honored.
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