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Locally: Former Gonzaga rower Charley Nordin to represent US at Paralympic Games

UPDATED: Sun., June 27, 2021

Former Gonzaga rower Charley Nordin will represent the US at the Paralympic Games.  (Courtesy of Gonzaga Athletics)
Former Gonzaga rower Charley Nordin will represent the US at the Paralympic Games. (Courtesy of Gonzaga Athletics)
From staff and news services

From staff and news services

Former Gonzaga University men’s rower Charley Nordin, who started rowing his freshman year as a walk-on, has been selected to represent the United States as part of the PR3 mixed four with coxswain crew at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. The Games are scheduled for Aug. 24-Sept. 5, 2021, with para rowing beginning Aug. 27.

Nordin’s crew of two men, two women and a coxswain was chosen through a selection camp. Nordin rowed for Gonzaga for four seasons before graduating in 2019. He rowed his final season almost exclusively with the varsity eight. The Oakland, Calif., native has been working toward a Paralympic appearance since graduation. When Nordin was a junior in high school, he suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a rope swing accident, suffering burst fractures in his L3, L4 and L5 vertebrae. As a result, he has nerve damage in his right leg and lost most of his right calf. His right leg, he says, operates at about 35% to 40% percent of his left. That qualifies him to row with the Paralympic crew.

“It’s something I dream about and think about every single day,” Nordin was quoted in a news release in 2019. “It’s why I get up in the morning; it’s why I work as hard as I can every workout, every weight lift … to represent your country. It’s incredible. And to then be able to do that on the Paralympic stage, the biggest stage of all, words can’t describe it. It’s the dream.” Nordin is a two-time world silver medalist in the event, most recently at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz, Austria. The U.S. has won six consecutive silver medals in the event at the world level, including the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil.

Basketball

Joddie Gleason has added two more recruits to the Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team.

The first-year Eagles coach, who has only nine returning players, picked up Jordyn Boesel, a 5-foot-9 guard, as a graduate transfer who spent the last four years at Saint Mary’s in California, and freshman Devynn Warns, a 5-7 shooting guard from Liberty HS in Renton, Wash.

They give Gleason seven newcomers.

Boesel, whose father, Bryan, played football at Eastern (1989-93), averaged 8.5 minutes and 1.7 ppg in 73 games for the Gaels. As a senior, the Okanogan, Washington, HS graduate played in

24 games, averaged 3.6 points on 42.3% shooting and 14.6 minutes. In her first career start as a senior, she scored a career-high 17 points that included 5-of-8 shooting on 3-pointers.

Warns, who will join the Eagles as a walk-on, was a four-year letter winner at Liberty. She earned 2A/3A Kingco League defensive player of the year as a freshman and league MVP as a junior. She led the league in scoring as a junior and senior and reached 1,000 career points. In her shortened senior year, Warns scored 184 points in eight games (23 ppg).

College scene

Track and field athletes Charisma Taylor and Emmanuel “Ray Ray” Wells Jr. were named the Washington State recipients of the Pac-12 Conference’s annual Tom Hansen Medal.

Named for the former conference commissioner, the medal recognizes a senior male and female student-athlete at each school based on a combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.

Hansen retired in 2009 after serving 26 years as commissioner of what was then the Pac-10.

Taylor, from Nassau, Bahamas, graduated with a degree in hospitality business management with a 3.47 GPA. She was a 2020 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation All-Academic honoree and has earned both first- and second-team NCAA Indoor All-America awards.

She was a 2020 MPSF triple jump champion and holds the WSU indoor, outdoor and Bahamian National records in the triple jump and is the Cougars’ record holder in the 60m hurdles and ranks 10th in the long jump.

Taylor was one of the recipients of a WSU Top Ten Senior award. She was treasurer of the Black Student-Athlete Association and was a board member and team representative for WSU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Wells, from South Seattle, completed his degree in humanities in May of 2020 and is pursuing a second degree in general studies. He was a 2020 first-team and 2019 second-team NCAA Indoor All-American, was the 2020 MPSF 60m champion. Wells is the school 60m record holder and ranks seventh all-time in the 100m.

He earned the 2019 WSU Male Performance of the Year after he set the Don Kirby Elite meet record in the 60m dash with a 6.53-second time that ranked him second in the nation, and fifth in the world at the time.

In his spare time, Wells has volunteered at several WSU athletic community service events.

• Idaho junior linebacker Tre Walker, who earned five different All-America honors following the 2021 spring season and was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, is an Athlon Sports FCS Preseason All-America selection for the 2021 fall season. He led the Big Sky with 13.5 tackles a game.

• Braeden Cordes, a freshman third baseman at Community Colleges of Spokane from Mead, was named to the 2021 ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove defensive team for the Pacific Association Division for two-year colleges.

• Chloe Larson’s 14th-place finish in the 50m freestyle (25.35 seconds) during Wave II qualifying led the showing by three Washington State seniors in the U.S. Olympic Women’s Swimming Trials earlier this month in Omaha, Nebraska.

Taylor McCoy of Pullman had the second fastest time in the 200 backstroke (2:14.00) in Wave I qualifying to advance to the A final, but missed the Wave II cut. Mackenzie Duarte competed in the 200 breaststroke in Wave I. Her 2.35.12 was good for 16th in the group and moved her to the Wave I “B” Final, but she just missed out on advancing to Wave II.

• The Washington State women in Division I and Whitworth men and women in Division III received College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America team honors for spring 2021.

It’s the 10th straight semester the Cougars have been honored, all under coach Matt Leach, and the 20th time overall. Their 3.72 GPA is the highest semester team GPA in program history. The Whitworth women posted a 3.61 GPA and the men a 3.00. Steven Schadt coaches both teams.

Soccer

Sydney Studer, a 5-foot-10 midfielder who played the last three seasons at Oregon State, earning United Soccer Coaches All-Pacific Region and All-Pac-12 second-team honors during the 2021 spring season, has transferred to Washington State, Cougars coach Todd Schulenberger announced.

The defensive-minded Studer led the Beavers in scoring in the spring (7 goals, 14 points), finishing sixth in the Pac-12, and was off the field for only 29 minutes in 16 games. She started 51 of the 53 games in which she played for Oregon State, totaling 11 goals and 1 assist.

Volleyball

Brynn Chandler, a 5-foot-11 setter who played the last four seasons at Georgia, will join Gonzaga University this fall as a fifth-year graduate transfer to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zags coach Diane Nelson announced.

In her four seasons at Georgia, the San Diego, California, product finished with 400 career assists in 65 matches, 357 of them in her final season. Chandler reached double figures in assists in all but two matches as a senior. She added 380 career digs and 24 kills, all during the 2020-21 season. She had seven double-doubles in assists and digs.

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