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Locally: Gonzaga baseball’s Brett Harris a Senior CLASS finalist

UPDATED: Sun., May 16, 2021

Gonzaga's Brett Harris lays down a bunt in the bottom of the fifth inning against WSU, Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at Gonzaga University.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Gonzaga's Brett Harris lays down a bunt in the bottom of the fifth inning against WSU, Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at Gonzaga University. (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
From staff and news services

Another Senior CLASS Award Finalist for the Gonzaga University athletic department.

Bulldogs’ third baseman Brett Harris has been selected as one of 10 finalists nationwide for the baseball 2021 Senior CLASS Award®.

Corey Kispert and Jill Townsend were finalists in men’s and women’s basketball, respectively.

Harris, from Arlington Heights, Illinois, is in his third year of eligibility, but due to the cancellation of the 2020 season because of COVID-19 he qualifies as a senior academically. He has earned his bachelor of education in special education with a cumulative 3.51 GPA. He’s also spent more than 50 hours volunteering in the community since 2018.

On the field, through 40 games, Harris leads the Zags in hits (56), RBIs (32), batting average (.373), runs scored (43), slugging percentage (.547), on-base percentage (.500) and hit by pitch (19) that leads the WCC and is tied for fifth nationally.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award recognizes students for notable achievements in community, classroom, character and competition. It focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages them to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

The baseball winner will be announced during the College World Series next month.

College scene

Jaya Allen of Spokane picked up her second North Star Athletic Association softball all-conference first-team honor after leading the Blue Hawks to the 2021 conference championship and a spot in the NAIA World Series that begins this week.

The junior pitcher from Shadle Park, who was also named to the NSAA first team in 2019 after transferring from Yavapai (Arizona) College, finished the 2021 regular season and NSAA Tournament with a 1.03 ERA, a 15-4 record and 133 strike outs in 1291/3 innings with only nine walks. Opponents batted only .185 against her.

Allen was also a weapon at the plate, batting .365 with 31 hits, 10 doubles, four home runs and 27 RBI.

Dickinson (34-13) faces nationally second-ranked Oklahoma City (39-3) today (Monday) in Oklahoma City in the first round of the 40-team tournament that begins at 10 host-school sites.

• Whitworth had seven players in softball and four in baseball named to Northwest Conference all-conference teams.

The softball list includes senior shortstop Sara Gayer on the first team after she was a second-team pick in 2019 and sophomore catcher Maddy Thomas, freshman first baseman Heather Menzer and senior outfielder Kaylie Lowery on the second team. Thomas was also a second-team pick in 2019 when Lowery was honorable mention.

Two players from Spokane’s Northwest Christian HS, sophomore third baseman Mattea Nelson and freshman second baseman Jazz Johnson, and freshman designated player Haley Montoya were honorable mention.

Sophomore outfielder Jaxsen Sweum was on the All-NWC baseball first team and freshman starting pitcher Dylan Bishop was on the second. The honorable mention list included sophomores Brendan Duncan (North Central), a first baseman, and shortstop Gage Gibson.

Also honorable mention was Linfield second baseman Mike Lavigne from Colfax.

• Washington State junior first baseman Kyle Manzardo from Lake City HS was the Pac-12 Baseball Player of the Week for the week ending May 9, the second weekly honor of his career.

In four games against Seattle and No. 16 UCLA, he hit .533 (8 for 15) with seven runs scored, one double, two home runs, eight RBIs, a .632 on-base percentage and slugged 1.000. He opened the week going 4 for 4 with a home run and five RBIs in a win over Seattle .

Manzardo entered last week leading the Pac-12 in RBIs (54), tied for second in doubles (17), tied for fourth in home runs (11) and fourth in batting average (.386). He is the only player in the country with 17 doubles, 10-plus home runs and 50-plus RBI.

• Three players with area ties at Lewis-Clark State College were named to the Cascade Collegiate Conference baseball all-conference first team.

Helping the Warriors win the CCC championship in their first year in the conference were senior Dillon Plew, who transferred in after three years at Washington State; and juniors Riley Way, utility, Lewiston; and Luke White, designated hitter, Lewiston, a transfer from Yakima Valley. Way (shortstop) and Plew (third base) also were CCC Gold Glove winners.

Justin Roosma, an Eastern Washington sophomore who ran the fifth-best 800m time in school history (1 minute, 50.31 seconds) and third best in the Big Sky Conference this season at the Whitworth Twilight meet on May 5, was named the conference Men’s Track Athlete of the Week.

Five days earlier, Roosma broke the school’s 16-year-old steeplechase record, clocking 8:54.69 at the Canyon Invitational in Phoenix, Arizona. The old mark, set in 2005, was 8:56.31.

• Four of Whitworth’s six seniors picked up special trophies at the football team’s awards ceremony earlier this month as the Pirates honored a class that contributed to a 28-6 four-year record and two unbeaten regular seasons (2018 and 2020-21).

The 2021 recipients:

Andrew Diddens, senior OL, Northwest Conference Sportsmanship Award; BJ Mullin, junior DB, Torchbearer Leadership Award; Andrew Meredith, sr. WR, Mind & Heart Academic Award; Cameron Sheley (Central Valley), freshman WR, and Ben Krasnokutsy, fr. DB, 12th Man Award (scout team); Nate RaPue, jr. P/K, MDM Award (special teams); Drew Aungst, sr. OL, Team Player Award; Bryce Hornbeck, sr. DB, Committed to Excellence Award; and Jacob Hangartner, jr. DB, “Together” Season Theme Award.

• Washington State senior midfielder Makamae Gomera-Stevens, who had four goals, two of them game-winners, was named to the 2020-21 United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women’s All-Pacific Region first team. She was the 27th pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft by the Houston Dash.

Former Central Valley High School standout Kelsey Turnbow, a forward from Santa Clara, was a first-team United Soccer Coaches All-West Region selection and a third-team All-American.

• Head Coach Chris Watkins and his assistants at Gonzaga were named the 2020-21 NCAA Division I West Region Women’s Soccer Staff of the Year by the United Soccer Coaches Association.

Watkins, assisted by Lexi Brown, Katie Benz and volunteer Tyler Brown, was a West Coast Conference co-Coach of the Year after the Bulldogs’ 5-2-1 spring conference mark and third-place finish, a program-best since the league expanded to 10 teams. GU was 7-3-1 overall.

Max McCullough, an Eastern Oregon redshirt senior guard from Post Falls who became the first player in Mountaineers history to surpass 2,000 career points, was named co-Most Valuable Player in Cascade Collegiate Conference men’s basketball. He finished with 2,061 career points and was also All-CCC first team for a second time in his career.

Justin Jeske, an Eastern Oregon redshirt sophomore guard from Liberty HS, was All-CCC second team.

• The Gonzaga women’s rowing team captured its sixth straight, and 19th overall, West Coast Conference championship Saturday on Vancouver Lake outside of Vancouver, Wash., earning the Bulldogs a sixth straight trip to the NCAA Championships.

The Zags’ varsity eight won by nearly eight seconds, the varsity four by 9.51 seconds and the second varsity four by 22.20 seconds as GU earned its seventh trip overall to the NCAAs.

• At the Western Sprints on Saturday at the Chula Vista, Calif., the Gonzaga men’s varsity eight finished third and the JV eight second as the Bulldogs prepared for the 118th IRA Regatta May 28-29 in West Windsor, New Jersey.

• For the second straight year, the Spokane County Board of Commissioners saluted the Eastern Washington men’s basketball team in a proclamation during its remotely-held May 1 meeting.

After noting out the Eagles’ accomplishments on the court, which included a 12-3 record and advancement to the NCAA Tournament, and academic achievements, including a 3.51 team GPA, the proclamation read in part, “we … do hereby recognize the extraordinary commitment and talent showcased by the young men on this accomplished team.”


The Spokane Chiefs announced their recent Chiefs Fight Hunger Week presented by Numerica raised $3,224 that will result in 16,120 meals through Second Harvest, the local nonprofit that brings community resources together to feed people in need.

Funds were raised through bids in an online memorabilia auction, special gear sale at the Chiefs’ online team store and direct donations from Numerica Credit Union and Chiefs fans.

Letters of intent

Gonzaga men’s cross country and track: Brenden Charbeneau, distances, Mill Creek, Washington (Henry Jackson HS).

Gonzaga women’s soccer: Amy Stineman, GK, San Jose, California.

Gonzaga women’s rowing: Freshmen: Alesandra Chester, coxswain, Mead HS, coxswained crews at Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey; Ella Beck, rower, Hanalei, Hawaii; Tereza Duczik, R, Anchorage, Alaska; Serena Foster, R, Carnation, Washington; Tatum Heyl, R, Los Gatos, Calif.; Cassidy Parr, R, Bainbridge Island, Wash.; Camille Ruhlin-Hicks, R, Anchorage; Katie Sierhuis, R, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Charlotte Sobol, R, St. Louis, Missouri; Adair Tilghman, C, Seattle (University Prep). Transfers: Kate Millet, C, Snohomish, Wash./Pacific Lutheran University; Perrine Sarraute, R, Bordeaux, France/Nova Southeastern University.

Wenatchee Valley College women’s basketball: Tori Younker, G, Coeur d’Alene HS, alternate on girls all-region team for state high school all-star game.

University of Dallas-Irving volleyball: Alissa Stennett, OH, Lake City HS.

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