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Locally: Gonzaga’s Cierra Walker named to national scholar athlete team for second-straight season

April 18, 2022 Updated Tue., April 19, 2022 at 3:26 p.m.

Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Cierra Walker (13) smiles as she is introduced before facing BYU in the first half of the Women’s WCC Championship basketball game on Tuesday Mar 8, 2022, at the Orleans in Las Vegas, Nev.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Cierra Walker (13) smiles as she is introduced before facing BYU in the first half of the Women’s WCC Championship basketball game on Tuesday Mar 8, 2022, at the Orleans in Las Vegas, Nev. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
From staff and news services

For a second-straight season, Gonzaga sixth-year women’s basketball player Cierra Walker was named to the Division I-AAA Athletic Directors Association 20th annual Scholar Athlete Team.

One of 10 players nationally selected, and the only one from the West Coast Conference, Walker received the honor following a 2021-22 season in which she averaged 8.9 ppg, bolstered by a team-leading 169 3-pointers on 42% shooting from long range. Her scoring average was fifth on the team. She led the team averaging 26 minutes per game.

The Oregon City, Oregon, native finished in double-figures 14 times and hit at least two 3-pointers 21 times during the Zags’ 27-7 season with a career-high eight 3-pointers on her Senior Day, Feb. 26, in an 83-62 win over Loyola Marymount.

Walker is finishing her master’s degree in organizational leadership and is set to graduate in May. She has a perfect 4.0 graduate GPA.

Conley Chinn, a pre-medical psychology major at Belmont University with a 4.0 GPA, was selected the Division I-AAA ADA Women’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Baseball

A celebration of life memorial service for Jim Wasem, former Eastern Washington University head baseball coach and faculty member who died April 2 in St. Louis, Missouri, has been scheduled for April 22 at 6 p.m. at the Lair Auditorium on the campus of Spokane Community College, 1810 N. Greene St.

Wasem, who was 86, was head baseball coach at Eastern from 1982-90 and also a full professor in the school’s physical education, health and recreation department from 1981-2000. He received emeritus status when he retired.

College scene

Jalen Martin, a Whitworth freshman from North Central, won the pole vault and finished second in the high jump and discus en route to placing second in the men’s decathlon at the Northwest Conference multi-events championships April 11-12 in Newberg, Oregon.

Martin produced personal bests in the 100 (11.93 seconds), shot put (37 feet, 2½ inches), 400 (55.40), pole vault (11-1¾) and 1,500 (5:07.32) while compiling 5,690 points behind champion Tayler Phillips‘ 6,243 for George Fox. Pirates’ grad student Joseph Tingstad (Pullman) was fourth.

Brecken VandenHoek of George Fox won the first four events and repeated as women’s pentathlon champion with 4,076 points. Whitworth’s top finisher was freshman Breanne Rawles (Oakesdale) in fifth.

• Washington State fifth-year senior Michaela Bayerlova was named Pac-12 women’s tennis player of the week on April 12 after she beat nationally ranked players from California and Stanford to raise her record to 16-2, 6-1 in the Pac-12 and 5-1 against nationally ranked opponents.

Playing at No. 1 singles, the 71st-ranked Bayerlova has won eight of her last nine matches, five against nationally-ranked players. A 6-2, 6-4 win over Stanford’s No. 14 Connie Mu provided the Cougars’ only victory against the Cardinal.

• Idaho sophomore Mario Duron, a transfer from Virginia Commonwealth, shared the Big Sky Conference men’s tennis player of the week award April 12 for a week that saw him compile a 4-0 record in singles and doubles against Sacramento State and Montana State. Idaho dealt top-seeded MSU its first conference loss of the season.

Alyssa Benthagen, a Central Washington junior from University HS with a 3.69 GPA, and Brie Frazier, a Montana State Billings sophomore from Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls with a 3.49 GPA, were named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Academic team in softball.

It’s the second honor for Benthagen, a repeater from 2021.

Carmen Gfeller, Montana’s redshirt junior forward from Colfax, received the Theresa Rhoads Award for best exemplifying Lady Griz basketball when coach Brian Holsinger passed out team awards on April 14.

“She is one of the best players in the league. Consistency is the word I’d use for Carmen,” Holsinger said of Gfeller, who led Montana in scoring (13.9 ppg), rebounding (6.7 rpg) and minutes played (940, a 31.3 average) and was named first-team All-Big Sky Conference.

Maddie Gebbers’ throw of 141 feet, 10 inches in the javelin in just her second meet of the year produced a third-place finish in a tight field and earned the Community Colleges of Spokane freshman from Kennewick the Northwest Athletic Conference women’s field athlete of the week award for April 4-10.

Football

Michael Beaudry, University of Idaho’s quarterback for both the spring and fall 2021 seasons after he transferred, has signed with the Edmonton Elks of the Canadian Football League.

Beaudry, who was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and has dual Canadian and American citizenship, played in 11 games for the Vandals, throwing for 2,093 yards and seven touchdown, after arriving in the spring of 2021 as a grad student from Connecticut.

Golf

Professional Billy Bomar of Bomar Putting Co. in Post Falls finished second to lead the showing by area entries in the Pacific Northwest PGA Senior Players Championship April 12-13 at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla.

Bomar shot 3-under-par 141 (68-73) to finish four shots back of Jeff Coston, Blaine, Washington, who won the event for a third time with a 137 (65-72).

Nate Hair of Manito Golf & Country Club was the area’s leading amateur, finishing in an eight-way tie for 11th overall at 146 (74-72).

Pro Chris Curran of MeadowWood Golf Course had a 147 (74-73) for a six-way tie in 19th while veteran pros Mark Gardner, The Creek at Qualchan (74-74), and Steve Prugh, Manito (73-75), were involved in a three-way tie for 25th at 148.

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