From staff and wire reports
Isaac Jones, a 6-foot-8 forward/center from Spanaway, Washington, who played the last three years at Wenatchee Valley College, has signed to transfer to the University of Idaho, Vandals men’s coach Zac Claus announced.
In 2021-22, Jones started 31 of 32 games for the Knights and led the Northwest Athletic Conference in scoring (25.3 ppg), rebounding (13.2 rpg) and field goal percentage (69.5) and was second in blocked shots (1.7).
He was named 2021-22 NWAC Player of the Year, East Region Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year after one of the most dominant seasons in the league’s history. In a 107-102 win over Walla Walla in January, Jones had 61 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks.
• A month after being named the head women’s basketball coach at North Idaho College, George Swanson is leaving to accept an assistant men’s basketball coaching position at the University of Evansville under longtime acquaintance David Ragland, the first-year head coach at the Division I school.
Before being named NIC women’s coach, Swanson spent the previous eight seasons as an assistant on the NIC men’s team.
Sofie Aagaard, who has spent the past seven seasons leading Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California, has been hired as the new head women’s golf coach at Washington State University, Director of Athletics Pat Chun announced.
She will replace Kelli Kamimura, who retired last month after leading the Cougars for 13 years.
At Cal Poly, Aagaard guided the Mustangs to three Big West Conference team titles, including back-to-back crowns in 2021 and 2022; three NCAA Regional appearances; and was named Big West Conference Coach of the Year four times.
Prior to Cal Poly, she spent three seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater, California, where she was a three-time NCAA Division I All-American and helped lead the Bears to three straight (2004-06) top-five team finishes.
Blake Cameron, 13, of Coeur d’Alene, a member of the Lakeland Judo Club, has qualified for the USA Judo Junior Olympics in San Jose, California, June 24-26.
Letters of intent
Whitworth softball: Makenzie Nine, IF, Lakeside-Nine Mile Falls.
Columbia Basin College women’s basketball: Trinidie Nichols, PG, Post Falls.
Idaho volleyball: Olivia Dixon, L, Coeur d’Alene HS; Julia Dickeson, MB, Lewiston.
Tanner Krebs captured two state championships to lead members of the Spokane Junior Rifle Team, who won 18 individual and three team medals at the two-day, 2022 Washington State Conventional Outdoor Smallbore (0.22) Championships May 8-9 in Wenatchee, Washington.
Krebs, 14, a student at Glover Middle School, won the gold medal and state championships in the Prone Only category both days, shooting 557 out of 600 on May 8, and 762 out of 800 on May 9.
The other SJRT medalists:
May 8: 3-Position: Garrett Pearsall, 17, Mt. Spokane HS, silver medal, 2nd overall and 1st Junior Expert; Sean Kegley, 17, home school, 1st A Class; Jack Burns, 15, Mead, 3rd B Class; Spencer Fitzpatrick, 15, home school, 1st D Class; Caleb Cantillana, 15, home school, 2nd D Class; Cole Featherstone, 16, Ferris, 3rd D Class.
Prone Only: Sarah Mix, 14, Michael Anderson Elementary, silver medal, 2nd overall; Peyton Smith, 14, Mountainside Middle School, bronze medal, 3rd overall.
Team: 3-Position: SJRT Gold, 2nd overall (Garrett Pearsall, Anna Pearsall, 19, EWU; Ben Tafoya, 19, SFCC). Prone Only: SJRT Gold, 1st overall (Krebs, Mix, Kaylee Geller, 12, home school).
May 9: Precision Prone Only: Tafoya, silver medal, 2nd overall and 1st Junior Expert; Kegley, 2nd A Class; Burns, 2nd B Class; Cantillana, 2nd D Class.
Prone Only: Geller, 2nd overall; Smith, 3rd overall.
• Two members of the Spokane Junior Rifle Team, Taylor Christian and Tafoya, were among the more than 300 athletes nationwide who qualified for the 2022 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships last month in Hillsdale, Michigan.
Christian, 20, who just completed her sophomore year at the University of Memphis, shot 1,203.2 to finish 112nd out of 188 in women’s 10m air rifle standing competition and 63rd in the U21 Class. Tafoya, 19, who attends SFCC, shot 1,072 to place 64th out of 68 in men’s 50m smallbore 3-position and 35th in the U21 Class.
• Tafoya was the leading scorer for SJRT at two recent club competitions.
He finished fourth at the 2022 Washington State Junior Indoor Smallbore Rifle Championships, scoring 1,115 out of a possible 1,200 in the 3-position event. The state champion shot 1,135.
Garrett Pearsall (Mt. Spokane HS) shot 1,078 to place sixth; Anna Pearsall (EWU) was eighth at 1,043; and Ensley Breeden (Mountainside MS) 10th at 1,040. Spokane’s Gold Team – Tafoya, Anna Pearsall, Breeden and Sean Kegley (home schooled) – placed second.
In the 2022 Columbia State Rifle and Pistol Match in Sandpoint, Tafoya shot 532-12x to place sixth in the 3-positon competition. The winner shot 560 out of 600. Garrett Pearsall was seventh at 532-8x.
Makenzie Burks from Tacoma, who played two years at Western Washington, where the defender earned first-team Division II All-West Region and unanimous first-team all-league, is among five transfers University of Idaho head soccer coach Jeremy Cleavener has added.
Three of the newcomers come from West Coast Conference schools – Jayd Sprague, a midfielder from San Francisco; Kylie Hummel, a forward from Saint Mary’s; and Annika Farley, a midfielder from Portland. The fifth is Kyla Tucker, a forward from Temple. All saw minimal action their freshmen seasons.
Track & field
Jon Watkins, a three-time Northwest Athletic Conference All-American sprinter at Community Colleges of Spokane from Selah, is transferring to the University of Idaho, Vandals director of track & field/cross country Tim Cawley announced.
Watkins earned All-America honors in the 400m, 4x100 relay and 4x400 relay. This past track season, he ran a personal best in the 200 (22.55 seconds) and also had a wind-aided 22.53. His PR in the 400, 49.65, came during the 2021 season.
• Caramia Mestler of Eugene, Oregon, is joining the Gonzaga University women’s cross country and track & field teams as a graduate transfer after spending four years at the University of Oregon, the last two on the Ducks’ travel squads, GU coach Jake Stewart announced.
A distance runner who will have one year of eligibility, Mestler, was on the Ducks team that competed in the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships the last two years. She placed 40th at the West Regionals last fall with a personal-best 20 minutes, 48.2 seconds for 6K and was 167th at nationals (20:54.1). Her PR for 1,500m is 4:30.09.
Christian Blake, a 6-foot-5 middle blocker from Boise, is transferring to the University of Idaho after spending her freshman season at Laramie County (Wyoming) Community College, Vandals first-year head coach Chris Gonzalez announced as part of a 14-player recruiting class.
“Christian has exceptional feet and a quick jump,” Gonzalez said. “She also possesses a 7-foot wingspan and has very good eye-to-hand coordination. Because of her quickness, we see Christian being able to run a variety of playsets as well as being an effective blocker.”
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