Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Locally: Longtime Washington State women’s golf coach Kelli Kamimura announces retirement

From staff and news services

Kelli Kamimura, Washington State University women’s golf coach for 13 years, announced last week she is retiring from college coaching just a year after signing a three-year contract extension.

“I have absolutely loved being the head women’s golf coach …” Kamimura is quoted in the release announcing her decision. “I am so grateful for the administrators, staff and other coaches who have been instrumental during my time at WSU. I am especially grateful for the incredible student-athletes I have been able to coach … who have deeply impacted my life.

“At this time, after careful consideration, I have decided to retire … to spend more time with my young family. WSU has been incredibly supportive of me and this decision was extremely difficult after signing a contract extension in the fall, but I have decided that my retirement is the best way to honor myself, my family, the program and WSU.”

Kamimura, hired in July 2009 as the sixth head women’s golf coach, guided the Cougars to seven tournament titles and 33 top-five finishes. Her teams hold the top nine spots in program history for season scoring average, including the 2021-22 team that ranks fourth at 298.38.

“We thank Kelli for leading our women’s golf program over the past 13 years,” director of athletics Pat Chun said. “She has elevated our program and has done extraordinary work developing our student-athletes. We appreciate her commitment to WSU and the impact she has made.”

College scene

Idaho won the final two matches to defeat Montana State 4-3 in Saturday’s Big Sky Conference men’s tennis championship match in Phoenix to capture its first title since 2018 and a spot in the 2022 NCAA Division I championships. It’s the Vandals’ 14th title overall.

Idaho is slotted to play No. 12 Texas in the first round of the championships on Friday in Austin, Texas, at 8 a.m.

Jayanne Palma of Idaho received the final Big Sky Conference women’s tennis player of the week award on April 26 after the freshman clinched the Vandals’ 4-3 victory over Eastern Washington that gave them the final spot in the Big Sky championships last week. Idaho’s season ended there, with a 4-1 quarterfinal loss to Idaho State.

• Junior Cate Broerman on the women’s team and three Gonzaga men landed spots on 2022 All-West Coast Conference tennis teams.

Broerman was women’s singles honorable mention for a second straight season.

Sophomore Sasha Trkulia was on the men’s singles second team and joined junior Matthew Hollingworth on the doubles second team. Hollingworth earned singles honorable mention for a second straight season, where he was joined by freshman Arthus de la Bassetiere.

The GU men’s season ended with a 4-0 loss to San Diego in the semifinals of the WCC Tournament last week. GU had an 18-6 record, highlighted by an 11-0 mark at home. The 18 dual wins and home record are both program bests.

• The 20th-ranked Washington State women won five of six races Saturday at Wawawai Landing on the Snake River, including the varsity 8 by 6.1 seconds, to capture the Fawley Cup for the 27th time in the 30-year history of the regatta against Gonzaga.

Elizabeth Horner (Mt. Spokane), a senior at six-time Northwest Conference rowing champion Pacific Lutheran, was named to the 2022 NWC All-Conference women’s crew. She was a first-team Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Division III All-American in 2020-21.

• Seven athletes at Washington State with area ties and two at Stanford with GPAs of 3.3 or above were named to the Pac-12 2022 Winter Academic Honor Roll in women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor track & field and swimming.

Women’s basketball: Lacey Hull, sr., Central Valley, Stanford; Lexie Hull, sr., CV, Stanford. Men’s indoor T&F: Justin Janke, GS, North Central, WSU; Colton Johnsen, GS, transfer from Eastern Washington, WSU; Marty Munyon, sr., CV/CCS, WSU. Women’s indoor T&F: Alaina Stone Boggs, so., Colville, WSU; Peyton Teevens, so., Pullman, WSU; Skyler Walton, jr., Spokane, WSU. Swimming: Taylor McCoy, GS, Pullman, WSU.

• Three North Idaho athletes at Idaho, two of them from Post Falls, were named to Big Sky Conference 2021 fall all-academic teams with GPAs of 3.2 or above. Senior Allison Munday (volleyball) and redshirt junior Nate DeGraw (football) are from Post Falls. Sophomore Maddy Lasher (women’s soccer) is a Lake City grad.

Nicole Bantilan, a 5-foot-5 sophomore from Mead, and Maya Blake, a 5-10 freshman from Post Falls, formed Corban University’s No. 2 pairing when the No. 5 Warriors defeated top-seeded Vanguard University 4-1 for the first NAIA Beach Volleyball National Invitational championship late last month in Florida.

The weekend before, the 1,200-student school in Salem won the 2022 American Volleyball Coaches Association Small College Beach Championship. Kaitlin Hunter, a junior from Coeur d’Alene and transfer from North Idaho College, is also listed on the team.

Colton Johnsen from men’s track and field and women’s swimmer Chloe Larson were named the Washington State athletes of the year when the school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee passed out 2021-22 awards last week.

Johnsen, a grad student transfer from Eastern Washington, earned second-team NCAA Indoor All-America honors in the 3,000 and mile. Larson, also a grad student, finished her WSU career with four school records and 20 career individual wins, including the first Pac-12 title in program history, the 2021 50-yard freestyle.

Women’s basketball, which made a second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, was named team of the year and was also honored as the Glenn Krac Academic Team of the Year.


Adam Redding, a senior at Mead High School, was named the Creston Valley Thunder Cats’ 2021-22 Rookie of the Year following his first season with the British Columbia team in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

The 5-9 forward had 10 goals and a team-high 21 assists during the regular season. His 31 total points tied for second in scoring. He was a regular on the power play, collecting four goals and six assists. Redding added two goals and three assists during the playoffs.

Track/cross country

Lara Rogers, who spent the past six years at the University of Cincinnati, has been hired by Washington State director of cross country/track and field Wayne Phipps as the Cougars’ head women’s cross country coach and assistant track and field coach for distance.

Rogers, who joined the Cincinnati staff in 2015 as an assistant coach, has been an associate head coach for cross country/assistant track and field the past two seasons. The seven-time NCAA Division I championship cross country and track qualifier at Nebraska was elevated to head coach of the Bearcats’ women’s cross country program in her second year.

Phipps noted Rogers helped guide the Cougars’ women’s distance runners “to five top-10 all-time performances only a day after arriving at WSU (this spring), and then was a part of our women’s team victory” over Washington in the annual WSU-UW dual the next weekend.

A 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier in the 10,000, Rogers started her coaching career at Division II Shippensburg University, first as a volunteer while completing her graduate studies, then as an assistant, and finished collegiate running career at Shippensburg, where she was a D-II All-American in cross country and track in 2011 and ’12.