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Locally: Whitworth to induct Ryan Freeman, KC McConnell, David Riley and Kerry Wright into athletic hall of fame

Sept. 19, 2022 Updated Mon., Sept. 19, 2022 at 9:06 p.m.

Eastern Washington coach David Riley directs players on the court during a game against Southern Utah last December in Cheney. Riley, who played collegiately at Whitworth, will be inducted into the Pirates hall of fame on Oct. 8.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Eastern Washington coach David Riley directs players on the court during a game against Southern Utah last December in Cheney. Riley, who played collegiately at Whitworth, will be inducted into the Pirates hall of fame on Oct. 8. (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
From staff and news services

All-America recognition, All-Northwest Conference honors and Northwest Conference championships highlight the résumés of the four individuals in the 32nd class of the Whitworth University Heritage Gallery Hall of Fame that will be inducted Oct. 8 at the school.

Ryan Freeman (men’s swimming), KC McConnell (women’s basketball and tennis), David Riley (men’s basketball) and Kerry Wright (women’s track & field) will join 106 individuals and eight teams in the Whitworth shrine during breakfast ceremonies at 9 a.m. in the Hixon Union Building. Cost is $15. Reservations: 509 777-3224.

Freeman (1999-2003) was a three-time NCAA Division III All-American, four-time honorable mention, seven-time NWC individual champion and the conference Swimmer of the Year in 2003. He was a member of nine NWC champion relay teams, two of them record-setters, and set three individual records.

McConnell (2012-16), a two-sport star from Clarkston, graduated as the third-highest career scorer in Pirate women’s basketball (1,605). Her four All-NWC honors included first team as a junior and senior. As a senior, she was also a WBCA first team All-American and a CoSIDA first team Academic All-American. She was a four-year starter in tennis.

Riley (2007-11) finished his Whitworth career as the fourth-highest scorer in program history (1,655; 14.6 ppg). Three-time first-team All-NWC, he set school single-game records for 3-pointers made (10) and attempted (19) and left No. 2 all-time with 300 and 696. As a senior, he was third team All-Region as the Pirates went 28-2 and reached the NCAA D-III quarterfinals.

Wright (2013-16) dominated the javelin in her time at Whitworth, winning four NWC championships, the only four-time winner of the event in league history. She set a conference record of 157 feet, 10 inches in 2015 that still stands. The four-time NCAA Division-III All-American was national champion in 2015 and runner-up in 2013.

The 2022 class, and all previously inducted Heritage Gallery members in attendance, will be recognized at halftime of the Whitworth-Linfield football game that afternoon in the Pine Bowl.

College scene

Zoe Crockett, a Point Loma Nazarene University freshman from Central Valley, was named PacWest Conference women’s soccer player of the week on Sept. 12 after she had an assist and two goals as the Sea Lions came out of the first two matches of the season with a tie and a win.

After collecting an assist in a 1-1 draw with Western Washington, Crockett had goals in the 41st minute on a free kick and in the 71st minute on a header from the center of the 6-yard box off a corner kick that proved the winner in a 5-4 victory over Cal State San Bernardino.

• Gonzaga senior Kristen Garcia, a three-time nationals qualifier, was named West Coast Conference women’s cross country runner of the week after she shattered the school record for 4K (12 minutes, 50.7 seconds) in her first race of the season Sept. 9 in a 16-43 dual victory over Eastern Washington at Wandermere Golf Course.

• Idaho swept Big Sky Conference women’s soccer player of the week awards on Sept. 13 as Maddy Lasher, a junior from Lake City, and freshman Kira Witte, a freshman from Germany, received offensive and defensive honors, respectively, following two shutout wins.

Lasher had the Vandals’ only goal in a 1-0 win over UC Santa Barbara and two assists in a 3-0 victory over Louisiana State. Witte logged her fifth and sixth shutouts in seven matches, making five saves in 180 minutes, to earn her second weekly honor of the young season.

• Washington State matched a volleyball program record with 14 service aces, led by four from Laura Jansen, in a three-set sweep of Fairleigh Dickinson (25-9, 25-15, 25-15) in the Fairfield (Connecticut) Invitational on Sept. 10. The record was set in 1992. WSU won the tournament with three three-set victories.

• The Gonzaga women’s tennis program will honor its decorated former player, Sophie Whittle, with a banner reveal on court one of the Stevens Center on campus Sept. 24 at 9:45 a.m. prior to a season-opening Hidden Dual event.

The banner, adorned with a picture of Whittle and a list of her records and accomplishments during her career from 2015-19, will hang permanently on the court.

Whittle capped her career by winning the Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles championship in the fall of her senior year and was West Coast Conference Player of the Year and an ITA Singles All-American. She was also chosen the nation’s Most Improved Senior and received the Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship award.

• Gonzaga was picked to finish last in the WCC men’s golf coaches’ preseason poll and did not place anyone on the Preseason All-WCC team. Pepperdine, a 2022 NCAA semifinalist, 2021 NCAA champion and four-time defending WCC champion, was the heavy favorite.

Field hockey

Simon Homedes Dualde, a four-year tennis player at Gonzaga University who earned All-West Coast Conference honorable mention following his senior year in 2020, has been named to the U.S. Men’s National Team in field hockey following two open trials.

Homedes Dualde grew up in Barcelona, Spain, playing field hockey from the age of 5, according to his bio on the U.S. National Team website. It also notes he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, who represented Spain in the 1960 Rome Olympics and ’64 Tokyo Olympics.


Russell Grove, the North Idaho College men’s and women’s golf coach, won the Montana Open at Larchmont Golf Course in Missoula on Sept. 11 by four strokes with a 13-under-par 203 (68-69-66) for 54 holes.

Hall of Fame

Five individuals with area ties and three national champion baseball teams are slated for induction as the seventh class of the Warrior Athletic Hall of Fame at Lewis-Clark State College in April 2023.

In the class are former women’s basketball coach Mike Divilbiss, former men’s basketball coach George Pfeifer, former women’s basketball player Caelyn Orlandi, former baseball player Rusty Harris and former cross country and track runner Chelsey Leighton.

They’ll be joined by NAIA World Series champions from 1989, 1996 and 1999, all coached by the late Ed Chef, who won 16 national titles.

Divilbiss (1987-2001) followed his stint at L-C State, where he went 310-122 (.718), with seven years at the University of Idaho. He also coached at North Idaho College and was athletic director at Lakeland High School in Rathdrum for three years.

Pfeifer, who coached 18 years at L-C State, the last 16 as head coach (295-206), started his coaching journey with three years at his high school alma mater in St. Maries. He also coached at Idaho, one as an assistant and two as head coach, and at Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane.

Coeur d’Alene High graduate Orlandi (2013-16), set to enter her sixth season on the Warriors’ women’s staff and third as associate head coach, was a two-time NAIA All-American guard who led the Warriors to a runner-up national finish as a senior. Her name appears no less than six times on the school’s career top 10 lists.

Harris (1984-87), a standout shortstop at Lewiston High School, was a first-team NAIA All-American as a senior. He was drafted by Houston in the 13th round in 1987 and played six seasons in the Astros’ minor league system. He has seven top-10 career marks, including first in runs (131) and walks.

Leighton (2009-14) came to LC State from nearby Lapwai as a sprinter and left as one of the school’s top distance runners in program history, winning the NAIA Outdoor marathon as a senior after placing ninth as a junior. She was 31st in cross country nationals as a senior.

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