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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Locally: WSU’s Pono Yanagi named Washington Golf Men’s Player of the Year

Washington State senior Pono Yanagi was named Washington Golf Men's Player of the Year last week.  (Courtesy of Washington State Athletics)
From staff and news services

Washington State fifth-year senior Pono Yanagi received the honor of Washington Golf 2023 Men’s Player of the Year, the organization announced last week.

“We’re super happy for Pono,” said WSU coach Dustin White. “He had a great summer in winning the State Am, being medalist in U.S. Amateur qualifying and competing in the Pacific Coast Am. Being recognized for that has to feel good. He’s been a go-to guy for us and it’s been fun watching him develop his game. It’s great recognition for our program as well and shows the caliber of players representing Washington State.”

Yanagi won the 2023 Washington Men’s Amateur and was the qualifying medalist for the U.S. Amateur this past summer. He finished tied for 20th at the Pacific Coast Amateur, posting scores of 69-73-65-69.

Yanagi led the Cougars during the 2022-23 season with a 71.64 scoring average, the second-best single-season scoring average in WSU history. He placed third at the 2023 Pac-12 Championships, the best finished by a WSU golfer on program history, shooting a four-round score of 12-under-par, 268, setting the WSU record for the lowest individual score at the tournament.

Yanagi capped his 2022-23 WSU season by becoming the first Cougar in 13 seasons to earn a bid to an NCAA Regional and one of only three Cougars to be selected to play at an NCAA Regional as an individual. He completed his tournament a 6-over 222, tied for 32nd.

Cross country

Gonzaga swept the weekly WCC awards for the third time this season.

Wil Smith, a redshirt junior from Lewis and Clark High, was named WCC Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Week for the third time this season after leading the Bulldogs at the Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin, with a ninth-place finish (23:32.5). The race featured some of the nation’s top runners, with the NCAA Regionals and Championships just a month away.

Gonzaga’s Rosina Machu, a sophomore from Boise, earned her third WCC Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week this season. She set the 6K program record for the second time in three weeks, winning the Bronco Invite in Santa Clara, California, by nearly 40 seconds with a time of 19:16.3. Gonzaga won the team title by 40 points.


USL Spokane will hold official tryouts for the men’s League One Team, Spokane Velocity FC, Dec. 2-3 in Seattle and Dec. 9-10 in Spokane.

Tryouts Dec. 2 and 3 in Seattle will take place at Interbay Stadium.

A location will be announced soon for the tryouts in Spokane.

Both sets of tryouts will be run by USL Spokane’s front office team alongside Gareth Smith, sporting department consultant, and Josh McAllister, Spokane Velocity FC assistant coach and director of performance for USL Spokane.

Individuals who wish to participate are required to complete an application at

• Gonzaga forward Chris Swider, of Coeur d’Alene, was named West Coast Conference offensive player of the week for scoring a goal and an assist against Saint Mary’s last weekend.