GOLDEN GLOVES RETURNS TO ARMORY
The 66th Annual Tacoma Golden Gloves will return to the historic Tacoma Armory this year, and with it a number of local names return to try to claim a title once again.
Prelims for Golden Gloves will take place on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Al Davies Boys & Girls Club, with finals taking place at the Armory on March 1 at 7 p.m.
Normally held in mid-January, the Golden Gloves was pushed back to late February due to the USA Boxing National Championships – an event several local competitors participated in – being held in Spokane in late January.
Among the contingent of local returnees from the Tacoma Boxing Club is 19-year-old defending 132-pound champion Hector Rendon, who graduated from Chief Leschi High School last year.
“He can adjust really well, he uses his jab really well,” said Tacoma Boxing Club coach Tom Mustin. “He’ll be ready. He’ll be in shape.”
After falling in the super heavyweight championship at Golden Gloves last year, Tacoma’s Elvis Garcia – who recently took the silver medal in Spokane – also returns.
“He’s a hard-worker,” Mustin said. “He throws twice as many punches as (other boxers). Finishing second at U.S. championships just turned his hunger up.”
Strong-punching light heavyweight Dugan Lawton returns to try to defend his crown after winning the bronze medal in Spokane, and Golden Gloves veteran Nick Jefferson also returns and will look for another 141-pound title. Mustin noted that 17-year-old 108-pounder Edward Rojas is an up-and-comer and a former Junior Golden Gloves national champion.
Mustin expects strong competition this year from a group of boxers out of Prince George in British Columbia. “They’re going to battle with us because of the number of boxers they have,” Mustin said.
By Jeremy Helling
RAM SWIMMERS ADVANCE TO STATE
Wilson will have plenty of representation at the 3A state swim meet, thanks to the Rams’ performance at the district meet on Feb. 14-15 at Hazen High School.
Junior Conner Schell took third place in the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 5:11.48, and seniors Jesse Gayvoronski and Cody Dodge took third and fourth, respectively, in the 200-yard freestyle to qualify for state. Dodge, Gayvoronski, Alex Gayvoronski and Austin Lawrence teamed up to finish fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay in a time of 1:34.00 to earn a bid to state, where the quartet will also swim the 400-yard freestyle relay. Schell took fifth place in the 100-yard backstroke and will also swim in the event at the state meet.
The Rams put up 154 points as a team at the district meet to tie for second place with Peninsula, as Hazen ran away with the team title by scoring 233 points. The 3A state swim meet takes place at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, with prelims on Feb. 21 at 6:15 p.m. and finals on Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m.
LION WRESTLERS HEAD TO MAT CLASSIC
Bellarmine Prep qualified three wrestlers for the Mat Classic state wrestling tournament at the 4A district tournament on Feb. 15 at Central Kitsap High School.
Junior 220-pounder Elliott Villars led the way with a second-place finish, getting a 9-7 win over Snohomish’s Alex Fairhurst and a 6-4 win over Olympia’s Alex Grant before being pinned by Snohomish’s Tristan Baus in the finals. Lions junior Hunter Taylor avenged an earlier loss to Mason Beaver in the consolation finals at 170 pounds, pinning the Lake Stevens junior to take third place after falling to him in the opening round. Bellarmine Prep sophomore 106-pounder Jed Klein got an opening-round 10-5 win over Edmonds-Woodway’s Sidat Kanyi, but fell to eventual champ Jeremy Nygard and was topped by Kanyi in the consolation finals to settle for fourth place. The Lions’ Josiah Mayo is set for a play-in match at state in the 120-pound bracket after topping Yelm’s Jacob Nolan 7-1 to place fifth, and sophomore 285-pounder Luke Yi was topped by Arlington’s Tyler Lindberg in the fifth-place match to be eliminated.
The Mat Classic takes place at the Tacoma Dome, beginning on Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-9:30 p.m., and continuing on Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m.
LOGGERS SIT IN THIRD PLACE
A couple of road wins have put the Puget Sound men’s basketball team in third place in the Northwest Conference with two games left in the regular season.
The Loggers traveled across town for a 61-57 win over Pacific Lutheran on Feb. 11, hanging on despite shooting just 38.3 percent from the field. Erin Barber led UPS with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Rex Nelson added 12 points and Dan Cheledinas came off the bench to score 10 points. Brandon Lester led PLU with 16 points, while Billy Kiel came off the bench to sink three three-pointers and tally 11 points.
The Loggers followed with a 67-63 win at Willamette on Feb. 15, again overcoming a poor shooting performance as they finished just 18-for-54 from the field. But UPS converted 27 of 33 free-throw attempts, as Nelson was 8-for-11 from the charity stripe and put up a team-high 14 points. Nick Holden scored 12 points and Barber added 11 points for the Loggers.
Puget Sound moved to 13-10 overall and 9-5 in conference play, and finishes the regular season by hosting George Fox on Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. and Pacific (Ore.) on Feb. 22 at 8 p.m.
LADY LOGGERS STAY IN FOURTH
The Puget Sound women’s basketball team also remains in playoff position in the Northwest Conference, notching two wins last week to sit in fourth place.
The Loggers topped crosstown Pacific Lutheran 70-57 on Feb. 11, shooting over 50 percent from the field in the second half. They outscored the Lutes 46-28 in the period, as Emily Sheldon scored 16 of her team-high 18 points after halftime and hit four three-pointers. Alexis Noren added 15 points off the bench and Katy Ainslie scored 14 points for the Loggers, while Sarah Barnes led PLU with 15 points and Samantha Potter added 14 points.
The Loggers ran away for an 85-58 win at Willamette on Feb. 15, as Ainslie was 13-for-17 from the field for a game-high 30 points. Sheldon added 18 points and eight rebounds, and Hannah Lekson scored 11 points off the bench.
UPS finishes the season by hosting George Fox on Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. and Pacific (Ore.) on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.