High School Roundup

  • TOP FINISHER. Bellarmine Prep sophomore Emily Thomas helped lead the Lions’ girls to the 4A state cross country title by finishing 14th individually. (Photo by Jeremy Helling)


Placing four runners in the top 20 finishers, Bellarmine Prep edged Camas for the team title at the 4A cross country state meet on Nov. 9 in Pasco.

Sophomore Emily Thomas led the way for the Lions by placing 14th individually in a personal-best time of 18 minutes and 35.33 seconds, with junior Laura Staeheli just five seconds behind in placing 16th. Junior Miranda Ross placed 18th and senior Jordan Thurston took 20th, just under 17 seconds behind Thomas. The Lions had a team score of 92, while Camas placed second with 105 points. Camas’ Alexa Efraimson won the individual title by finishing in 17 minutes and 1.10 seconds, over 55 seconds better than second-place finisher Lindsey Bradley of Richland.

The Lions’ boys were paced by senior Quentin Purtzer, who finished 19th in a time of 15 minutes and 51.21 seconds. Sophomore Jack Yearian took 27th place, while junior Will Sherman placed 37th for the Lions. Stadium junior Shay Glackin-Coley placed 57th individually, finishing in 16 minutes and 19.62 seconds. As expected, Gig Harbor ran away with the team title, having the top three finishers and placing four runners in the top ten.

By Jeremy Helling


After stumbling in their two district matches, Curtis faced an unfriendly foe in perennial power and defending state champ Skyline - regarded by many as the top-ranked team in the state - in their 4A state tournament opener. And despite withstanding much of the Spartans’ advances, the Vikings couldn’t quite keep up, falling 2-0 on Nov. 12 at Skyline High School to be eliminated.

“After winning our league, if we could have won one of those two games (at districts) it would have made our path a lot easier,” said Curtis head coach Frank Hankel. “This is the game we didn’t want. They’ve won four out of (the past) five (state titles). When you think high school soccer this is the Mecca right here.”

The Spartans brought most of the pressure early, getting good looks on a couple of set pieces taken by senior defender Abbie Litka. The Vikings got their first good look on a counterattack in the 22nd minute, as forward Morgan Weaver corralled a long chip forward, crossed up a defender, and unleashed a low shot that was saved by Skyline keeper Emily Baril. Skyline struck seven minutes later, as Litka’s corner was deflected out, but midfielder Bianca Saint was there to send in a follow-up shot to make it 1-0.

The Vikings came out aggressive in the second half, as Weaver created a couple of opportunities and Amanda Ellinghaus’ long throw into the box in the 43rd minute nearly rattled into the goal.

“We were all over them,” Hankel said. “That’s what you ask, is that your girls respond. The girls responded well.”

Lexsi Manning created a couple more chances midway through the period on a couple corner kicks, but the Vikings were still unable to capitalize. Skyline finally put the game away in the 76th minute, as Amanda Johnston outraced the defense on the left side and sent a low pass in to Jordan Branch, who drove it off keeper Sierra Miller’s hands and into the goal.

The Spartans outshot the Vikings 17-9 in the match – putting seven shots on target – but Miller came up with five saves to keep Curtis in it.

The Vikings finish with a 13-5-1 overall record, having advanced to the state tournament for the second straight year.

“Any time you make it to state, that’s an achievement itself,” Hankel said. “Only 16 teams make it. To make it two years in a row, that’s something to be proud of.”

By Jeremy Helling


Foss senior Emma Chard set the meet record in the 100-yard freestyle and added a win in the 100-yard breaststroke at the 3A Bi-District swim meet on Nov. 8-9 at Hazen High School.

Chard won the 100-yard freestyle in 51.66 seconds in the finals on Nov. 9, breaking her own record she had set in the prelims the day before. She later won the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:05.20, and will now set her sights on the state meet.

After a solid showing at districts, fellow Foss senior Sarah Sachs will gear up for the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke at the state meet. Sachs and Chard will join Yana Kuloff and Nicole Ripley in swimming the 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relays at state.

Wilson will have a solid contingent at state as well, with sophomore Madeleine Dodge swimming the 200- and 500-yard freestyles, Karli Stevenson swimming the 200-yard individual medley and senior Hailey Viehmann taking part in the diving competition. Dodge, Stevenson, Kelly Tran and Rachel Duke will also swim in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

The 3A swim meet takes place at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, with prelims on Nov. 15 at 6:15 p.m. and finals on Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m.

By Jeremy Helling


After dropping their first match, Tacoma Baptist responded with two straight wins at the 2B Bi-District volleyball tournament on Nov. 9 at Stanwood High School to advance to the state tournament as the No. 3 seed.

The Crusaders fell in three sets to Darrington in their opener, as senior Natalie Snyder still managed to tally nine kills while setter McKenna Neufeld had 10 assists.

That duo was key again in a three-set sweep over Orcas Island, as Snyder had a team-high 12 kills while Neufeld notched 25 assists. Ashley Brooks had six kills and Jane Cooksley added four kills for the Crusaders.

They topped SeaTac 2B foe Bear Creek for the third time this season, this time in three sets, to advance to the state tournament in the consolation final. Snyder was again dominant with 13 kills and six digs, while Neufeld added 32 assists and five kills. Michaela Jandebeur had seven kills and Brooks added four kills for Tacoma Baptist.

The Crusaders were set to open the 2B state tournament against Davenport on Nov. 15 at 8 a.m. at the Yakima SunDome.

By Jeremy Helling


Annie Wright won it's first match, but fell in the championships at the 1A Tri-District volleyball tournament on Nov. 7-9 at Kings High School to take the No. 2 seed to the state tournament. The Gators topped Cedar Park Christian in three sets – 26-24, 25-19, 25-23 – in their opener on Nov. 9, but were swept 27-25, 25-19, 25-14 by Kings – Annie Wright’s first loss of the season – later in the day.

The Gators were set to open the state tournament against Zillah on Nov. 15 at 11:30 a.m. at the Yakima Valley SunDome. They will look for revenge after Zillah topped them in four sets in the state opener last year.

Life Christian, meanwhile, was topped in five sets by Nooksack Valley on Nov. 7 in their district opener to be eliminated. The Eagles finished third in the Nisqually 1A this year with an 11-3 mark in league play.

By Jeremy Helling


The Tacoma Baptist boys soccer team rattled off two straight victories in the consolation bracket in the 2B Bi-District tournament to earn the fifth seed to the state tournament on Nov. 9.

The Crusaders fell 2-1 to Providence Classical Christian on Nov. 2, but responded with a dominant 9-3 win over La Conner on Nov. 7 in a loser-out match. They then topped Shoreline Christian 3-2 on Nov. 9 in a loser-out, winner-to-state contest.

The Crusaders will travel to Spokane to face St. George’s – which topped Tacoma Baptist in the state opener last year – on Nov. 16 at noon at Whitworth College.

By Jeremy Helling


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