Best Sports Stories Of 2013

BELLARMINE VOLLEYBALL GOES BACK-TO-BACK

Behind two-time Gatorade Washington Player of the Year and University of Washington commit Courtney Schwan, Bellarmine Prep outlasted Curtis in five sets on Nov. 16 at Saint Martin’s University to earn the 4A state title for the second year in a row.

The Lions topped the Vikings 25-22, 18-25, 25-17, 19-25, 15-9 in a thriller, with Schwan leading the team with 25 kills and being named the state tournament MVP.

Behind Schwan, senior libero Julia Wright, senior Emily Newberry and juniors Reghan Pukis, Natalie Jensen and Claire Martin, the Lions put up a perfect 35-0 record on the year and went 12-0 in the Narrows 4A. They lost just four total sets on the season, and the matchup in the finals was the only time they were pushed to five sets. The Lions became just the seventh team to go back-to-back in 4A state volleyball history.

“This was the right team to do it with, if any,” said Bellarmine Prep head coach Jody DeGroot, who was later named one of two national coaches of the year.

CHAMBERS COMPLETES BUSY YEAR AT PAN-AM GAMES

Foss graduate Marcus Chambers – who won the 200- and 400-meter dashes at the 3A state track meet last spring – capped a busy year by taking part in the United States’ gold medal 4X400-meter relay at the Pan Am Junior Championships on Aug. 23-25 in Medellin, Colombia.

“It was something to always remember,” said Chambers. “That’s what I wanted, to race against the best.”

Chambers, who was one of just 41 male athletes from the United States in the competition, began the competition by taking fourth place in the 400-meter dash, finishing in 46.75 seconds.

Chambers won the 400-meter dash at the U.S. Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships on June 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa to punch his ticket to Colombia. He had then taken second in the 200 and sixth in the 400 at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics on July 22-28 at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, N.C.

CURTIS WINS STATE, LINCOLN AND WILSON PLACE

Curtis topped Newport, Garfield and Jackson in consecutive days to win their first state basketball title in over 40 years from Feb. 28 to March 2 at the Tacoma Dome.

The Vikings used a 60-56 win over Jackson in the finals to claim the title after getting past Garfield 70-66 in overtime in the semifinals. They were led by senior guard Dominic Robinson – who averaged 21 points per game at the tournament – while also getting key contributions from Andre Lewis, Isom Brown, Dominique Jordan and Tory Causey.

Lincoln, meanwhile, topped Franklin 77-69 in the 3A consolation finals to take third at state. The Abes were led by senior Tre’Shaun Fletcher and junior Ahmaad Rorie, who each averaged 25 points per game at the tournament.

Similarly, the Wilson girls basketball team cruised to a 51-30 win over Bellevue in the consolation finals to take third place as well. The Lady Rams were led by the senior trio of Bethany Montgomery, Tia Briggs and Kaysha Fox.

BELLARMINE RUNNERS WIN STATE

Bellarmine Prep completed a perfect postseason by edging 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.

They edged out Camas for the 4A team title at the Westside Classic bi-district meet on Nov. 2 at the American Lake Golf Course in Lakewood, as Derby took 10th place and Thomas, Thurston and Ross placed 11th through 13th. They also won the team title at the Narrows 4A league championships the week before, as Thomas led the Lions by taking fourth place, while four others finished in the top ten.

STADIUM SWIMS TO SECOND

Coming off a state title the year before, seniors Logan Rysemus and Drew Lackman and a cast of promising underclassmen led Stadium to a second-place finish at the 4A state meet on Feb. 16.

“Everybody was swimming out of their skulls,” said Stadium head coach Dave Baughman.

“Everybody swam their best times overall.”

Rysemus put up an All-American time in winning the 200-yard individual medley – breaking his own school record in the process – and added a second-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly in another All-American time. Lackman then broke the school record in the 50-yard freestyle by finishing in 21.20 seconds to take second, and added a second-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle.

The duo also teamed with Nicholas Riggio and freshman Josh Maclurg to win the 200-yard medley relay at the start of the meet. Maclurg, fellow freshman Noah Willers, Rysemus and Lackman ended the meet by tying with Kamiak in winning the 400-yard freestyle relay.

T-BIRDS TO DISTRICTS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1989

Playing in their home gym, Mount Tahoma swept Lincoln 25-23, 25-13, 25-17 in their opener at the Narrows 3A volleyball tournament on Nov. 2 to earn their first trip to the district playoffs since 1989.

“It means a lot,” said junior outside hitter Asalei Sokimi, who led Mount Tahoma with 13 kills. “This program really turned around this season. Our girls just have a lot of heart this season, and we haven’t had that in a long time.”

Aliyah Carector finished with 18 assists and Jessica Evans added 10 assists for Mount Tahoma, while Rejie Wright had five blocks and Alanna Bates-Carector had five aces.

The Thunderbirds fell 25-17, 25-19, 25-13 to Prairie in their opener at the 3A Bi-District tournament on Nov. 8 at Auburn Mountainview High School. They were eliminated the next day after falling 19-25, 25-20, 25-23, 26-28, 15-12 in a back-and-forth affair.

JEONG TAKES PART IN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Annie Wright student Clare Jeong took part in the World Junior Speed Skating Championships on Feb. 22-24 in Collabo, Italy, where she placed 18th out of 61 female skaters from around the world.

“It was really cool because everybody had worked so hard to get there,” said Jeong, who was one of four participants from the United States. “I knew they were the best…it made me kind of nervous, but at the same time it made me kind of proud.”

Jeong competed in the 500-, 1,000, 1,500- and 3,000-meter races in Italy, placing 16th in the latter with a time of four minutes and 41.67 seconds. That performance came on the heels of her win in the 1,500-meter race at the U.S. Junior Long Track Speedskating Championships on Feb. 1-3 in Minnesota, where she was named the overall junior national champion. She also placed second in the 1,000- and 3,000-meter races in Minnesota.

BEATTY REBOUNDS FROM CANCER TO GET DRAFTED

Former Pacific Lutheran University ace pitcher Max Beatty – who overcame testicular cancer to return to the baseball field in Summer 2012 – achieved his ultimate dream when he was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 32nd round of the Major League Baseball draft on June 8.

“It’s been something I’ve been looking forward to (for) forever,” Beatty said. “It really is just a dream come true.”

It was on Christmas Break in 2011 that Beatty was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Beatty tackled the two-month round of chemotherapy – five days a week – with his eyes set on returning to the field.

After playing with the summer league Corvallis Knights in June 2012, Beatty returned to PLU in the fall. He posted a 7-5 record and a 2.48 earned run average in 87 innings in the spring season, with 90 strikeouts and just 13 walks.

LIONS ADVANCE TO STATE QUARTERFINALS

A year after falling to Skyline in the 4A state football final, Bellarmine Prep used more playoff magic to advance to the Tacoma Dome again.

In their 4A state opener at Newport, the Lions rallied to score 17 points in the final three minutes – capped by a 20-yard field goal by kicker Matthew Philichi with nine seconds remaining – for a 38-35 win over the Knights on Nov. 16.

Philichi delivered another game-winner the following week in overtime, drilling a 38-yard field goal for a 20-17 win over Bothell on Nov. 23 in the quarterfinals. Drew Griffin followed with a game-clinching interception.

The Lions luck ran out against top-ranked Camas in the semifinals, as the Papermakers’ offense put up 581 yards in a 49-21 win over Bellarmine on Nov. 30 at the Tacoma Dome.

The Lions finished with a 10-3 overall record, having won the Narrows 4A for the third straight year.

CHARD TAKES STATE TITLE IN 100 FREE

Foss senior Emma Chard won the 100-yard freestyle in an All-American time of 50.17 seconds on Nov. 16 at the 3A state swim meet to cap her high school career.

She had led off the meet with a 14th-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay with seniors Sarah Sachs and Yana Kuloff and sophomore Nicole Ripley.

Chard, who will swim next year at Boise State University, added a second-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing in a time of one minute and 3.89 seconds that earned All-American consideration. She had put up state-qualifying times in the 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard breaststroke and the 50-, 100-, 200- and 500-freestyles by the Falcons’ second dual meet of the fall season.

“It’s been really fun this season,” Chard said at the state meet. “(I’ve) kind of been sad and happy at the same time. (But) I’m excited for this.”

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