CV golfers swinging for upper-tier finish
By Mike Vlahovich
Of all high school sports seasons, spring seems to speed by faster than an Indy racecar. The final track meets are May 8 with district and regional meets not far behind.
Baseball and softball leagues are already two-thirds complete. Soccer begins postseason this week. State tournaments end the school year on the final weekend this month.
Golf pair to draw to
If early scores are an indication, two CV golfers have shown potential to play deep into the season.
Michael Stansbury, a Bears senior, shot rounds of 73 and 77 in the first two of five Greater Spokane League tournaments that placed him among the top six.
Sophomore Jake Dringle duplicated Stansbury's 73 in the first match, when they shared fifth place.
"Michael's a quiet guy and competitive," coach Steve Rasmussen said, "and he's a bunch more consistent. He has a lot of shots."
Dringle, after his hot start, ballooned to 88 in his second match. Playing at tougher MeadowWood, he found water early, double bogeyed and let the game get away from him, Rasmussen said.
"Meadowwood had some teeth in it," Rasmussen said of a league match where scores overall tended to be higher. "We had a conversation. He's just an absolutely great kid who wants to play in college."
If the pair can replicate their early efforts, they'll be in the mix for six state berths.
CV is a top-three/four team in the GSL.
A welcome addition to the fold has been football-basketball standout Adam Chamberlain. He had run track in spring before. Typically CV's No. 6 golfer, he had the Bears second-best score in their second match.
"It's an interesting story," Rasmussen said. "At our preseason meeting, he came and asked, ‘Can I come out?'"
Rasmussen told him he couldn't come out just for fun, but had to actually make the lineup.
"He's an athlete and took to the lessons fast," Rasmussen said. "All of a sudden, he's shooting in the low 80s."
His first two scores were 81 and 84.
Girls tracksters formidable
The onus had been on CV's girls track team prior to the season. They've welcomed the challenge.
They finished first in an early invitational meet in Wenatchee and dominated early GSL meets with a team that includes soccer and basketball standouts and a stable of distance runners from last fall's third-place cross country state finishers.
Their times and distances put that at or near the top as Greater Spokane League leaders.
Among the girls so far, Briegan Bester has run an area-best 5:14.65 1,600 meters and Kearan Nelson is tops at 2:28.7 for 800 meters.
Basketball players Madison Hovren has clocked swift times, 16.24 in the 100 meter hurdles and 48.44 in the 300s - in the rain, at that - and Mariah Cunningham already high jumped 5-feet and long jumped 17-9 ˝.
Soccer players Kelsey Turnbow and Savannah Hoekstra are sub-13 second sprinters and part of three formidable relay teams.
A pair of Central Valley boys high jumpers, junior Max Sykes (6-foot-5) and sophomore Ben Craig (6-4) are top league high jumpers. The Bears were beaten by just five points to perennial power Mead in an early GSL meet.
Central Valley's boys finished second at the Eastmont ‘Cats Invitational.
Softball shares lead
CV's softball players found themselves in a familiar place - atop the GSL with rival University. This year, however, thanks to an April 18 win over U-Hi, the Bears held a one-game advantage in the standings in late April.
While the Bears didn't have a hitter in the top 10 - when the first statistics were released Mykenzie Adams led the team with a .400 batting average - having the best pitcher in league doesn't hurt.
Carli Riordan was 6-1 with a 0.90 earned run average and league-leading 59 strikeouts a third of the way through the season.
Riordan also had driven in 10 runs and hit three doubles.
As coach Joe Stanton said earlier, "I'd probably put her up there with the best pitchers in state. When you've got that going, you're definitely headed in the right direction."
Sophomore Jade Rockford has scored 11 runs.
Young team in tough company
Central Valley's soccer team is young, and that youth found the Bears looking up at a trio of unbeaten GSL foes midway through the season.
Losses came against two of the unbeaten - Lewis and Clark and Ferris - with a match against tri-leader Mt. Spokane left on the schedule. They defeated the Wildcats 1-0 in a nonleague match.
CV (4-2) lost to LC 2-1 on a late goal and the Saxons in a shootout following a 0-0 deadlock in regulation and overtime.
Sophomores Miquel Naves and Mark McClain led the team in scoring with six and five goals respectively after eight matches, including non-league contests. Other young contributors have been junior Brian Choate and freshman JD Hauenstein.
Baseball hopes for best
Wins haven't come easy, but Central Valley's baseball team remained hopeful about its Greater Spokane League season.
Despite a 3-6 record at the season's mid-point and trailing league leader Gonzaga Prep, Ferris and Lewis and Clark by at least three games, the Bears had a manageable remaining schedule and could conceivably finish with a break-even or winning record and reach the playoffs.
The Bears won two of their next three and were at 5-7 at press time. The season ends with two games against Shadle Park, which stood at 8-4.
At the season's midpoint, Jackson Axtell was CV's hitting leader with a .364 batting average and Colton Peha was sixth in the league with three doubles.