Sports Notebook: CV girls win first regional track title
By Mike Vlahovich
Prior to the start of the girls track season, Central Valley had the proverbial target on its back. But it was the Bears who hit the bullseye.
The team made a case for multi-sport athletes, who helped the team win its first 4A regional championship, scoring 140 points and qualifying for state in nine events, including titles in all three relays.
Nearly half of those berths included Mariah Cunningham (all-GSL basketball), who won the high jump, long jump and was integral to two relay triumphs that turned in sterling times. She high-jumped 5-foot, 4 1/2-inches, long jumped a personal record 18-5 ¼, and ran legs of the 400 and 800 meter relays. The first was a season-best 49.02 seconds and included Savannah Hoekstra, Kelsey Turnbow (both all-league soccer) and Hailey Hawkins. The 800 relay featured Hoekstra and Turnbow, plus Anna Fomin.
Hoekstra and Fomin were part of the 1,600 relay win that included 300 hurdles champion Brielle Crump and Hannah Reiman.
Turnbow advanced in the 100, Madison Hovren (all-GSL basketball) did so in the 100 hurdles, along with freshman Gabrielle Ford in the 1,600.
Briton Demars, subject of an earlier Splash feature, captured the regional boys 1,600 title with a fast finish and minuscule 0.2 second victory on his way to state. His time was 4:21.41.
He was one of two region winners and state qualifiers for the Bears boys team, who nonetheless scored 140 points to finish fourth as a team in the regional.
Just a freshman, Jakobe Ford leapt a personal best 6-7 in the high jump to better a cluttered field of GSL standouts.
SOCCER TEAM TO STATE
The Bears reached the first round of the state soccer tournament, losing a heart-breaker 1-0 in a match they dominated.
With only three seniors in the lineup, the Bears stunned Ferris for the district championship and Pasco in two overtimes in the regional title match, both 1-0. They lost 1-0 in a shootout against a Curtis team they dominated despite scoreless regulation and overtime.
One of the seniors, Brock Benzel, scored a goal and had an assist in the district and regional title matches.
CV returns 16 players, including 11 sophomores or freshmen.
SOFTBALL MISSES STATE
The Greater Spokane League champions rolled through the GSL with a 16-2 record, but they exposed flaws in the league once the Bears stepped outside.
Against Columbia Basin competition they were outscored 25-2 during regional games against Richland and Walla Walla, bringing an end to their 18-5 season, two of those losses coming to the Bombers.
Richland, with one loss during the season, won the opener 18-1 to qualify for state. Walla Walla won 7-1 to claim the other berth.
During the league season, pitcher Carly Riordan led the league in wins, with a 1.67 ERA, struck out 201 batters, hit .423 had led the league with 25 RBIs.
Newcomer Shayla Vegas was among the hits and RBI leaders.
LATE SURGE FOR BASEBALL
The Bears won seven of eight games to finish the GSL season at 9-9. They lost 5-2 to Ferris during the district tournament. Although their efforts weren't acknowledged in Greater Spokane League statistics, Taylor Pichette and Colton Peha hit safely in two-thirds of their games, most of them with multiple knocks.
Peha had two three-hit outings and Pichette one, plus a four-hit game.
NEAR MISS FOR GOLFER
Carly Grilley shot back-to-back 85s to miss one of six state berths by five strokes during district 4A golf. Grilley was first-alternate in case one of the Greater Spokane League qualifiers couldn't make the tournament.
Teammates Serena Jensen and Seyjil Turpin were eighth and ninth in district.
Cole Howard finished ninth for the Bears boys at 156 for two rounds with Jake Dringle and Tyler Wiggin placing 13th and 14th.
TENNIS GIRLS CHAMPS
Central Valley's girls tennis team compiled a perfect 9-0 season to continue its run of success in the GSL.
The boys finished 4-5. Neither got an individual to state.