Sports -- January 03, 2002

Published on Thu, Jan 3, 2002
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SPORTS

2001 IN REVIEW
Borderite Sports

Here’s a brief recap of Blaine sports 2001. May Blaine sports 2002 be written in happier times.

Boys basketball – NCC Coach of the Year Dan Rucker’s Borderites won a couple of crucial contests over Granite Falls and Lakewood to qualify for the unenviable sudden-death part of the playoffs where they downed Klahowya to make Bi-Di’s double elimination phase. A loss to Port Townsend forced Blaine to win do-or-die consolation games over Chimacum and Mt. Baker to qualify for State where they lost to Granview and Pullman. Charlie Franklin was All-NCC and All-District 1st team and Andrew Martin, All-NCC 2nd team. Franklin was selected for the Washington Basketball Coaches Association All-State 2A game.

Girls basketball – Without a single senior, coach Pat Green’s Lady B’s were 9-7 in NCC play, placed 3rd in Bi-Di and won 1-of-3 games at State. Anna Sticklin was 1st team All-NCC and Jessica Summers, All-NCC 2nd team. Summers, Shela Robertson and Becky Riddle chaired the boards. Linsey Taylor, Krista Walter and Kristina Francis harassed foes and set up offensive plays.

Wrestling – Steven Burden, who shared NCC Wrestler of the Year honors with Mt. Baker’s Justin Compton, won district, regional and State 152-1b. titles for Craig Foster’s Borderites. Zac Waters, a 184-lb. David in the 275-Goliath division, won district and regional 275-lb. crowns, and took 3-of-5 matches in the 275-lb. class at State. At 140 lbs., Joe Button was 3rd at district, 2nd at regionals, but was decisioned 4-3 and 5-2 at State.

Fastpitch – Mike Dodd’s Lady B’s came within an out of going to Bi-Di. Ahead 5-4 with two out, Nooksack runners on first and second in the 7th, Blaine couldn’t hold the lead and lost a crucial 6-5 decision. Kristina Francis, who broke two team records with a .393 BA and 15 RBIs, was named 2nd team All-NCC catcher.

Boys soccer – Greg Brisbon’s tenure as Blaine boys head soccer coach began with a 1-0 win over Meridian. The rebuilding Borderites ended with a 5-11 record. Pat Corcorran, Blaine’s top scorer, was All-NCC 1st team. Joe Button was team MVP.

Golf – Coach Scott Ellis’ golf team saw sophomore Kevin Farmer named to the All-NCC team and junior Adam Dolan shoot 84 to finish 11th at the 2A Bi-Di and qualify for State. Dolan didn’t make the cut for the second round at State, tying for 36th place in the first round. Farmer was the boys team MVP and Haily Braumberger, the girls team MVP.

Baseball – Coach Gary Clausen’s nine posted an 8-15 season’s record, reached the NCC playoffs and produced three All-NCC players. Craig Anderson (.458 BA, 16 RBIs) was named All-NCC 1st team second base; Josh McDonald (.360 BA, 7 RBIs, 10 SBs), 2nd team catcher; and Grant Sanders (.359, 10 RBIs), 2nd team outfielder.

Track –Blaine’s Nick McGee won the boys shot (50-1) and Becky Riddle, the girls shot (38-2) and discus (114-0) at the NCC track and field championships. Riddle won the shot (37-7) and discus (118-7) at Bi-Di; McGee, the shot (52-7) and Andrew Martin, the high jump (6-2). Mike Grambo’s Borderites sent 10 athletes to State where Riddle got 6th (discus) and 7th (shot), Martin 5th (high jump) and 13th (javelin). McGee was 7th (shot); Grace Coulter, 8th (3200m); Nate Haslip, 11th (100m hurdles); Heidi Harmening, 11th (pole); Cory Crews, 14th (300m hurdles) and the 4x400 relay team of Rhyan Lopez, Crews, Haslip and Steve Burden, 5th.
Becky Riddle was 1st in the discus and 2nd in the shot in the West Coast semi-finals, 2nd in discus and 3rd in shot at the Junior Olympics Regionals, 1st in the discus and 2nd in the shot at western divisionals and 6th in the discus and 15th in the shot at Nationals.

Tennis – After losing in the first round, Scott Bianchi swept through the consolations with three straight wins at the Tri-Di tennis tourney to qualify for State in May where he lost 4-6, 1-6 and 0-6, 1-6. Doubles duo Ben Leigh and Matt Wiens also competed at Tri-Di, but were eliminated.
In girls tennis, Linsey Taylor and Jess Freeman won a match in doubles at District.
Bianchi, playing no. 1, and Grant Sanders, playing no. 2 singles, dominated most of their opponents during the 2001 fall tennis season. In 2A Sub-District play, Bianchi swept SW’s Tim Klopenstein 6-1, 6-0, Sanders topped SW’s George Spivakov 7-5, 6-4 and the duo of Jake Hamburg and C. J. Stauffer won doubles to qualify for May, 2002 District action. Bianchi won the boys 16A division at the junior tennis North Central Washington Championships in Wenatchee in July.

Pro golf – Semiahmoo pro Jeff Coston won the Washington Open Invite, was named PGA Northwest section Player of the Year, missed a trip to the U.S. Open by four strokes, tied for 5th in the PGA pro championships to qualify for Western Regionals. He won the Jeld-Wen Northwest Open Invite and tied for 4th with a 72-hole 290 in Calimesa, CA to qualify for the PGA Club pro championship in Louisville, KY in June 2002.
Blaine’s Chris Jorgensen won a Cascade Golf tourney on the 1st playoff hole at Port Ludlow GC. It wasn’t pro golf, but 73-year-old Gary Young aced his 6th and 7th holes-in-one at Loomis Trail on April 11 and at Semiahmoo on April 14.

Football – Coach Jim Rasar’s oft-injured, sub-short Borderite football team posted a 4-4 NCC and 5-4 overall record. Zeth Simpson was All-NCC 1st team running back, 2nd team All-NCC defensive back, his team’s MVP and co-captain. Nick McGee was 2nd team All-NCC offensive guard and defensive lineman. Hardeep Heer was awarded his team’s other co-captain honor.

Girls soccer – The Lady B’s posted a 12-6 season’s record, were third in the NCC and garnered six All-NCC team honors. Coach Dan Steelquist was NCC Coach of the Year and keeper Shela Robertson, who had six shutouts, NCC defensive Player of the Year. Defender Linsey Taylor and midfielder Anna Sticklin were All-NCC 1st team; defenders Kate Lawrenson and Lori Robertson, All-NCC 2nd team. Blaine defeated Mt. Baker 1-0 in NCC playoffs, but were eliminated 2-0 by South Whidbey.

Cross country – Alden Walcon recorded a number of wins, posted his first sub-17 minute race, a 16:56 jaunt at Lakewood’s Hole-in-the-Wall Invite, ran a 17:05 5K to finish 2nd at the 2A District, recording the highest ever finish by a Blaine male at District and qualifying for State for the second straight year.
Despite a respiratory problem, Grace Coulter ran a 19:07 5K to tie the course record at South Whidbey’s Waterman Field and qualify for State with a 19:25 5K and 3rd place finish at 2A District. Coulter was 5th at State with a 19:31 and Walcon, waging a ferocious fight with the flu, was 78th in 17:54 for Carey Bacon’s squad.
Coulter and Walcon were All-NCC CC runners and their team’s 2001 MVP’s. Other team awards went to Dan Marchio (Most Inspirational), Dan Balmer (Most Improved), Coulter and Kenneth Cunningham (team Co-Captains).

Volleyball – Sherri Schroeder’s Lady B’s tied for 6th and final District playoff spot with Mt. Baker, capping their finest season in three years with a 15-6, 15-13, 15-9 win over Mt. Baker. The Lady B’s season ended at District with losses to Granite Falls and Nooksack Valley at Sultan. Jessica Summers was All-NCC 1st team middle hitter and Becky Riddle, NCC 2nd team All-NCC outside hitter.

Miscellany – Blaine’s Diane Palmason ran the 2.97-mile Silver Lake Park course in a record time of 23:52 to win the female 60-69 age division and Ernie Black set a record 26:08 in the male 70+ division.
Blaine high school principal Dan Newell, head coach and director of baseball operations, managed the Bellingham Bells to a 21-19 Pacific International League season. Barracuda grappler James Catlett won a state folkstyle wrestling crown at Everett.
Blaine grads did well. UO’s Luke Ridnour was Pac 10 2001 Freshman of the Year. Pacific Lutheran senior Leslie Seelye gained All-American rank, finishing 5th in the women’s hammer at the NCAA Div. III National Championships.
Catherine Gibson was no. 3 seat as Seattle Pacific won the women’s varsity fours title at the Avaya collegiate rowing championships. Southeastern Louis-iana’s Jesse Newell hit .270 with 10 RBIs and was named to the Southland Conference All-Academic baseball team.
In tennis, Saj Mathura and Joyce Vanderpol of Blaine won the mixed B doubles at the Skywater Tennis tourney.
Blaine Post 86 pitchers Bob Francis and Grant Sanders beat the Olympia Bears 4-3 to be 3rd in the Spooner Creek baseball USA State Championships. Blaine Post 86 won 14 and lost 7 over the summer. In LL, Blaine Broncos beat Nooksack 12-1 in the semi-finals and Lynden 8-3 in the finals to win the Lynden Kickoff Classic Youth (11-12 yr-olds).
Dan Rucker’s Blaine hoopsters played 14 games in a week, winning 2-of-4 at the Brewster tourney on June 15-16 and splitting 5-of-10 at the Gonzaga tourney in Spokane on July 17-21.
And last, but not least, Blaine Athletic Director Gary Clausen was named WIAA Division I Director of the Year.

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