Northshore athletes headed to state

  • Written by Don Mann
Bothell’s Trent Sewell clutches his thigh while crossing the finish line first in the boys 4X100 meter relay at Marysville-Pilchuck on Friday. At right is Garfield celebrated basketball star Tony Wroten, Jr. Photo by Don Mann.
The Inglemoor girls finished atop the leader board at the Northwest Regional track meet at Quil Ceda Stadium in Marysville on Friday and the Vikings will send 13 athletes to the Class 4A Track & Field championships at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma starting May 26.

The Lady Vikings were led by Erin Allen, who doubled with wins in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles, as well as Tansey Lystad, who captured the 1600 and 3200 meter run with personal records in both events.

The Bothell boys’ team finished second to Arlington, but suffered a big hit when junior Trent Sewell, the KingCo 400 meter leader and anchor on both top-ranked Cougar relay teams, pulled a hamstring while hitting the tape first in the 4X100.

His availability at state remains in question.

"I won’t say that he’s out for sure right now," Bothell coach Cathy Boyce said. "These are funny things with young kids and there’s always that possibility that he’ll be there but we’ll wait and see."

Woodinville will send three athletes to Tacoma: Melissa Gilkey in javelin, Chandler Olson in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs and Austin Sodorff in pole vault. Gilkey and Olson set personal and school records in their events in Marysville, while Sodorff matched his PR of 15 feet.

"We’re sending just three but it’s a good three," Falcon track coach Jed Sires said. "They all have a good chance at standing on the podium."

Bothell’s Dylan Langston ran a personal best 10.84 in the 100 meter preliminaries, and then hit the tape first in the finals at 10.87. The senior also PR’d in the 200 meters, finishing second at 22.14 and is a threat to win both events at state.

"He’s amazing," Boyce said. "It’s his first year running track and if we get him some warm weather there’s no telling where this kid is gonna stop."

Inglemoor coach DJ Baddelly feels good about the Vikings’ chances, specifically the girls.

"We’re sending like 10 or 12 girls and that tells you about our depth," he said.

Regarding Lystad: "She’s strong. She’s healthy now after managing a foot issue and she’s running well. Very talented and mentally tough. She laid back a little bit during the season because of that foot, but she’s right where she wants to be right now and could win it all."

On Allen: "She’s done a nice job all year and just keeps getting faster. It’s all about the time.

"She’s prepared herself well — in the weight room in the offseason and preseason. She’s tough and definitely has the talent. But don’t forget about Becca Berge. Those kids are 1-2 in the state and at the state meet anything can happen."

Lady Falcons, top-ranked and undefeated on a mission

  • Written by Don Mann
Senior left-fielder Shelby Yasuda leaves her feet to snag a critical Eastlake line drive in the first inning of Woodinville’s 9-3 win to help capture the tournament championship for the Lady Falcons. Photo by Don Mann.
With a state tournament berth already in the bag, the top-ranked and undefeated Woodinville fastpitch team was relaxed.

But there was still work to do, and the Lady Falcons flexed its formidable muscles in a 9-3 beat-down of Eastlake in the KingCo tournament finale at Hartman Park in Redmond Thursday to up its record to 21-0.

Next stop Spokane, and bring on all comers. The juggernaut in green and blue now heads to Eastern Washington, with its eyes on the State Class 4A prize, to do damage.

After disposing the Wolves 5-2 three days earlier in the league title game, Woodinville went right back to work.

A leadoff walk to Sara Anderson was followed by a perfect bunt by Kayla O’Farrell. Makenna Weir walked and Katie Engelbrecht’s sacrifice fly to center put the Lady Falcs on the board. Lauren Burchak followed with a double to right-center and it was 2-zip Woodinville right out of the gate.

Eastlake didn’t run and hide: a leadoff single was followed by a base on balls. The Wolves’ No. 3 batter then laced a wicked line drive down the left-field line which was speared by Falcon senior left-fielder Shelby Yasuda, leaving her feet on a dead run, in a spectacular play that kept runners at bay. A game-changer.

"That was a great play," Woodinville coach Mark Leander said. "If she doesn’t catch that ball they score a couple runs and it changes things."

O’Farrell led off the third inning with a line-drive homer to dead center and one out later Engelbrecht launched a no-doubter to right-center to make it 4-zip.

"It was a fastball a little high and outside," the all-Everything senior catcher and captain said. "It just felt good."

Woodinville tacked on two more runs in the fourth and took a commanding 7-0 lead. The Wolves chipped away with a run in the fourth and two in the fifth to make it 7-3.

But in the sixth, the Lady Falcons pulled away for good. Yasuda got aboard on a beauty bunt to lead off the frame. After Anderson got aboard on an error and another sac by O’Farrell, Makenna Weir lined a ground-rule double through the fence in left-center to cut the Wolves’ heart out.

Woodinville starter Keelin Davis, the squad’s No. 2, went the distance for her eighth win of the season, permitting three runs on six hits.

"She’s a pitcher in the true sense of the word," coach Mark Leander said. "Don’t let that red hair and freckles fool you, she’s a bulldog."

Falcon No. 1 pitcher Madi Schreyer was sidelined in the contest after somehow slamming her right index finger — her pitching hand — in a door at home earlier in the week, and the digit was black and blue. But the sophomore will be back.

Engelbrecht, a three-year starter, stood tall and sturdy, and is headed to state for the first time in her stellar high school career. "Shelby (Yasuda) and I have been on this team for three years and the night we won KingCo we were so overcome with joy," she said. "It was one of the greatest feelings. I’m really excited to go to state and see the competition."

So, heading east to grab the bacon, is there pressure or confidence?

"There’s always pressure and pressure’s good," she said with a lovely smile. "But whoever we play we always play against ourselves, to play against our potential, and that’s the level we aim for. I’ve played with these girls since we were little and we’ve just gotten better and better. I’ve known half of these girls since kindergarten and it’s awesome because we’re so tight. And that’s the reason we look so good out there — we’ve been working together forever."

Leander, after discussing travel plans with parents and the athletic director, spoke with this reporter.

"We’re ready to go," he said. "We’ll get Madi back from that little ding. There’s not a lot of teams that have two good pitchers so our pitching depth will help us and we have good depth on our bench.But in these tournaments anything can happen so who knows? We scored a lot of runs this year but what I’ve liked is these last couple games we’ve been bunting, we hit and run tonight and played a little more small ball which will serve us well in the (state) tournament. There are gonna be some good teams out there."

Sodorff scores at KingCo meet

  • Written by Don Mann
Woodinville junior Austin Sodorff won the KingCo pole vault title with a mark of 15 feet. Photo by Don Mann.
It’s doubtful that anyone enjoyed his day at the KingCo track and field championships more than Austin Sodorff.

The loosey-goosey Woodinville junior won the league pole vault title with a personal best of 15 feet, a coveted number among elite high school vaulters and rare air in Falcon history.

Only Curtis Flolid, who won last year’s Class 4A state title at 15’ 3, and Trevor Sodorff –Austin’s big brother and a 2007 WHS grad – have hit the mark.

And both were on hand at Juanita High School on Friday to root the younger Sodorff on and watch him do his thing, which made it even sweeter.

"Oh man I feel great," Sodorff said moments after exchanging hugs with the guys that inspired him to pursue the sport. "What a day! This is awesome and a dream come true."

He said he couldn’t have done it without the help of pole vault coach Andrew Storey and Flolid, who was on the field and in his ear all day.

"They kept telling me to get down and stay with the pole and that really made the difference."

There was a moment of great theater: After nailing 15, Sodorff raised the bar to 15’ 4 – not the usual three inch increase – in an effort to break Flolid’s school record. Flolid, now a freshman athlete at Washington State, loved every inch of it and cheered him on, as did the entire fraternity of vaulters who gathered to watch.

But no dice for Sodorff, who failed twice at the attempt and even got a bloody lip when the bar literally fell on his face.

It didn’t stop him from smiling. "At the beginning of the season my goal was 13 (feet) so, hey, I gotta be happy."

Coach Storey was asked when he realized Sodorff was capable of hitting 15 feet. "After last week I thought it was a reasonable expectation because he’s come so far so fast," he said. "Last year his best was 10 feet. So he can go far. He’s very passionate about the sport and maybe the hardest worker I’ve ever had. He goes to clinics and weight-trains in the offseason. Plus he’s not scared to fail and he’s willing to try new things."

Sodorff emerged as one of three Woodinville KingCo track and field champions. Sophomore long distance sensation Chandler Olson swept the 1600 and 3200 meter runs while dusting the competition, and senior Melissa Gilkey won javelin at 114’10.

"She’s pretty amazing," head coach Jed Sires said of Olson. "Extremely talented, hard- working and she just ran her own race and didn’t worry about the competition in both of those events."

The Bothell boys dominated the meet with 142 team points, a whopping 44 points over runner-up Garfield. Dylan Langston won the 100 meter dash handily at 11.08, Braden Foley took javelin with a throw of 165’ 09, and both relay teams – the 4X100 (Luke Proulx, Will McIntyre, Nick Anthony and Trent Sewell) and 4X400 (Chayce Sather, Anthony, Chris Arneson and Sewell) – got to the finish line first.

The Inglemoor girls tied Redmond at 109 for a share of the team title, and were led by Erin Allen who doubled with wins in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles.

Competition moves on to Marysville-Pilchuk High School on Wednesday and Friday, where the KingCo top-eight in each event will face off in the district meet. Top-five performers there will head to state.

Bothell wins KingCo title; Inglemoor falls

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Jon Mercer homered and Brian McAfee once again went the distance in the Cougars’ 4-3 win over Newport in the KingCo 4A championship game.

It was Bothell’s second conference title in four years, and the Cougars (19-4) will open the state tournament at Kent Memorial Park as the No. 1 seed from District 2.

McAfee saw his scoreless pitching streak end at a preposterous 46 innings but raised his season record to 8-0.

In the third place game, there were no late inning heroics for Inglemoor as they fell to Redmond 6-2, to finish its season 15-9 overall.

Falcons come up short in barnburner

  • Written by Don Mann
Sean Sellers is out at home as Adam Mosebar makes the tag in the first inning. Photo by Don Mann.
With 14 walks and six errors it was no work of art, but the nearly three hour loser-out ball game was epic in tension and drama – including collisions on the base paths, balks called and uncalled, a coach’s ejection, a roving strike zone, 17 runs on 17 hits and a stunning comeback.

Down 8-5 in its final at bat, Inglemoor stormed back to score four runs and Viking senior Eric Rodgers – the fifth pitcher employed by the visitors – set down Woodinville in order as the Vikings bounced the Falcons from the KingCo tournament 9-8 at WHS on Tuesday.

In a wild and wooly contest that featured nine combined pitchers, Woodinville’s Shea Donlin, who was cruising over three and two-thirds relief innings with two hits, no walks and no runs allowed, took the ball in the seventh with a three-run lead and three outs to get.

Not so fast.

Blake Wilson tripled to dead center over T.C. Florentine’s head.

Emmett Maki, removed from the game after failing to get an out in the first inning, reentered and doubled into the left field corner to score Wilson. Viking sophomore Brandon Edwards slapped a single to right – his fourth hit of the game – to move Maki to third. Then Obie Taylor scorched a wicked line drive through the legs of third baseman Sean Sellers to score Maki to make it 8-7 and put runners on first and third with no outs.

Cody Bauman came on in relief of Donlin, and was greeted by Adam Mosebar’s sacrifice fly to tie it up. Garrett Vandiver was safe on a nubber toward shortstop, and Connor Savage drilled a double down the left field line to score Taylor with the go-ahead run before Bauman retired the last two outs.

Rodgers, who pitched four innings all season, took over for Sean Howard on the hill with a one-run lead. Clarke Bader led off with a deep drive to left center that was run down by Vandiver for the first out.

Rodgers got Beau Vintertun on a grounder, and then caught Nate Wilham looking with a curve to end the marathon – and Woodinville’s season.

The Falcons finished 14-7-1 overall.

Marty Luckenbach started on short rest for Woodinville and the junior failed to get out of the first inning, issuing four walks while absorbing three Falcon errors – including one of his own. Inglemoor scored four runs in the frame on one hit.

Woodinville came right back with three runs and chased Viking starter Maki before the left-hander recorded an out.

Inglemoor’s Peter Meiusi blasted a moon shot homer off of Kalei Kovar to lead off the second to make it 5-3, yet Woodinville scored twice in the third, twice in the fourth and once in the fifth to make it 8-5 and the Vikes looked dead in the water before late game heroics.

Donlin, who took the loss, went 2-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and two RBI. Howard pitched two and two-thirds innings, permitting one hit and striking out four, to notch the win.