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2012 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships to be held at Comcast Arena in Everett

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Global Spectrum recently announced that more than 300 of the world’s best gymnasts will head to the Pacific Northwest for the first time since 1995 when the Comcast Arena at Everett plays host to the 2012 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships, March 16-18. Men’s and women’s gymnastics will be held in the Comcast Arena at Everett, with rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline at the Comcast Community Ice Rink. All­session tickets are on sale at ComcastArenaEverett.com.

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny and legendary gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi attended the official announcement in the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center this morning.

“The 2012 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships is a wonderful opportunity for Everett to get an international close­up,” said Stephanson. “Eyes from around the globe will be on us as Everett becomes the center of the gymnastics world for a few days next spring.”

“Hosting an event of this stature is a huge honor for the state of Washington and the city of Everett,” said Gregoire. “It not only allows Washingtonians to be a part of the road to the 2012 Olympics in London, but it also will be a boost for local hotels, restaurants and shopkeepers. This event will bring the world to Washington’s door.”

“The Pacific Rim Championships will be the largest international gymnastics event held in the state of Washington since the 1990 Goodwill Games,” said Penny. “The character of the Pacific Rim is so alive in the Seattle/Everett area, which provides the perfect backdrop to host athletes from all over this region. This event will be a showcase of some of the world’s top talent as we get ready for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.”

The three-­day event is expected to feature athletes from more than 14 countries, including Canada, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, competing in men’s, women’s and rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline.

While the Seattle area has held three major gymnastics events, this is the first time Everett will stage a gymnastics event of this stature. The gymnastics competition at the 1990 Goodwill Games was staged in Tacoma, and Seattle was the site for the 1995 American Cup and 1973 women’s national championships.

All­ session tickets range from $110 to $250 (including facility fees) and are available online through www.ComcastArenaEverett.com; or through participating area gymnastics clubs. Visa is the preferred method of payment. For more information, go to www.usagym.org/events.

The event will officially start with an opening ceremony sponsored by the Tulalip Resort Casino. The tentative competition schedule is: March 16, team and all­-around finals for women’s gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics; March 17, men’s team and all­around finals and rhythmic gymnastics individual event finals; and March 18, men’s and women’s individual event finals and men’s and women’s trampoline preliminary and final rounds. Everett Community College is an ancillary facility for the event.

Falcon volleyballers to be tested early

  • Written by Don Mann

Ali Forde
Ali Forde. Photo by Don Mann.
Ashton Mann
Ashtyn Mann. Photo by Don Mann.
Kelsia Orrin
Kelsea Orrin. Photo by Don Mann.

 

Last year the Woodinville volleyball team placed fourth at the Class 4A state tournament — its best finish in school history by far— and the Lady Falcons are back to take another run at it.

But first things first for fourth-year coach Mike Mills, as last year is just a fond memory.

"Right now we’re still figuring out who our setter’s going to be," he said of the critical position that sets the offense in motion. "We have three players battling for that spot right now and we’ll learn more after we play a couple preseason games."

Mills, however, has the luxury of one sure thing: Ali Forde is back for her senior year, good for the coach and a big problem for the rest of the KingCo conference.

The 6 foot, 2 inch wrecking ball was first team all-state last season — the only junior between the Puget Sound and the Idaho border to earn the honor — and according to Mills has gotten better.

"She can hit outside, hit middle, she can pass and serve and plays great defense up front and in the back," he said. "She’s an all-around player without a doubt, and she’ll be on the court a lot. We have high expectations for her and she has high goals for herself."

Always a leader by example, Forde now steps into a more vocal leadership role with the void left by the graduation of Melissa Gilkey and Carmen Vasilatos, a role she can handle, Mills said.

"Oh yeah, what’s driving her right now is she just wants the team to succeed. She had a lot of fun last year ending state on a high note, not just being a great player but having her team play along at that great level, too."

Seniors Ashtyn Mann, Kelsea Orren and Jen Schnelle all dipped their toes in the state tournament waters and are slated for the starting lineup.

"Ashtyn’s 6-2, will play in the middle, strong, great vertical, getting her angles down," Mills said. "Kelsea is vying for the setter position, played a lot of backcourt for us last year but can play anywhere. And we moved Jen to libero this year. She was a setter but now it’ll be a full time defensive gig for her. She played a lot of defense at state and we’re real excited about what she’s turned into as a senior."

Senior Andie Kelly and juniors Hailey Chapman and Maddy Young appear to have the inside track to be the other starters, Mills said, though nothing was set in stone before even the jamboree was played.

Kelly’s a competitive 6-footer who’s made great strides, Chapman is a high-jumping outside hitter who can set, too, and Young, Mills said, "might surprise some people this year." Also in the mix at setter is junior Brooke Wiley, who played a bit at state as a sophomore serving specialist and gained some big-game experience.

What does Mills like best about this group?

"The neat thing is they really get along well together," he said. "There’s a natural chemistry that clicks. Things have been very smooth so far which is cool, and never a given with teenagers."

The Lady Falcons jump right into the frying pan, traveling to traditional powerhouses Edmonds-Woodway and Graham-Kapowsin this week and then participating in the Adidas Tournament at Auburn-Mountainview to face quality opponents before KingCo play begins.

The big question right now is who will establish herself at setter, and this time next week Mills will have a much better idea of who can put the ball in the window consistently. So far, he likes what he sees on defense.

"I feel we’re ahead defensively right now of where we were (the sametime) last year — which was a pretty good team but we struggled a bit early.

"We just need to play some other teams. There’s only so much you can learn playing against yourself."

Talented Lady Falcons’ soccer team reloads

  • Written by Don Mann
Sophie Chakalo
Sophie Chakalo Photo by Don Mann.
The good news for Woodinville girls’ soccer is they return a dozen players from a 13-4-2 team that went to the Class 4A quarterfinals before being ousted by eventual champion Skyline.

The bad news is that Lilly Wilson won’t be one of them, as the dynamic midfielder suffered a severe knee injury playing select ball in the offseason and will not participate her senior year.

"That’s a tough one that’s gonna hurt," head coach Sully Hester said.

"She’s a special player who could run all day."

The Lady Falcons took another hit when big-time defender Maggie Stinson went down with a similar injury, but the senior will be back on the pitch beginning September 12, she said, playing limited minutes early.

That said, there was a whole lot of talent on display at a spirited practice last week, with some familiar faces in new places.

Senior Katrina Neir, who stepped in at goalkeeper last year after Michelle Olson went down with an injury and did a marvelous job, is back at defender. Olson is back in net, though being pushed by sophomore Molly Stinson. "Oh yeah, that’s a fight," Hester said. "They each have their strengths and competition is a good thing."

Things are still unclear in the defensive end, where the Lady Falcons graduated three starters, though juniors Christina Gonzalez and Brittney Greenback are in the mix and senior Maddie Jones, a midfielder last year, may see some time there.

Christine Horne
Christine Horne. Photo by Don Mann.
"A month from now when Maggie’s back at full strength we’ll be OK," Hester said.

The forecast at midfield is pretty clear and rock solid, with junior Christine Horne on the left, senior Haley Fay in the middle and senior Audrey Phillips on the right.

"Horne’s very solid all around, Fay’s a great distributor--she was our leading assist person, and Phillips may be our best player," Hester said. "If we play four there it could be sophomore Emily Newberg, though it’s an open position people are vying for right now."

Up front, the Lady Falcons are in great shape with Regan Quigley, Sophie Chakalo — last year’s leading goal scorer, and Delilah Blacketer returning.

"We’re great up front," Hester said. "Regan is always a danger, real physical and goes non-stop. Sophie is always a real threat as a shooter, stronger and more mature, gets in better position with the ball and is using her arms more to fend off defenders, knowing where she should take her shots. And Delilah wants some of that starting time, too. She’s a great passer, maybe better than those other two. Like I said, competition is good."

Woodinville typically plays a 4-4-2 formation: four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards. But this squad may show a little more 4-3-3 to provide more offensive punch at times.

Either way, Hester, who’s been around as long as Little Bear Creek, likes this group as much as any he’s had.

Haley Fay
Haley Fay. Photo by Don Mann.
"They enjoy playing, enjoy playing together and want to have fun," he said. "We’ve got some jokers on this team: Haley Fay, Katrina ... but they play hard and the whole bunch of them have good attitudes and that’s nice. This new senior class is strong."

Expectations?

"Just making the KingCo playoffs is harder than playing anybody in the state tournament," Hester said. "I mean, how many state champions have come out of KingCo the last 10 years?"

The answer, by the way, is five: Skyline twice, Eastlake twice and Woodinville once, with Issaquah, Woodinville and Inglemoor state runners-up in the decade.

And that’s just girls’ soccer.

Falcons overcome Mount Si in road opener

  • Written by Don Mann

If things go the way they’re hoped for this Woodinville football team, they may look back on opening night as a defining moment.

The Falcons spotted Mount Si a 10-3 halftime lead at their place, then stormed back with 28 unanswered second half points--scoring touchdowns on four consecutive drives to come away with an impressive 31-10 victory in what was clearly a tale of two halves.

And they did it the old fashioned way: they ran it down their throats.

"We wanted to run the ball like we’ve been used to at Woodinville,"

head coach Wayne Maxwell said, "and it’s something we’ve committed to."

They had to wait their chance to do it, as Mount Si received the opening kickoff and went on a 17-play march that ate up eight and a half minutes of official clock time and resulted in a field goal.

When they finally got the ball, the Falcon offense sputtered:

penalties, a high snap over the quarterback’s head to kill drives and then a muffed handoff recovered by the Wildcats on the Falcon 22 yard line with three minutes left in the half.

It led to Mount Si’s only touchdown, and it was flukey: Wildcat QB Ryan Atkinson, rolling to his right, fired a pass to his big tight end that Falcon linebacker Branden Shrout batted into the air in a collision but it bounced right into the hands of a wide open receiver who waltzed into the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown and a 10-zip lead.

Woodinville, sucking up its misfortune, put together a late drive, keyed by an 18-yard burst by Devin McKee, a 29-yard inside screen to Kyle Adkins and a critical fourth down completion to Beau Vintertun to get on the board with a Conner Zaback field goal as the first half expired.

"The defense was on the field for a lot of snaps in the first half,"

Maxwell said. "We had some mishaps on offense that stalled drives, some miscommunication and the rhythm wasn’t there. The time of possession was pretty lopsided, and we congratulated our defensive guys for hanging in there. There was no panic in our guys."

Nobody hung their head in the locker room? "Not one bit," Maxwell said directly.

And then came the final 24 minutes, which was textbook for Woodinville.

Alec Schwend returned the kickoff 34 yards and then busted for 11 more on first down. McKee bolted for 15, then 14, and Parker Moore rumbled for 10. After an encroachment penalty on the home team, Brett Arrivey hit Colter Clinch with a short pass to the 4-yard line and Schwend punched it in to tie it at 10-apiece and the Falcon faithful exhaled.

Mount Si went three-and-out on its next series, keyed by a combined sack on 3rd-and-four by Shrout and Sawyer Whalen for a 12-yard loss.

Following the punt, Woodinville took possession at its 42 and did brisk business with half a field to go: Schwend ran for 16, Moore for six, McKee for 12, and Arrivey kept it for six. After a false start, Arrivey hit Adkins for eight and Shrout bulldogged up the middle for

14 yards to bring it to the doorstep where Schwend punched it in again to give the Falcons a 17-10 lead, swinging the momentum after two solid drives.

"We wore them down," the jubilant Whalen later said. "You could just tell early in that second half they were tired and we got better up front. We started to click."

That they did: Jake Hollister snuffed a Wildcat ball carrier on first down for a four-yard loss and sophomore Lee Wunderlich, making his first Falcon start, smoked out a third down screen attempt for another loss.

Mount Si’s punt was downed at the Woodinville 49, and the Falcons were dealing.

Schwend broke for 18 yards on first down and the Falcons quickly marched down to the 10, where Arrivey kept it again to take it down to the 2-yard line. Once again, Schwend plunged for a 24-10 lead as the Wildcats appeared shellshocked and lowered their shoulders.

To make matters worse for Mount Si, McKee then delivered the defensive play of the night: On first down at their 20 with the Wildcats in obvious pass situation, he stripped a receiver after a 10-yard completion and emerged from the scrum with the ball.

Five plays later, including another 18-yard burst from Schwend, Arrivey hit Trey Fornelius with a 1-yard TD pass on a rollout and the Woodinville party was on.

Schwend, who looks like an altar boy but runs like a demon--one tackler cannot take him down-- unofficially ran for 121 yards on 17 carries to go along with his three touchdowns. He seemed to get fresher as defenders wilted, and got back-slapped by his teammates for producing the goods.

"We were determined," he said. " We wanted to set a tone in our first game. We had some confusion (in the first half) and had the ball moving but didn’t finish. At half we came together and said we can’t stop ourselves like last year. It’s our turn to rise."

He was asked about his offensive line, which blew gaping holes in the Wildcat defense in the last 24 minutes.

"Best line I’ve ever played with, without a doubt, even with the twos.

Those guys are awesome."

Whalen, one of those guys, was jacked-up with the result. "Oh, man, I had a whole lotta fun tonight. I’ll say this: our team overall is in the best shape it’s been in for the last two years and we wore them out, no doubt about it."

Woodinville softball all stars win tourney

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

 Softball all-stars

The 9-10 year old Woodinville/Woodinville West Little League Softball All Stars won the District 8 tournament on Friday, July 8. They beat Northeast Seattle/RUG in a 4-1 battle for the final. The All Stars head to Poulsbo, WA for the State Championships July 16-25th. First game is slated for noon vs Gig Harbor District 2 Champion at Slater Fields. Players include Mikaelie Sullivan, Rachael Rhinehart, Katie Pippel, Jackie Lemke, Chloe Lingen, Bailey Burger-Moore, Mikayla Kyperos, Anna Rogers, Tessa Eldred, Sophie Hall, and Kate Perkins. Coaches include Marcene Sullivan, Quenten Pippel, Mark Lingen, and Lindsay Sullivan.