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It's Deju Vu All Over Again

2001 -- The year in sports in review

By SVERRE BAKKE

The Enterprise

In this flashback, The Enterprise presents the highlights and the heartaches of the first six months of the year in sports in review. The second installment of the annual review will appear in next week's edition.

JANUARY

Greater Columbia B League girls basketball powerhouses Klickitat and Lyle met for the first time Jan. 6 in a key GCB matchup. The Vandals' eight-game winning streak came to an end as the Cougars handed them their first loss of the season by a score of 42-39.

A win at Ridgefield and a victory at home over La Center vaulted defending champion Columbia High into the thick of the Trico League boys basketball race.

Columbia High senior Ryan Miller was one of 27 SW Washington football players nominated for six prestigious National Football Foundation (SW Washington chapter) scholarships.

Miller played running back and linebacker for the Bruins during the 2000 season in which they compiled a 7-3 record, finished second in the Trico League and advanced to the District 4 2A playoffs.

A hand-painted sign on the C Court bulletin board at Columbia High read: "Kenny B. Rubber Chicken Champion."

Kenny B. referred to CHS senior Kenny Bucher, who won the Rubber Chicken Tournament heavyweight championship Jan. 13 in Kalama. His victory was the highlight of the day for the CHS wrestling team.

Along with a first-place medal and the heavyweight bracket board used to keep score, Bucher received a coveted rubber chicken for his efforts.

CHS's trophy-hunting girls powerlifting team bagged another prize Jan. 27 that was more than suitable for mounting on the wall of the Columbia High School weight room.

The nine-strong CHS girls won five of 10 weight classes and totaled 53 points to earn the first-place trophy at the inaugural Woodland Open Powerlifting Meet.

FEBRUARY

Wrestling season ended for all but one Columbia High wrestler at the Feb. 3 Trico League championships in Castle Rock.

Senior Kenny Bucher placed second in the heavyweight division, losing to Justin Riedl of Castle Rock on a pin with 16 seconds left in the third and final round of their title match.

The top-four finish earned Bucher his second straight trip to the SW Washington District 4 2A Wrestling Tournament.

The road to the Trico League boys basketball championship changed course on Feb. 2 as second-place Columbia High defeated Ridgefield 75-72 at home and first-place Woodland lost to La Center 47-44.

In GCB girls hoops action, Klickitat's 66-57 overtime loss at home to Riverside Christian on Feb. 3 was Lyle's gain.

The Cougars (11-2, 12-4) took over first place in the league standings for the first time, thanks to Klickitat's loss and back-to-back victories of their own over Bickleton and Trout Lake that extended their winning streak to 10 games.

It wasn't elegant but it certainly was efficient, it being Columbia High's 60-39 win over last place Stevenson Feb. 13, which secured CHS at least a share of the 2000-01 Trico League boys basketball championship.

The victory ensured CHS (9-3, 14-6) of no worse than a tie for its second straight Trico title and a second seed in the upcoming District 4 2A tournament.

A 60-40 victory at Stevenson Feb. 12 capped a 2000-01 season in which CHS's girls basketball team finished 10-9 -- the program's first winning season since 1995-96.

A fourth-place finish at the SW Washington District 4 2A wrestling tournament on Feb. 10 sent CHS senior Kenny Bucher to the WIAA/Dairy Farmers of Washington 2A Mat Classic in Tacoma on Feb. 16-17.

In spite of at 47-43 loss to Klickitat on Feb. 10, Lyle claimed its first girls basketball championship in 18 seasons.

The Vandals completed their GCB run tied for second with Sunnyside Christian but got the nod for the second seed and its first-round bye in a tiebreaker with the Knights.

The senior year of high school is about fulfilling final requirements for graduation and making memories that will last a lifetime.

Columbia High School senior Kenny Bucher made a last memory Feb. 17, becoming the first wrestler in the three-year history of the CHS program to earn a state medal.

Bucher, in his second year of wrestling, placed eighth at the state 2A Mat Classic XIII in the Tacoma Dome. The happy-go-lucky heavyweight lost the match for seventh place -- which was his fifth of the tournament overall -- on an 8-2 decision.

Lyle and Sunnyside Christian met for the third year in a row in the championship game of the Yakima Valley District 5 Class B girls basketball tournament on Feb. 21 in Goldendale.

The defending champion Cougars lost the rematch 45-42 as the Knights went on a 10-1 run in the final four minutes to claim their second district crown in three years and advance to their first state tournament since 1999.

MARCH

Any reservations Columbia High had for a trip to the state Class 2A boys basketball tournament in Yakima were canceled March 2 by Ilwaco in the consolation championship of the SW Washington District 4 tourney.

The Bruins, co-champions of the Trico League, were eliminated by the Fishermen, 64-50, in a winner-to-state, loser-out contest at W.F. West High School in Chehalis.

In the sport of powerlifting, there are few -- emphasis on the word few -- high school lifters in the state who can put up the numbers Columbia High lifters can.

CHS lifters reinforced their standing among the state's elite by winning the girls competition and placing second in the boys during the March 3 White Salmon Open Powerlifting Meet.

Boys soccer debuted at Columbia High School as the Bruins opened their inaugural SW Washington 2A season with a 4-2 league loss at Castle Rock on March. 12.

The USA Snowboard Association's National Championships and the slopes of Mammoth Mountain, Calif., provided the stage and the setting for White Salmon teenager Vic Wild's rising-star performance.

Wild, 14, combined a third-place finish in the slalom with a fifth-place effort in the giant slalom to place second overall in the USASA Youth Men (ages 14-15) division's alpine combined competition, held March 20 and 22.

A penalty kick in the 60th minute of play on March 27 provided the difference in Columbia High's first soccer victory, a 2-1 decision at Hoquiam on a soggy, puddled field.

A three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh by freshman Brandon Verley gave Columbia High a 6-3 walk-off victory over La Center in Trico League baseball action March 30 at Hecomovich Field.

APRIL

Four Columbia High basketball players earned Trico League honors for their performances during the 2000-01 season. They were seniors Austin Nielsen and Derek Yeager for the CHS boys, and senior MaryAnn Graves and sophomore Mallory Holtman for the CHS girls.

Nielsen, a three-year varsity starter, won his second consecutive Trico League Player of the Year award. He led CHS to a share of its second straight league championship and another district playoff berth, averaging nearly 26 points and 10 rebounds per game. Yeager, in his first full varsity season, received All-Trico second-team recognition. He played in all 23 of CHS's games and posted averages of 11 ppg and 4 rpg.

Graves, an All-Trico first-team for the second time, finished her three-year CHS career with 714 points for fifth place on the girls all-time scoring list. She averaged a team-leading 15.4 ppg and third-best 5 rpg in 2000-01. Holtman garnered Trico girls honorable mention in her first varsity campaign. She averaged 10.6 ppg and 6 rpg, and led the team with 35 steals.

School and meet records fell by the wayside April 21 during the ninth annual Bruin Booster Invitational Track and Field Meet at CHS Stadium.

Senior MaryAnn Graves, a two-time and defending state long jump champion, didn't just break her school and meet records in the event, she shattered them beyond recognition. Her leap of 19 feet, 8 inches topped her previous personal best by seven inches and her meet mark by a whopping 20 inches.

The CHS boys, led by record-setters Teddy Davis and Jacob Anderson, captured their first meet title since 1996.

Davis, a junior, set a new meet and school record in the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 10 inches. His previous best was 6-8, set a week earlier; the old meet record was 6-71/2, set in 1999.

Anderson, a senior, gave him a run for it though, vaulting 15 feet, 7 inches to break his week-old school record by an inch and the year-old meet mark by 13 inches, and winning the 100 high hurdles.

MAY

A home run barrage by visiting Montesano on May 7 knocked Columbia High out of the running for a berth in its fourth straight SW Washington District 4 baseball tournament.

CHS ended its season with a 12-9 record that included a third-place finish in the Trico League under head coach Larry McCutcheon, who returned to the program in 2001 after a 10-year absence.

Its 5-1 loss to Tenino on May 1 eliminated Columbia High from contention for a spot in the SW Washington District 4 2A soccer playoffs.

The Bruins concluded their first season with a 3-13 overall record that included a 3-7 mark against league competition.

A four-run sixth inning propelled Lyle past Sunnyside Christian, 7-5, May 12 in the championship game of the Yakima Valley District 5 Class B baseball tournament.

It was the first district championship in three years for the Cougars (19-1), who a week earlier had wrapped up their third consecutive Greater Columbia B League title.

Klickitat's softball team entered the state Class B slowpitch championships in Spokane in an unusual position: as the second seed out of District 5.

The defending Greater Columbia B League champions lost their May 19 district opener to Glenwood but rallied through the losers bracket to defeat the Eagles, 21-3, later in the day in a winner-to-state, loser-out rematch.

A second-day charge earned Lyle sophomore Tyler Austin second place in the WIAA/Dairy Farmers of Washington Class B Boys Golf Tournament in Bellingham, May 21-22.

His efforts, and those of teammates Matthew Palmer, Chad Myers, Jesse Spalding, Ryan Johnson and Randy McMurrin, helped the Cougars win their first district golf title (by five strokes over Bridgeport) in just their second year of competition.

A 14-2 Class B regional playoff loss to St. George's May 19 ended the baseball season for District 5 and Greater Columbia B League champion Lyle.

It was a first in the recorded history of the Columbia High School track and field program: boys and girls teams winning district championships in the same season.

The CHS boys ran away with the 2001 SW Washington District 4 2A title, piling up 89 points in the qualifying meet for state and a 23-point margin of victory over runnerup Castle Rock, in Castle Rock, on May 18.

In the girls team competition, it was a dead heat between White Salmon and Castle Rock. Each team scored 67 points to earn a share of the district championship.

Senior MaryAnn Graves and junior Teddy Davis led CHS's state qualifiers, winning four and three events respectively. Moreover, each athlete set new school records during the meet. Graves got hers in the 100-meter hurdles, breaking her year-old school and district meet record by .4 of a second. Davis landed his in the triple jump.

Daytime temperatures in the Inland Empire burned in the mid- to upper-80s May 25-26 and provided the conditions for two days of sizzling high school track and field competitions.

Klickitat County athletes distinguished themselves by winning seven individual state championships and 23 medals overall during the 2001 WIAA/Dairy Farmers of Washington 2A/1A/B Track and Field Championships at Woodward Field in Cheney, on the campus of Eastern Washington University.

And, in the team competition, the Columbia High girls captured their second straight second-place trophy in the 2A meet, earning a school record 55 points in seven different events.

CHS senior MaryAnn Graves came away from her final interscholastic competition with four first-place medals (giving her 10 total, seven firsts, in three years) and one state meet record: a 19-feet, 1-inch effort in defense of her long jump title.

Her four firsts -- she was the only athlete to win four open events -- netted CHS 40 points. Sophomore Kristin Janney, in her second state meet, provided the other 15 points , including five for her third-place showing in the triple jump (in which she set the school record earlier in the year).

White Salmon's boys team, led by junior Teddy Davis and senior Jacob Anderson, amassed 34.5 points, good for fifth place in final team standings. CHS missed a trophy by four points, or one fifth-place finish.

Both defended their state titles in the high jump and pole vault respectively in record-setting fashion on the second day of competition.

Davis, in his third state meet, didn't begin jumping until the bar was raised to 6 feet, 2 inches. But before he'd finished he had cleared 6-11 inches to blow away his competition (the runnerup dropped out after 6-4) and break his CHS record by an inch.

Anderson, also a third-year state competitor, equaled the two-year-old state meet mark, then established a new one by going 15-3.

Glenwood senior Jesse Dean had the only top of the podium finish among Klickitat County's many Class B athletes in attendance at the state championships.

And he had to wait nearly three hours before he got his first vault in. But he wasted precious little time (and needed just two attempts) to become the only vaulter to make 13-0 and clinch his second pole vault title in three years.

Klickitat won its first and possibly its last state Class B slowpitch softball trophy during the 2001 championships May 25-26 at Franklin Field in Spokane.

JUNE

And so it was written: Columbia High School's girls powerlifting team officially became a dynasty by winning its fourth state title in a row June 2 in Ephrata.

Led by the first-place finishes of seniors Hillary Rodgers and Danielle Stembridge, and sophomores Lisa Graves and Jessica Kinder, the CHS girls edged a team from Yakima's 4A Davis High School, 53-48.

Like brother, like sister. Shayne Arnold of Glenwood won the state high school championship in breakaway roping to earn her first berth in the National High School Finals Rodeo in Springfield, Ill. -- the same national competition her brother Casey qualified for the past two years.

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