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That Was Then...

(Part II, April-June)

APRIL

Going, going...

A unanimous decision by the White Salmon Valley School District's board of directors condemned Columbia High School's 57-year-old grandstand.

The board voted to demolish the facility that one provided spectator seating for local athletic events and replace it with an aluminum grandstand system that will feature seating for almost 1,000 and a shed-type roof.

Superintendent Dale Palmer closed the grandstand in February 2002 in response the concerns over liability. He said the district planned to issue separate bids for demolition and construction.

Estimated cost of the new grandstand was put at $450,000.

On top of the podium.

Fifteen-year-old Vic Wild won his first national snowboard title during the 2002 U.S. Amateur Snowboarding Association national championships on Mammoth Mountain, Calif.

Wild, who competed in the Youth Men division, took first in the slalom on the first day of competition.

The White Salmon teen followed that up the next day with a second-place effort in the giant slalom that gave him a 437.5-point margin of victory.

The U.S. junior national team member's overall finish was a step up on the podium; last year, he was second in the alpine combined.

Girls soccer gets nod.

School board members voted unanimously to add soccer to Columbia High School's fall-sports offerings to girls.

The decision called for the program to commence in the fall of 2003 on two conditions: that at least 15 girls turn out, and that players' parents provide funding for uniforms, coaches and travel for the first two years of operation.

Meet records fall.

Columbia High's boys track and field team defended its Bruin Booster Invitational title, thanks to three record-setting performances.

Seniors Teddy Davis and Keith McMillen, and CHS's 4x400-meter relay team established new meet standards to help Columbia hold off Estacada, Ore., in the nine-team competition.

Davis won three events and placed second in a fourth to pick up his second consecutive Male Athlete of the Meet award. His winning time in the 110-meter high hurdles set a record by .03 seconds.

McMillen broke the record in the 400 by nearly 2 seconds, then ran the anchor leg for the 4x400 relay team that also featured freshman Matt Lovrin and seniors Connor Williams and Adam Neff.

The foursome shaved .15 seconds off the meet record. A headwind down the home stretch prevented the boys from beating the school record of 3:29.0.

In the girls field, CHS junior Kristin Janney took three firsts and a second on her way to Female Athlete of the Meet honors.

Her point total accounted for more than a third of the Bruins' season-high 90 points, which was good enough for second place behind Estacada.

Also of note were record-setting performances by Glenwood seniors Chelsy Wheelhouse (discus) and Jenna Dean (javelin).

A stylish finish.

Columbia High's boys soccer team shut out Castle Rock for the second time and finished the 2002 campaign with its first two-match winning streak.

Moreover, the Bruins scored a school record seven goals in their record-tying third victory.

CHS's first league win of the season came against Stevenson the week before. The Bruins outscored the Bulldogs 2-1 in a shootout to earn their second triumph overall.

Caught and passed. Three days after setting a Bruin Booster Invitational record, Columbia High's 4x400-meter relay team was at it again.

This time the foursome of Matt Lovrin, Connor Williams, Adam Neff and Keith McMillen broke the school record of 3:29.0 it had been pursuing for two weeks.

The quartet's winning time of 3:28.11 came on CHS's home track, and was 21 seconds faster than that of second-place Stevenson's.

MAY

Made to be broken.

Columbia High junior Kristin Janney vaulted 35 feet, 7-3/4 inches on her second jump during the S.W. Washington Track and Field Classic in Woodland to set a new school record.

On her first try, Janney jumped 34-11-1/2 to tie her own school record.

She extended the mark to 35-9-1/2 the following week during the league meet, during which she surpassed 17 feet in the long jump for the first time.

Members of the boys team also enjoyed last-season success.

Senior Mike Wild set a personal record in the discus (151-1) and equaled his day-old PR in the shot put (47-7-1/2).

Junior Adam Neff (400) and freshmen Matt Lovrin (800) and Wes Blankenship (discus) also registered PRs during the meet.

It's been awhile. For the first time in four years, Columbia High's boys won the Trico track and field championship.

The Bruins piled up 158 points to win the title by 42 points.

Senior Teddy Davis won four events, and classmates Keith McMillen and Mike Wild set PRs in their premier events.

McMillen won the 100 and 400, while Wild finished second in the discus and shot put.

A solid combination.

Glenwood/Trout Lake edged Lyle, 4-3, to win its first Yakima Valley District 5 baseball championship and berth to the state regional playoffs.

G/TL, in its first season as a combined team, got a four-hit, complete-game performance from freshman David Wasgatt in the district championship game in Naches.

On 2 regionals.

Columbia High was denied its fourth S.W. Washington District 4 baseball championship in five years in the district title game played at Chehalis' Bearcat Stadium.

Trico Division champion Ridgefield beat CHS, 8-4, in the final. It was the Spudders' fourth consecutive victory over the Bruins.

However, both teams advanced to regional tournament play -- the last step in the road to the Final Four in Yakima.

To their scattered bodies go.

Victories over Port Townsend and Blaine earned Columbia High the Northwest Region championship and a berth in the Class 2A Final Four in Yakima.

The Bruins edged Port Townsend 3-1 in their regional opener, then prevailed 9-6 over Blaine in the final. The wins resulted in CHS's first regional championship and state Final Four appearance since 1999.

In track and field, Columbia High's boys team successfully defended its S.W. Washington 2A title, while the girls team finished an unexpected third.

During the district meet, CHS records fell in the boys 4x400 relay (3:27.4) and the boys 110 high hurdles (Teddy Davis, 15.46)

In addition, junior Kristin Janney lengthened her triple jump record (36-4) and set a personal record in the long jump (17-5-3/4).

All told, 11 CHS athletes -- seven boys, four girls -- qualified for the state meet the following weekend at Eastern Washington University in Cheney.

They came oh-so close.

Eight points, one second-place finish was the difference between the Columbia High boys team's second-place finish and its first state track and field championship.

In the final issue, Mount Baker prevailed over CHS, 59-52, in the two-day state 2A meet in Cheney.

Columbia's second-place spot on the podium was a significant improvement over its previous highest finish of fifth in 1998 and 2001.

Highlights for CHS included senior Mike Wild's first victory in a state track and field competition. He won the discus with a meet-record throw of 166 feet, 4 inches.

Senior Teddy Davis won his third straight high jump title. He also set a school record in winning the triple jump (44-1-1/4). Moreover, his 23 points led the Bruins in scoring.

CHS's 4x400 relay team also contributed to the Bruins' success.

The quartet of Adam Neff, Matt Lovrin, Connor Williams and Keith McMillen finished second in a time of 2:26.2.

Columbia's girls placed a surprising sixth in their competition, led by Kristin Janney.

The junior accounted for a meet-best 28 (of CHS's 35.25) points, winning the triple jump--her first state title--and adding a second and two fourths.

Janney leaped a school record and meet record-tying distance of 37-3/4 on the second day of the meet after setting a PR in the long jump 18-1/4 on the first.

Among the best.

The state's 2002 B class included 10 of Klickitat County's best track and field athletes.

Trout Lake senior Nathan Dick won the 400-meter run at the finish and junior Spencer Paxson rallied in the last 20 meters to claim victory in the 3200 run.

Dick also took third in the 200 and ran the anchor leg for the Mustangs' sixth-place 4x400 relay. As a team, Trout Lake placed sixth.

Glenwood athletes produced two state titles--by senior Chelsy Wheelhouse in the girls discus and by freshman Bron Tomeo in the boys pole vault.

Wheelhouse's margin of victory was two inches. Tomeo's effort continued Glenwood's domination of the vault.

Lyle junior Lindsey Blaine edged the defending state champion, and her chief rival, Jenna Dean of Glenwood, by almost two feet to capture her first state javelin title.

A bit of hardware.

Columbia High brought home a trophy from the state Class 2A baseball championships in Yakima, but it wasn't the one it wanted.

That's because, when the Bruins needed to play their best baseball of the season, they didn't.

Columbia lost its state opener to top-rated Ephrata, 14-4, then fell to Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls), 11-2, in the consolation final. The Bruins ended their season with a 21-6 record.

Three and out.

Klickitat's appearance in the inaugural Class B fastpitch softball tournament lasted three games.

An 8-1 consolation semifinal loss to Asotin eliminated the Vandals from trophy contention.

Junior pitcher Jaecee Ramsay, who struck out 10 and allowed two hits in Klickitat's 3-2 opening-day victory, finished with 25 strikeouts in three games.

It's in the hole.

Juniors Tyler Austin and Matthew Palmer shot a combined score of 343 to earn Lyle a seventh-place finish in the two-day state Class B golf tournament in Pasco.

In his third state tournament, Austin finished in a tie for eighth place, with a two-day total of 164. He was District 5 medallist and state runnerup in 2001.

Palmer, the 2002 district champion, ended up 21st at 179 in his second state tourney. His career-low 82 at district helped the Cougars defend their title.

JUNE

Five and alive.

Going into 2002's state powerlifting meet in White Salmon, Columbia High coach Larry McCutcheon expressed misgivings about CHS's defending champion girls team's chances of retaining its title.

All those doubts were erased when the final tabulation of points came in in favor of Columbia, by a narrow 52-50 margin over archrival Davis High of Yakima.

Sophomore Anna Vargas, and juniors Lisa Graves, Shelly Blackmer and Crystal Blankenship led the way for CHS, winnng their respective weight classifications.

The four were among eight CHS lifters who put up personal record weight totals during the daylong competition.

Junior Mike Wild picked up his first state title in leading the CHS boys to a fifth-place finish.

No chads here.

Half of 2002's Trico Division baseball player of the year award went to Columbia High sophomore Brandon Verley.

It was Verley's first such award. However, he was an All-Trico first-teamer for the second year in a row.

First-time first-teamers for CHS were seniors Hayden Weiler, Chris Peck and Bryan Charters, and junior Eric Crause.

In softball, junior Mallory Holtman received All-Trico first team recognition for the first time. Junior Crystal Blankenship repeated as an honorable mention selection.

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