Sports -- May 20, 2004

Published on Thu, May 20, 2004
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SPORTS
by Jack Kintner

Track records set on the way to state

Blaine sophomore Erin Lippie exchanged her vaulting pole last week for one 10 “ longer and a tad stiffer, and with it propelled herself to a new school and league meet record of 10 feet seven inches, almost a foot higher than her previous personal best.

Senior vaulter Kimberly Harmening tied Lynden Christian’s Riley de Hoog at nine feet for second and tied her own personal best as well.
Kit Schumann, in perhaps the best display of athletic courage since Nick Jordan faced down the state champion Meridian football team last fall, proceeded to up his own school mark set earlier in the season after shattering his pole on a practice run.

That’s like hearing the ice crack when you’re skating miles from shore. Not an encouraging development.

Schumann, who only seems to have mishaps when practicing, vaulted 11 feet and then passed until the bar reached 13, which he sailed over like a Barry Bonds home run. He kept on vaulting, clearing 13-6, 14-0 and finally 14-3 for a personal best, a Blaine school record and the meet victory.

The third thinclad from Blaine to mount the top step at the winner’s podium was senior Randy Newton, who won the 110 hurdles going away in 16:05 seconds. Newton had the next runner by almost a step and the rest of the field by over a step by the time he reached the first row of hurdles. He, along with our pole vaulters, will acquit himself well at tomorrow’s district finals in Sultan, to be followed by the three-day state meet at Eastern Washington University in Cheney that begins a week from today.

Fast pitch closes out season

Blaine’s fastpitch team closed out its regular season with the best finish in school history, third place in the league, and a record 14 wins.
Their latest was a one-hit gem by Sirita Lawson last week against Lynden Christian as the Lady Bs prevailed 6-0. Lawson, who also went 2-3 at the plate with one RBI, pitched a no-hitter into the fifth inning when Lynden Christian’s Jenna Vanderwoude got their lone hit, a single.

Blaine’s Kaylyn Bird went 2-3 with two RBI’s, and Lacey cheatwood and Alisa Burk each went 2-4.

Coach Rob Adams takes his charges to Sedro Woolley on Saturday for the district tournament. The two-day state tournament in Wenatchee begins a week from tomorrow.

Season ends on scrappy note

After dropping a close game to undefeated (17-0) Sultan last Friday, Blaine’s boys needed to get by Granite Falls the next day in order to make it into the state tournament.

But in a game decided more by spleens than feet, Blaine lost two players and coach Kai Edwards to red cards before losing the game itself 2-1.
Granite Falls, whose opinion of Blaine seems similar to that once held by the good people of Lynden, scored toward the end of the first half when Blaine was called for tripping. Granite Falls was awarded a penalty kick that slid by the otherwise outstanding junior keeper Eli Dugger.

The rough play in the match seems unfortunately to have become typical for a Blaine - Granite Falls match-up in this or any sport. Things reached a new low when Luke Baldwin went up for a header and ended up getting slammed to the turf by a Granite Falls defender, his arm rather firmly planted on the back of Baldwin’s head.

In the rather energetic discussion that followed between Baldwin and his opponent, each was joined by a teammate, making a foursome, which may have been what made the referee (who missed the foul completely) think of cards.

Baldwin and Chris Crane, the team mate who had joined him, each earned a red card for their troubles. One of the offending Granite Falls players was also carded but the other by some unfathomable reasoning was ignored.

The man advantage that gave to Granite Falls resulted in a rebound goal seconds later. With it came the victory and a trip to the state tournament. To be fair, the Borderites had several other scoring chances that they failed to convert, but when the officials lose control of play in such a highly competitive situation, attempts to regain it by penalizing a player while ignoring the fouls committed by his opponent can only have bad results for everyone. Handing out ejections unevenly only compounds the error, Granite Falls’ pyrrhic victory having become tainted with the smell of unfair advantage.

Blaine coach Kai Edwards earned the fourth and last red card of the evening, and his second for the season, for rightly questioning the official’s handling of the situation. Boys will, after all, be boys, which is why men are hired to officiate, one presumes.

Edwards and the entire boys team is to be commended for a strong finish after a dismal start, ending up at 8-11 and fifth in league play after starting out 2-6. Senior midfielder Brendan Mulholland was named to the first team all league, and seniors Brad Weltzer and Zach Freeman and Baldwin, a junior, were named to the second team all-league squad. With only five seniors leaving, Edwards looks to have even more fun building a competitive squad for next year in a new league that does not include Granite Falls.