Sports -- March 30, 2006

Published on Thu, Mar 30, 2006
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by Jack Kintner

?Blaine cruised to another league win Monday with a 3-0 one hitter against Nooksack in a game that almost spelled disaster for the Pioneer’s all-league lefty Bret Handy. In the bottom of the first inning Joe Paciorek, batting second, tagged a fastball about as hard as anyone can and hit Handy directly on his left elbow. Despite the loud thunk Handy managed to throw Paciorek out at first but was through for the day. He was taken to St. Joseph Hospital where x-rays turned out negative, but he was badly bruised and will miss at least a week’s playing time.
“He’s a good kid,” said assistant coach Jim Bleecker, “and besides not wanting to see anyone get hurt playing in sports, these two teams know each other pretty well.” They shared transportation to earlier games in Port Townsend.
Bleecker played a role in the game’s other incident that got the crowd buzzing when he and head coach Gary Clausen pulled Bleecker’s son Rob with one out in the seventh (and last) inning. Rob Bleecker had fashioned a no-hitter to that point despite walking the sacks full in the first inning weren’t happy with the decision.
Two factors overruled what might have been. First, the pitch count is an important limit to observe, said both Bleecker and Clausen. High school pitchers, especially this early in the year, are generally limited to about 70 throws in a game before relief is called in, but Rob was at 87 by the Blaine half of the sixth. In talking it over both coaches and their young star agreed that he could go back in to finish the game unless and until a man got on base in view of the second factor: the season is still young, and that strong right arm will be needed through Memorial Day. With the game safely in hand, the no-hitter was just a little too far out of reach if anyone got on base.
Bleecker got the first man out but walked the second batter. Enter Joe Paciorek, who promptly got the second out before giving up the lone Nooksack hit of the game to Dan Skillman. The next batter was struck out, stranding Skillman and preserving the shut-out for Bleecker who’s 3-0.
Blaine’s first encounter with Meridian happened Wednesday afternoon, March 29, after press time. Their next home appearance is Friday March 31 against a Lynden Christian. As of Tuesday, Blaine’s record is 4-2 over all and 3-0 in league play.

?Blaine track off like lightning

?On a day when almost all Blaine’s spring teams won their matches, Blaine’s track and field teams defeated both Lynden Christian and Mt. Baker by nearly identical scores. The girls won 76 to 58 for LC and 56 for the Mounties, and the boys won 72 to 53 for Mt. Baker and 51 for the Lyncs.
Blaine senior Jason Velasquez won the three dashes for the boy’s side with some blazing speed in the stretch, especially in the 200 where he edged Mt. Baker’s Brian Palmerton by exactly a half second in a personal best this season of 24.15 seconds. His time in the 100 meters was another personal best at 11.16 seconds and in the 400, once around the track, a very respectable one minute 34 seconds.
Douglas “Snoop Doug” Ramirez took the two individual distance races, the 800 and the metric mile (1600), with a combination of personal best times and strategy. In the 1600 he beat LC’s Martin by almost 25 seconds, but in the 800, twice around the track, he just nipped the second place finisher at the end. “I paced him for the last half lap,” said Ramirez, “and then just sprinted by him right at the end.” His winning time of 2:06.9 was just tenths of a second faster than the second place finisher who turned out to be ineligible, giving second place to Blaine’s Steven Fraser just 12 seconds back.
Tygr Cain, who seems to be about three inches taller this year than last, bounded over the 110 high hurdles in 18.17 seconds to win by a full half second, decisive at this distance. Cain finished a close second in the 300 low hurdles one second back at 46.43. He also got a second in a new event for him, the pole vault, at 10 feet six inches.
Sophomore Alex Bresnan won the triple jump with 35.7 feet, and just missed in two other field events. His high jump of five feet was two inches off from the winning height and in his favorite event, the long jump, his 18.2 feet was just four inches short of LC’s Tremaine’s winning mark. “I got some good hops,” he said. Like Tygr Cain, Bresnan’s no giant at 5’8” but his leaping ability will have him playing receiver on the gridiron next fall and guard for Dan Rucker’s killer B’s on the hardwood next winter.
The girls are already running fast enough to get to the state meet, according to coach Mike Grambo, and dominated the track events last Friday, winning seven firsts and two seconds out of 11 events. Senior Lacey Montgomery won both the 110 high hurdles and 300 low hurdles, the first by just under half a second and the second by just over a half second in 18.17 and 52.36 respectively. Freshman Breanna Olason won the 100 meters in 13.53 seconds, just 7/100s of a second ahead of LC’s Honcoop, winner of the 200 meter dash less than a second ahead of second place Jettie Wilce of Blaine. Julie Meaker won the 400 by a full second in 1:06.6, and Borderite Melissa Galbraith finished just six seconds back of the winner in the metric mile in a time of 5:53. Blaine won the four by 100 meter relay in 53.32 with Olason, Cassie Acidera, Jettie Wilte and Meeker, and the four by 400 with Breanna Olason, Acidera, Galbraith and Meeker.
In the field events Erin Lippie won another meet with a modest (for her) leap of just nine feet, and Alisha Fisher placed third with a seven-foot, six-inch vault. Both these girls are coming back from knee injuries and are taking it slow. Before that Lippie jumped to record heights in practice and as a freshman Fisher set a Blaine high school mark in the long jump (16 feet) that still stands. Nursing her knee, injured playing volleyball, she finished second in that event at 13 feet, seven inches.
Joanna Miller won the discus by an even 11 feet at 94-feet, three-inches, and senior Kim McLeod won the high jump (four-feet, six-inches) and triple (29-feet, nine-inches).
Blaine’s thinclads have five meets on the road until hosting these same two school on May 3 back at home.