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See lains Little League "Game of the Week" on page 10. Section 2 May 26, 2016 Cheney Free Press II Photo by John McCallum Courtney Johnstone looks on as Maddie Kallsen slides safely across the plate in last Saturday's state-qualifying game with visiting Selah. Kallsen's run proved to be the last for the Lady Blackhawks this season as they fell 9-2 to the Vikings. By JOHN McCALLUM Editor It took three days and two cities, but inexperience finally gave way to experience in the 2A state qualifying softball game between Cheney and lah. --c"' ~eney High Lady-Black- hawks, with just one senior and one junior on the varsity roster, ended their season Monday afternoon with a 9-2 loss to a Selah Vikings squad with five semors and five juniors. The game started in Cheney Saturday afternoon, but was eventually finished in Ephrata Monday afternoon after se- vere rain and lightning storms forced Saturday's postponement. Cheney head coach Gary Blake said he figured three of Selah's runs were actually earned. The rest stemmed from the differences between the two squads. "The other ones we were respon- sible for," Blake said. "It was youth and inexperience, plain and simple." Selah opened the scoring on Mad- dy Zerr's one-out, two-run home run in the top of the first, only one of which was earned when shortstop Rachel Barsness's throw to first base to get the leadoff runner got away from her and sailed over Courtney Johnstone's reach. In the fourth, the Vikin g~S loaded the bases with no outs, and after a fielder's choice putout at home, scored on an infield hit, a walk, wild pitch and another throw to first that scooted away from Johnstone down the right field line. See Cheney softball page 10 r crushi Medical Lake loses extra-inning game in 1A tournament opener By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter Medical Lake may try its best to lobby with the Washington State Interscho- lastic Activities Association -- surely in vain - to move all future state tournaments out of Yakima. The city has been a house of horrors and deep disappointment for Cardi- nal teams in 2016, the most recent coming last Saturday in a 3-2, nine-tuning loss to the Hoquiam Grizzlies in the opening round of the 1A state tournament at Davis High School. The first dose of disap- pointment came March 3 when Medical Lake watched a lead slip away in a 47-45 loss to Kings High School in the opening round of the 1A state basketball tournament at the Sun Dome. Hoquiam, the defending state champions, rallied from a 2-0 deficit, scoring the tying run in the bottom of the seventh, and winning in walk-off fashion on a passed ball in their half of See ML baseball page 10 um Cheney boys, girls squads sending strong contingents to Tacoma By JOHN McCALLUM Editor Cheney High's track and field teams have an opportu- nity at this weekend's state track meet to do something they haven't done collectively in several years -- the chance to make a little noise when it comes to podium placement as a team. Both Blackhawks boys' and girls' squads will be send- ing decent numbers to the Star State 2A/3A/4A track and field meet this Tliursday - Saturday at Mo/u'tf Tahoma High School. Both teams will be sending six to compete in individual events, along with two relay teams for the boys and one for the girls. "We're going to get to state and score some points," Black- hawks girls' head coach Tom Stralser said. Alsatta Bakana and KD Skillingstad led the girls on the track at the District 5/6/7 State Qualifying meet in Prosser that took place under less than ide- al weather conditions. Bakana won the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.93 seconds, and fin- ished second in the 100-meters in 12.77. Skillingstad captured the 300-meter hurdles title in Bennett t right pproach for impending contract talks 46.15, and finished second in the 100 hurdles in 15.74. The 4x100 relay team of Ally Jones, Skillingstad, Baka- na and Stephanie Assonken took first with a time of 50.21. In the field, Rylie Pease used a throw of 130 feet to capture By AL STOVER Staff Reporter Even with popular players like Mar- shawn Lynch, who rode off into the sun- set after he announced his retirement, and Ricardo Lockette, who hung up his pads due to injuries, Seattle Seahawks fans have a few reasons to smile next year, one of them be- ing defensive lineman Michael Bennett. Although Bennett was not at the team's voluntarily training program, he will practice alongside his team in July. In an interview after his Ocean Health Fest event, Bennett said he is not thinking of holding out for train- ing camp. While he wants a new deal Bennett has another goal in mind -- to help his team win another Super Bowl championship. Last season the Seahawks were one win away from competing in their third consecutive Super Bowl -- that is until they lost to the Carolina Panthers 34-21 in the NFC Divisional playoffs, a loss Bennett said "left a nasty taste in my mouth." He's also looking to earn "Defensive MVP of the Year" honors in 2016. Bennett's tenure with the Seahawks began in 2009 when he was picked up undrafted as a free agent. The team put him on waivers and he was picked up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He returned to Seattle in 2013, signing a one-year contract, and has become a vital member of the team's defense. He signed a'four-year contract extension ir~ 2014 worth $28.5 million with $16 mil- lion guaranteed. In the 2015 season he had a career high of 52 combined tackles - 19 as- sisted and 33 solo - and 10 sacks. He also played in his first Pro Bowl. Bennett's contract runs out in 2017. His mindset is a change from last season when he was contemplating holding out for contract renegotiations. In an interview with "ESPN's Brock and Salk Show," Bennett said his "wife wouldn't let him" hold out on his contract. I think Bennett is taking a good approach in this situation. Last year Bennett's teammate, strong safety Kam Chancellor, drew the ire of fans and critics when he held out for contract negotiations, and missed training camp and the first two games of the season. The Seahawks were also in negotiations for a contract extension with quarterback Russell Wilson, who was at the end of his rookie deal. The Seahawks were able to resolve the contract extension with Wilson and it seems to be paying off. In 2015, Wil- son had his best season stat-wise and broke numerous Seahawks single season passing records, including most passing yards (4,024), most passing touchdowns (34) and highest passer rating (110.1). He became the first Seattle quarterback to throw for over 4,000 yards in a season, the javelin, Zo.e Lamb and and ".fhfish.ed the year with the highest ...... Makayla Miller went 1-2 at passer rating in the NFL. 10-06 and 9-06 respectively to As for Chancellor, his decision to advance in the pole vault while return to the team after missing Lhe first Jones assured her chance to two games probably helped save his See Cheney track page 10 See Crunch Time page 10 State track now 20 years at EWU FROM STAFF AND NEWS SERVICE REPORTS When another site fell through just months be- fore the 1996 state 1A, 1B and 2B track and field championships were to be held, a group from Eastern Washington Uni- versity stepped up and rescued the event. That was in 1996 and EWU has been home to this event that features schools from the state's smallest classifications ever since and in 2016 mark the 20th year in Cheney, This year's event takes place May 26-28, and will also be 20 years un- der the direction of meet manager Jay Rydell, who retired from the Central Valley School District in 1997 as a coach and ad- ministrator. A small core of meet officials have been a part of all 20 of the previous state meets in Chenev. They include starter Russ Brantner, head umpire Dale Jones, javelin head judge Ruth Van Kuren and high jump head judge Jun Yagawa have all been a part of each meet, with EWU sports information director Dave Cook serv- ing as entries/results co- ordinator. All will assist again in 2016. Photographer Ron Swords would have also been in that 20-year club, but was unable to assist in 2015 while recovering from a leg injury. He will be back again in 2016. See State track page 3 EWU photo Retired educator Jay Rydell has been the meet director for all 20 years EWU has hosted. surprises Cardinals send handful of athletes to state with big goals By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter Medical Lake track co-head coach Gene Blan- kenship said there were no shocking results at last week's District 7 track meet at Newport. He hopes, and thinks, perhaps, that his athletes who are headed to this weekend's State 1A, 1B and 2 B track meet at Eastern Washington Uni- versity's Roos Field could just be the surprise. "Everything hap- pened just about the way we thought," Blanken- ship said of the meet that ended just before the rains came. See ML track page 3