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June 4, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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June 4, 2015
 

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Section 2 June 4, 2015 Cheney Free Press Medical Lake earns surprise 2nd place in 1A track Photo by Paul Delaney Medical Lake's Domenic Rehm won the 800-meter final over King's Andrew Ayers in Saturday's 1A state track championships at Eastern Washington University's Roos Field. Rehm also collected a victory in Friday's 1,600-meter run, joining teammate Tellas Johnson as winners of two events. As a team; the defending state champion Cardinals surprised many with a runner-up finish to the new champs from King's. Cards bring home five individual titles, all entrants earn medals By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter The Medical Lake boys' track team certainly got maximum output from its six entries in the 1A, 1B, 2B state track and field championships staged last weekend on Roos Field at Eastern Washington University. While they did not repeat as the state's top 1A team, the Cardinals were a surprisingly close second to King's High School of Seattle who won 88-56. The Northeast A League fared well with Riverside earning a surprise tie for third with Meridian, each with 39 points while Deer Park was 11th with 21 points. "(It was) much better than I thought," Medical Lake co-head coach Gene Blankenship said. He ini- tially penciled his team in at third place. Each of the Cardinal athletes came home with medals, but better yet, two earned individual state titles. The 4x100 relay team also won. Seniors Domenic Rehm and Tellas Johnson each mastered their respective disciplines. Rehm swept a pair of distance races - the 1,600 and 800-meter runs - elevating himself in the 800 after a runner- up in 2014. Johnson won the 100-meter dash and anchored his team of Dawson Lack, Jared Wright and Elijah Farmen in the 4x100 relay. He was runner-up in the 200. Rehm's win in the 800 was especially gratifying because his father, Myron, was able to break away See ML track page 8 Skillingstad captures two hurdle titles to lead Cheney at state KD Skillingstad By JOHN McCALLUM Editor A pair of stale titles he! ,ped the Cheney Hig Sch6ol girls track and field team to a sixth-place overall finish at the Star Track and Field 2A state meet May 28- 30 at Mr. Tahoma High School in Tacoma. KD Skillingstad turned in a time of 15.02 seconds to win the 100-meter hurdles on Friday, and then turned around Saturday to capture the 300-meter hurdle title with a time of 44.40. Both times were faster than her preliminary heat marks, and the time in the 300 was a season-bes for the sophomore. "KD was a beast," girls head coach Tom Stralser said. "She was tough as nails." Fellow sophomore Rylie Pease had a throw of 124 feet, 4 inches to place second in the jav- elin, while senior Jamie Bradley went 10-06 for sixth in the pole vault, rounding out Cheney's individual girls placers. Alsatta Bakana just missed making the finals in the 100-meter dash by 7/100ths of a Second, finishing 12th overall with a prelim time of 12.94. Skillingstad, Ally Jones, Bakana and Stephanie Assonken teamed for a sixth-place finish in the 4x100 relay with a time of 50.15. The team's previous best this season was 49.24 at the Dis- trict 5/6/7 championships May 22, a mark that would have tied them with second-place Belling- ham at Tacoma. The 4x400 team of Jones, Jolene Whiteley, Savannah Hyde and Katie McGourin posted a time of 4:13.48 for 12th overall, missing the finals by 6.52 seconds. On the boys' side, senior Steaven Zachman took third place in the 800 with a time of 1:56.65. Zachman's season best was a 1:56.16, turned in at the See CHS track page 8 Smedleys finish senior season in state tournament By AL STOVER S taff Reporter Cheney High School seniors Ryan and Katelynn Smedley finished their season - and high school tennis careers - at the 2A state tennis cham- pionships in Seattle, May 30. Ryan Smedley, in his first trip to state, lost a first-round match to Suncrest's Nishaant Limaye (6-1, 6-0). Boy's head coach Jesse Erick- son said Limaye got Ryan Smedley on the defensive early and controlled the match. "Ryan was playing well but when you get to state, it's a whole new competition," Er- ickson said. Ryan Smedley was eliminated from the tournament after his loss to Mark Morris" Riku Kusakabe (6-4, 6- 4). Erickson said Ryan Smedley was more aggressive and uti- lized good drop shots but could not "close it out. " "Although he didn't win, Ryan was happy with his per- formance," Erickson said. "He ended his See CHS tennis page 2 Lady Blackhawks set high bar in 2015 By JOHN McCALLUM Editor Of all the things the Cheney High School soft- ball team accomplished this year, one thing might have the most lingering effect. At least head coach Gary Blake hopes it will. "It was a hallmark year," Blake said Monday night, June 1. "They kind of set the standard for future players to aspire to." The Lady Blackhawks finished their 2015 cam- paign with a 19-3 overall record, 14-2 in the Great Northern League to earn the regular-season crown, a first for the program in its 23-year history. Cheney capped that accomplish- ment with another first - a District 7 title with an 8-3 win over Pullman on May 16, but missed a return to the 2A state tournament with a 6-0 loss to Ellensburg Julia Boyd of the Central Washington Athletic Conference in re- gionals. Blake wanted to reserve his best comments for the team's awards banquet tonight (June 4), but it's clear he's very proud of the Lady Blackhawks ac- complishments. Besides the two titles, Cheney had a very productive year from a statistics perspective. Overall the team had a .438 batting average. Soph- omore Rachel Barsness led the way with a .614 aver- age, followed by freshman Madison Kallsen (.541) and Megan Krantz (.508) and se- niors Adrianna Suiter (.463) and Julia Boyd (.403). "That's pretty darn out- standing," Blake said of the hitGng, adding that while Cheney's losing Suiter and Boyd to graduation, the Lady Blackhawks should be returning their top three hitters next year. Cheney turned in a .fielding percentage of .927, not the best he's ever had Blake said but "pretty darn good." The Lady Black- hawks pitching staff helped out defensively by posting a 3.57 earned run average. Boyd led the staff with a 2.64 ERA, striking out 156 batters while walking 36 and hitting just six in 106 innings ofwork, posting an overall record of 15-2. Cheney loses six se- niors to graduation this year: Boyd, Suiter, Chey- enne Hanson, Cheyenne Wright, Jeena Bushnell and Cassie Schliep, so the challenge for another See Lady Blackhawks page 8 Part of Spokane motorsports history gets dusted off at Festival of Speed By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter Had Tom Sneva's first venture to the India- napolis Motor Speedway to try to qualify for the Indy 500 ended as it did, who knows, the Eastern Washington State College graduate might have just kept teaching school. But he didn't let that failed 1973 trip back to the Brickyard sway his desire for speed that ultimately provided him a place in history as the 1983 win- ,,,.,,%>w..:;,,. ''  ner of the ....  .... " .... , :500.  What is the ,,ii ' ' " i :i connec- tion to today? The car he drove back then, a true local from- scratch creation, returns to its home and will be on display to the public for the first time in de- cades this weekend at the Spokane Festival of Speed Historical Races at Spo- kane County Raceway. The event is a fund- raiser for the Spokane Par- kinson's Disease Resource Center and runs June 6- 7 on the 2.25-mile road course. Aside from the red No. 39 Sneva drove, dozens of other vintage sports cars of all sizes and stripes will both race and be on display. It's a remarkable story with an unlikely ending that was illustrated in a news release from event organizers who outlined the history of this car. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Spokane was a hotbed of motorsports with fans packing the Fairgrounds Speedway to watch the likes of Sneva cut his racing teeth. One of the people that helped Sneva along was car builder Jim Tipke who was both a innovator and a sure genius when it came to building open- wheel race cars. Tipke's successes were legendary, with his rear- engine cars coming out of nowhere to claim big victories at places like the Minnesota State Fair with Norm Ellefson driving. Backed by local inves- tors, Tipke went to work building a car that he hoped would make it to Indy in 1972, but the de- but was delayed a year. "There were all kinds of problems, number one (was) the funding from a group of private inves- tors, so the car did not get finished in time," Sneva said in the release. And when they did finally get to Indy, all the hard work, in large part done by Tipke, lasted just a handful of laps when a burned piston wouldn't allow the speed needed to be competitive in a time when racing giants like Andretti, Foyt and Unser ruled the 2.5-mile oval. The crew loaded up the car, drove it back to Spokane and put it away in storage. And there it remained See Crunch Time page 2