Community notebook: Evergreen Curling Club team qualifies for nationals

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

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A women's team from Evergreen Curling Club has earned a spot at the U.S. Curling Clubs National Championship by winning the Mountain Pacific playdowns over the weekend in Beaverton.

This is the second time the team, which includes three Clark County residents, has qualified for the national tournament for curling clubs around the country. The team's skipper, or captain, is Eleanor Robertson of Vancouver. Other members of the team are Yvonne Perceval of Brush Prairie, Kathy Placek of Vancouver, and Kendall Speten-Hansen of Portland.

The team went 4-1 in round-robin play on Friday and Saturday to qualify for the championship match. Evergreen Curling Club defeated the San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club entry 10-2 in the title match.

"Our last game was our best game. We pulled it all together," Robertson said. "We worked hard, we practiced a lot. Now we're very proud to say we're the first group from our club to hang a banner at our new home."

Evergreen Curling Club opened its new facility in Beaverton in December. The women's regional included six teams. One of 10 regions, the Mountain Pacific Curling Association includes 17 clubs from Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. Washington, with Seattle's Granite Curling Club, is its own region.

The USA Curling Club Nationals for women and men take place March 2-9 at Exmoor Curling Club in Highland Park, Ill.

This week the Evergreen Curling Club's ice will be used for the men's club regional playdown. Eighteen teams, including three representing the host club, are entered in the men's MoPac playdowns.

For details, visit www.evergreencurling.com.

Accomplished runner to speak in Vancouver

Marla Runyan, the first legally blind athlete to compete for the U.S. Olympic team in track and field, will speak in Vancouver on Feb. 2. She is the keynote speaker for the Northwest Association for Blind Athletes dinner and auction. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at Pearson Air Museum.

"She's definitely an inspiring person," NWABA founder and president Billy Henry said.

In the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, Runyan raced in the 1,500 and the 5,000 meters. She has won multiple national championships and been a top American finisher at several major marathons.

Based in Vancouver, the Northwest Association for Blind Athletes provides opportunities for blind and visually impaired people to participate in physical activity and sports. Since its founding in 2007, the organization has provided sports opportunities to more than 1,000 individuals in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

Among the programs on the 2013 calendar, in June the NWABA will host a national championship goalball tournament at McLoughlin Middle School in Vancouver. Goalball is a paralympic team sport for visually impaired athletes.

For more information about the organization and the sports it offers, or to reserve tickets for the Feb. 2 fundraising dinner, visit www.nwaba.org or call 360-448-7254.

High school hockey team wins

The North team defeated South 5-4 on Sunday in a Winterhawks Varsity Hockey game at the Winterhawks Skating Center in Beaverton.

Jimmy Scott, who attends Union High School in Vancouver, scored twice and had two assists for the North team. Logan Anderson, from Columbia River, scored the go-ahead goal with 2:30 left in the game. From there the North withstood a six-on-three opportunity for South.

Jacob Bishop from Prairie High School had two assists for the North, and Alex Stoneham of Union had one assist.

Winterhawks Varsity Hockey is a new league for high school ice hockey players.

Little League reminder

Many area Little Leagues this week and next are signing up players for the 2013 season. Parents can register their players for most leagues either online or in person.

A list of registration opportunities is included in the Community Sports Scoreboard.

Community Sports news is published each Tuesday. To submit items, send email to paul.danzer@columbian.com, or call 360-904-4632.