Community notebook: Evergreen Storm runners qualify for Junior Olympics

Local club plans to take more than 20 athletes to nationals

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

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A total of 29 runners from the Evergreen Storm Track Club have qualified for the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics Cross Country Championships.

The Storm had three teams qualify for nationals with top-five finishes during Saturday's Region 13 championship meet at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.

Evergreen Storm founder Scott Slamp said the club plans to take more than 20 runners including teams in three age groups to the national meet on Dec. 14 in San Antonio, Texas.

The 13-14 age group girls and boys teams led the way for the Storm, each taking second place in team scoring behind Bowerman Athletic Club of Oregon. Both teams finished ahead of the team that beat it at the association-level meet.

Runners who finished in the top 30 qualify to run at the nationals. Runners in the top 20 earned regional medals.

Evergreen's Miguel De La Melena placed fourth in the 4,000-meter race for boys ages 13-14. His time was 13 minutes and 31 seconds. Sam Johnson (14th in 13:50) and Kyle Cooper (15th in 13:51) also qualified for nationals individually.

Emily Wilson placed ninth in the 13-14 girls 4,000-meter race with a time of 15 minutes, 11 seconds. Serena Smith (13th in 15:25) also medaled. Ashlin O'Neill, Carlee Reed and Kaylee Meritt also qualified for nationals individually.

In the boys ages 15-16 race, Jordan Moore placed sixth for the Storm. His time over 5,000 meters was 16:35. Sam Garvin placed 22nd in 17:57.

In the 3,000-meter race for boys ages 11-12, Evergreen's Gabe Dinnel finished third in 10:43.In the 3,000-meter race for girls 9-10, both Storm runners medaled. Sydnee Dyer earned medals 10th in 12:55 and Olivia Dinnel 17th in 13:13.

One Pop Warner team wins at regionals

One Pop Warner football team from Clark County won its regional playoff game on Saturday in northern California. No teams from Southwest Washington qualified for the Pop Warner Super Bowl tournament in Florida.

The Evergreen Bulldogs Junior Pee Wee team (ages 8-11) beat the Douglas Tigers of Minden, Nev., 24-14. The Division 3 game was played in Morgan Hill. Details from the game were not reported to The Columbian.

Four other games involved teams from Clark County, including two Division 2 playoff games for a spot in the Pop Warner Super Bowl. In the Pee Wee Division (ages 9-12) game at Redwood City, Calif., the East County Jets lost 28-0 to Brentwood, Calif.

Jets coach Larry Humble reported that Brentwood's team had more seventh-graders than his team, which took 12 sixth-graders, two seventh-graders and one fifth-grader to the game. Brentwood led 16-0 at halftime on a pair of passing touchdowns. The Jets drove to the Brentwood 5-yard line to open the second half.

"We are very proud of the way our boys competed against a very good and well coached team from California," Humble said. "They battled all the way to the final whistle, which is testament to their character."

A first-year Pop Warner team, the Pee Wee Jets included students from Liberty and Skyridge middle schools.Also in Redwood City, the East County Junior Pee Wee team lost 33-0 to East Palo Alto. And Bayside (Calif.) beat the Vancouver Warriors 44-13 in a Junior Midget (ages 10-13) Division 3 game.

Two locals win titles at pickleball nationals

Enrique Ruiz of Washougal and Christine Barksdale of Vancouver won gold medals at the USA Pickleball Association National Tournament. The tournament was played Nov. 11-17 in Buckeye, Ariz.

Ruiz defended his national open singles championship, defeating Wesley Gabrielsen of McMinnville, Ore., in the championship match at the Sun City Festival Complex.

Barksdale won gold medals in the women's singles for ages 35 and older and in mixed doubles for ages 19 and older. She plays at the Columbia River Pickleball Club.

Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court with the net lowered to 34 inches at the center. The polymer ball is slightly smaller than a whiffle ball.With over 600 registered players, USAPA Nationals V included players from 39 states and several countries.

Area equestrian headed to Oklahoma State

photoKendall Pedigo, a senior at King’s Way Christian High School in Vancouver, has signed a letter of intent to compete for the equestrian team at Oklahoma State. (Contributed photo)

Kendall Pedigo, a senior at King's Way Christian High School in Vancouver, has signed a letter of intent to compete for the equestrian team at Oklahoma State.

A district high-point champion competing for the Prairie High School equestrian team last spring, Pedigo has also been a successful junior competitor, focusing on hunter and jumper events.

In high school last season, Pedigo was a district champion in dressage, working rancher and jumping events, as well as part of a first-place drill team. At state she placed second in dressage and third in jumping and was part of a runner-up drill team.Hockinson graduate Lindsey Morris is a junior on this year's Oklahoma State team.

Local high school hockey team wins

Alex Stoneham of Union High School scored twice and had one assist on Sunday, helping Team Gaustad to a 7-4 win over Team Deadmarsh in a Winterhawks Varsity Hockey game in Beaverton.

Goalie Ashley Pham of Skyview played a strong game for the team of players from Southwest Washington and north Portland against a team of players from westside high schools.

Austin Martin of Hockinson had a goal and assist, and Jimmy Scott of Union had an assist.The team's next game is at 8 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Winterhawks Skating Center in Beaverton.

CCRC's Turkey Trot draws 200 runners

The Clark County Running Club's annual Turkey Trot 5-K drew more than 200 participants on Saturday. The run started and finished at Marine Park. Results for the 124 participants who wore timing chips are in the Community Sports Scoreboard. The club also gave away 20 turkeys at the event.