Six Clark County Special Olympics teams win gold medals at regionals

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter



Six teams from Clark County won gold medals during the Special Olympics Washington Southwest Regional Basketball Tournament.

The tournament took place Feb. 1 in Bremerton. It involved about 1,200 players on 106 teams, including 14 teams from Clark County. The six gold-medal winning teams from Clark County will compete at the state-level basketball tournaments, which take place Feb. 28 through March 2 in Wenatchee.

The Blue Sonics won gold in the Masters 6 division. Players for the Blue Sonics were: Rachel Akins, Daniel Baragary, Jason Baumgartner, Jordan Brown, Tim Cook, Jerrod Crowson, Joseph Dawson, Casey Ellison, Jeffrey Isensee, Estevan Rosales and Jackie Winters. The Blue Sonics were coached by Elizabeth Francis, assisted by Nick Barclay and JR Vela.

The Bobcats won gold in the Seniors 4 divisions. Players for the Bobcats were: Daniel Barich, Meridian Bonser, Johnathon Chidester, Thomas Chidwick, Justin Dalton, Mariah Davis, Preston Manor, Lizzy McIntyre, Alex Trimble, Fiona Wimber and Bryanna Zychowicz. The Bearcats were coached by Brandi Zychowicz and assistant coaches Tiffeny Jordan and Brandon Cook.

The Bulldogs won gold in the Masters 4 division. Players for the Bulldogs were: Matthew Baker, Adam Barr, Jason Downey, Russ Jones, Peter Li, Sam McIntyre, David Meliza, Scott Shivvers, Eric Stage and Michael Vanoni. The Bulldogs were coached by Jon Wimber.

The Eagles won gold in the Masters 5 division. Players for the Eagles were: Alex Ables, Andrew Hooper-Jester, Becky Johnson, Lawrence Joslin, Michael Krecklow, Heidi Moss, Tim Rogers, Deanna Sanders, Robert Schmitz, Samantha Spencer, Sean Starr and Aundrew Virelles. The Eagles were coached by Tonya Galliher.

The Falcons won gold in the Juniors Skills Team 1 division. Players for the Falcons were: Jordan Fallon, Mallory Hamilton, Megan Henderson, Anthony Madrazo, Nathaniel Madrazo, Eli Malik-Byers and Kael Romero. The Falcons were coached by Emily Hamilton and assistant coach Kodi Anderson.

The Wizards won gold in the Masters 1 division. Players for the Wizards were: Patrick Blue, Michael Bronson, Michael Cook, Nathan Ellis, Santos Lopez, Levi Neil, Ivan Soltero and Andrew Stekhuizen. The Wizards were coached by Audrey Stekhuizen and assistant coach Christopher Stekhuizen.

Five teams from Clark County won bronze medals: The Bearcats in the Skills Team 3 division, the Cougars in Masters 7, the Huskies in Juniors 1-2, and both the Rollin Cats in and the Rebels in the Skills Team 2 division.

Players for the Bearcats were JB Becker, Tina Colantuono, David Cralley, Rebekah Galliher, Tori Lyster, Bill Sheadel and Greg Werner. The Bearcats were coached by Brenda Wildman and assistant Taska Werner.

Players for the Cougars were Jacob Blunt, Jolene Brown, Sam Dost, Calvin Ertler, Shawn Hassig, Anjuli Heath, Jacob Lattanzi, Rachael Quattlebaum and Michael Suire. The Cougars were coached by Brian Zylstra and assistant coach Christina Lanham.

Players for the Huskies were Anna Gatlin, Kristopher Gatlin, McKenna Gaddis, Charlie Malik-Byers, Sierra McIntyre, Logan Stromberg and Sarah Trimble, The Huskies were coached by Shayla McIntyre and assistant coach Jackie Trimble.

Players for the Rollin Cats were Jeremy Haliski, Susan Kunkel, Dusty Lang, Charles Rymer, Lori Steed, Mark Trenda, Hannah Wampach and Glenda Huhtala. The Rollin Cats were coached by Teresa Haliski and assistant coach Trever Rupe.

Players for the Rebels were Jenna Anderson, Krista Downey, Mary Hendricks, Karen Hilby, Lea Mulligan and Lynnadele Schoeneberg. The Rebels were coached by Sylvia Downey and assistant coach Chrissy Hilby.

Finishing in fifth place in their divisions were the Penguins in Masters 7 and the Pirates in Skills Team 3. Finishing sixth in the Masters 6 competition were the Trailblazers.

Players for the Penguins were Diana Bartusek, Sean Dinsmore, Allison Gaze, Kenda Eaton, Cole Gaddis, Thomas Kukkola, Ashley Medlock and Isaac Shetler. The Penguins were coached by Amanda Wilkes and Aaron Medlock and assistant coaches Andrea Medlock and Leo Boedigheimer.

Players for the Pirates were David Balas, Kevin Brown, Carl Crosiar, Greg Martino, Grant Richard, Mark Samples and Ana Marie Von Kaenel. The Pirates were coached by Gary Haliski and assistant coach Angela Rupe.

Players for the Trailblazers were Westley Altig, Karen Carrico, Conner Finerty, Craig Francis, Luke Grenz, Mark Hart, Alyssa Kwak, Doug McPherson, Lauren Milam and John Veals. The Trailblazers were coached by Scott Milam and assistant coaches Taylor Guzman and Gabe Milam.

The Special Olympics spring season begins in March. The spring events include swimming, track and field), cycling, power lifting and soccer. There is no fee to participate. A registration event is scheduled for 1 p.m. on March 8 at Pied Piper Pizza, 12400 Fourth Plain Blvd. To learn more, contact Rick Cook by sending e-mail to

VGSA fastpitch sign-up events are this week

The Vancouver Girls Softball Association will hold registration from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at its clubhouse.

Cost ranges from $65 to $95 depending n the player’s age. The VGSA is a fastball program for ages 5-18. Teams in the 10-and-under and older divisions can play recreational or more competitive softball.

Online registration and details on how to sign up can be found at

The VGSA complex is at 800 NW 117th St.

Hazel Dell Half Marathon set for Feb. 23

Registration remains open for the Hazel Dell Half Marathon and 8-K, which will take place on Feb. 23. The fifth-year event will start and finish the Hazel Dell Town Center shopping complex, 9301 N.E. 5th Ave, in Vancouver. Cost to run or walk is $65 for the 13.1-mile course, $45 for the 8-kilometer race. The event benefits Panda Paws Animal Rescue. Online registration through closes on Feb. 20.

Event highlights self defense for runners

Safer on the Run, a program to teach runners self-defense and safety techniques, will be presented on Wednesday at the University of Portland and on Thursday at the Fit Right Northwest store in Portland.

The program focuses on how women runners can be safe. It is led by Todd Williams, a former Olympic distance runner who is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Wednesday’s event at the Chiles Center will run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and focus on how college women can be safe on campus. Thursday’s event will run 7-8 p.m. at the Fit Right store in Northwest Portland.

To learn more, including how to register, visit, or call 503-525-2122.

Training opportunity for lacrosse refs

A clinic for new lacrosse referees is planned for Saturday at the Luke Jensen Sports Park in Vancouver. The clinic runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and costs $40. Participants receive a rule book and a whistle, and can take an online certification test. To register or to learn more, visit

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