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College notebook: Walling named first-team All-West region

By Jeff Klein, Columbian sports staff
Published: March 10, 2023, 6:04am

Western Washington junior Brooke Walling, a Prairie High grad, was named first team All-West Region by the Division 2 Conference Commissioners Association on Thursday.

Walling and the Vikings are headed into the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championships with a 24-3 overall record. WWU won the GNAC regular-season and postseason tournament titles and are the No. 2 seed in the West Regional that tips off Friday at Carson, Calif.

This season, Walling has also been named first team All-GNAC, plus received academic awards from the GNAC and College Sports Communicators. She was also named the GNAC Championships most outstanding player.

Walling, who started all 27 games for the Vikings, is averaging 13.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.8 blocked shots per game. She also has 11 double-doubles this season.

Also of note, redshirt freshman Mason Oberg, a Union High grad, played in 21 games for the Vikings and averaged 8.6 points a game heading into the regional tournament.

Peneueta will be dancing with Hornets

Heritage High grad Katie Peneueta is going to the NCAA Tournament.

The sophomore at Sacramento State helped the Hornets win the Big Sky Conference title on Wednesday, 76-63 over Northern Arizona.

Peneueta played 38 minutes in the title game, scoring six points and pulling down six rebounds.

In 28 games for the Hornets (25-7) this season, Peneueta averaged 8.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists a game. She also had 21 steals and 41 blocked shots.

The field for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament will be announced at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Frimpong-Ellertson goes from WSU to UW

After four seasons at Washington State, King’s Way Christian High grad MacKenzie Frimpong-Ellertson is taking her soccer game across the state to Washington.

She will play her final collegiate season as a graduate student for the Huskies.

Frimpong-Ellertson is the daughter of Pac-12 Hall of Famer and current UW assistant coach Tina Frimpong-Ellertson, a standout for both the Huskies and the United States Women’s National Team during her playing career.

Mackenzie Frimpong-Ellertson started 50 games in her four years in Pullman.

“Mack grew up at Husky Soccer Stadium and for her to play her final collegiate season as a Husky is very special,” head coach Nicole Van Dyke said in a statement.

Chiles is 4-time Pac-12 gymnast of week

UCLA sophomore Jordan Chiles, a Prairie High grad, was awarded the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week for the fourth time this season.

She had a career-high 39.875 in the all-around against Stanford and is tied for the nation’s top all-around score of the season.

Chiles’ winning mark ranks third-highest in school history and the highest all-around score by a Bruin in 19 years.

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She also scored her first perfect 10 on bars this season and the second bars 10 of her career. She added two more 9.975s after her 10, scoring a new career-high of 9.975 on beam and a meet-winning 9.975 on floor.

The Bruins take on Iowa State in their final home meet at noon Saturday, and it will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.