Sports Roundup - Island Stars end season on top/Local rower works for a world title

Island Stars end season on top

The Island Stars slogged through the end of their season at the Continental Amateur Baseball Association West Regional tournament the weekend of July 21 in Blaine.

The Stars defeated all three of their opponents in pool play to garner the number one seed going into the playoff rounds before the tournament was cancelled after two straight days of heavy rains.

Steven Wellbrock, Tyler Riley and Lars Nelson all secured wins in the tournament with outstanding pitching performances.

Nick Denney, Robby Ackerley, Eric Raustein, Landon Cray and Austin McConnell led the offensive attack.

With the three wins, the Stars finished their regular season and tournament play with a 41–4 record, outscoring their opponents by over 300 runs.

The team batted .374 with an earned run average of 3.14.

The Island Stars will hold tryouts for next year’s 13U and 14U teams in early September as they return to defend their Sandy Koufax regular season and state title they won a few weeks back at the Russell Road fields in Kent.

Local rower works for a world title

Former Bainbridge resident Nate Rooks is in line to win a world title, and he could do it by working with someone from a rival school.

Rooks, a 2003 graduate of Bainbridge High School and University of Washington rower Jesse Johnson of Mercer Island helped the United States advance to the finals of the men’s eight at the 2007 World Rowing Under 23 Championship in Strathclyde, Scotland with a third-place finish in their heat over the weekend.

The two joined Woodinville’s Todd Mickelson, who also helped the U.S. advance to its final of the lightweight men’s double sculls with their third place finish in its semifinal.

In the men’s eight, the U.S. flew off the line at 40 strokes per minute, establishing their spot in second place through the first 500 meters behind Great Britain, with Estonia trailing by just 29 seconds.

The U.S. and Estonia battled for second throughout the 2,000 meter race, but at the finish the Americans had to settle for the third and final qualifying spot.

They clocked in at a time of 5:38.79, just 0.14 seconds behind Estonia.

Canada, which included former Huskies rowers Will Crothers (Kingston, Ontario), Max Lang (Lumby, B.C.), Chris Aylard (Victoria, B.C.) and Stephen Connolly (Calgary, Alberta) finished fourth in 5:41.75.

In other U-23 action on Saturday for Seattle-area rowers, Pocock Rowing Center’s Jill Austin (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Kristin Hedstrom (Concord, Mass.) finished fourth in the C final of the lightweight women’s double sculls.

The crew stayed within one second of New Zealand in their battle for third until the third quarter of the race.

They crossed the finish line in a time 7:33.60 for 16th place overall, behind Russia, Japan and New Zealand.

Five U.S. and Canadian crews, including the U.S. men’s eight, U.S. and Canadian women’s eights, U.S. women’s quadruple sculls, U.S. lightweight men’s double sculls and U.S. women’s pair – all including rowers with Washington ties – will compete for medals on Sunday.

Ten U.S. and five Canadian rowers with Washington ties are among 700 athletes from 52 nations matching oars at the annual world championships for the top college-aged rowers in the world.

Racing continues with semifinals and finals this Saturday and Sunday.

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