Sports Roundup -- Spartans excel in middle distances/Fastpitchers walk to victory

Spartans excel in middle distances

Just as track and field coach Andy Grimm predicted, the Spartans’ middle distance has been terrific this season.

“It’s been a good start,” Grimm said. “I talked before about how they would be the strength (of the team) but we’ve been doing some things well across the board.”

The top middle distance runners on the boys’ side include Robin Mumm and Austin Hallett, ranked in the top 13 and 16 in the Metro League for the 400 meter dash respectively, while Colin O’Keefe is in the top five for the 800.

Bevan Taylor is in the top 10 for the 1600 and 3200 run.

For the girls, Alana MacWhorter, Geneva Pritchett and Maren Swanson are ranked in the top 10 for the 400. Hillary Pritchett is currently second in the 800, while Caroline Johnson is second among Metro runners for the 1600 and 3200.

As much as they have performed to their potential, others have been a pleasant surprise for Grimm and his coaches.

Newcomer Bryan Jacobsen is currently first in the long jump, while Joel Turkheimer, a freshman, is in the top 16 for the 1600 and 3200.

“This is a very, very competitive league in the distance events with Seattle Prep and Bishop Blanchet, so for a sophomore (Taylor) and a freshman, it’s a good start for them,” Grimm said.

Also having a good start on the season is Angelo Ritualo. The senior is in the top 10 for the 100, the 200, the long jump, the triple jump and the 4x400 relay, consisting of Mumm, Hallett and O’Keefe.

MacWhorter is also in the top three for the 4x100 (along with Molly O’Keefe, Michelle Baggett and Morgan Nottingham) and the 4x400 (along with Geneva and Hillary Pritchett and Swanson).

Grimm hopes to get in a few more qualifiers as Zena Hemmen may be cleared this week, while Michelle Baggett returned last week.

He also plans to get his athletes in events that they can be competitive in and qualify, rather than stack them in multiple events to try and win the meet outright.

The top 16 in the Metro League in each event will qualify for the league championship meet.

– John Becerra, Jr.

Fastpitchers walk to victory

Get a win any way you can.

The Bainbridge High School fastpitch team put that maxim to the test against the Chief Sealth Seahawks, relying on walks to prevail 9-4 in a Metro League contest Monday for their fourth straight win.

Despite a lack of hitting – only two hits were recorded on the day– the Spartans benefited from 12 walks given up by pitcher Fiaau Savini, and six errors committed by the ‘Hawk defense.

“A win is a win,” head coach Liz McCloskey said. “We had plenty of opportunities when the bases were loaded and the bats just weren’t working. We did get the walk and get the run in, but we really need the bats to come through.”

The Spartans scored once in the first on a fielder’s choice by Stephanie Wagner, then scored four in the second.

Chelsea Hansen and Cassandra Richardson drew consecutive walks. Anna Lyons then was hit by a pitch and Chelsea Baker walked, allowing Hansen to score.

After Karen Robinson flied out, Wagner hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Richardson but forcing Lyons at third. Tabitha Mabrey was hit by a pitch, then Amanda Szarzynski singled sharply to right center, scoring Baker and Wagner.

The Spartans scored twice more in the fourth, and twice more times in the sixth. Chief Sealth tried to rally, but could only score three in the seventh.

Robinson racked up another complete game for the Spartans. She walked two and struck out two and was backed up by her defense, which tallied 15 ground ball outs.

Both McCloskey and assistant coach Katie Leigh were happy with Robinson’s performance and will ride it out with their young ace.

“Karen’s really confident,” Leigh said. “She knows she can pitch all four games.”

“I talked to her last week (about the games) and she said ‘I can do it. There’s no reason I can’t do it,’” McCloskey said. “She’s one of the calmest pitchers I’ve ever seen. We’ve got all the confidence that she’ll do a great job.”

After yesterday’s makeup game against Lakeside on the road, they face undefeated Mountain League leader Holy Names in a battle for first place. Today’s game is at BIHS at 4 p.m., then Friday the Spartans travel to Lower Woodland Field.

McCloskey knows it won’t be easy.

“Holy Names has a very good pitcher, so it’ll be an interesting week,” she said. “Hopefully after this game everybody will realize those bats need to be working to score runs.”

– John Becerra, Jr.

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