White River grad Lewandowski a rugby star

Hannah Lewandowski shows her skill in rugby.

Rugby standout Hannah Lewandowski has been on an athletic whirlwind this summer, showing her exemplary skills at a growing list of venues.

She was part of the Rainier Junior Rugby Club that placed second in the state during both the spring and summer seasons. Based on those successes, seven players were tabbed for the Washington State All Star team, which won the Great Northwest Challenge, staged June 27-28 in Oregon. That tournament also included teams from Oregon, Hawaii, Montana and Idaho.

The tourney success served as a springboard for Lewandowski and two teammates, who were invited to participate in the USA Rugby National Assembly in Colorado. Also known as the Stars and Stripes Camp, it took place July 21-25 on the campus of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

That gathering put Lewandowski in elite company, as only the nation’s top 40 high school players were invited. Attending with her were fellow Washington players Alaina Valenciano, who is affiliated with Fife High School, and Winter Lily O’Bryan of Auburn High.

For Lewandowski, who graduated in June from White River High School, it was her third trip to the National Assembly.

Shortly after returning from the camp both Lewandowski and Valenciano received invitations to attend the USA Rugby High School All American Team Camp, which kicked off Aug. 18 at Central Washington University. As part of the camp, players will make a trip to Vancouver Island to challenge a U-18 all-star team from British Columbia.

Lewandowski has had extreme success on two athletic fronts. Aside from rugby, she captured a state wrestling championship during her senior season as a White River Hornet. As a sophomore and junior, she had placed second at the state Class 2A wrestling championships.

The Plateau Junior Rugby Club is losing several influential players who will transition to college programs, so coach Andy Ramsey is looking for new players to join the squad. The team plays primarily in the spring, but is considering an invitation to play some Canadian teams in the fall. Anyone looking for more information about playing rugby can contact Ramsey at a.s.ramsay@comcast.net or visit the club website, www.rainierjuniorrugby.com.