Area’s athletes primed to make history

Fastpitch, soccer, track and field, water polo, and baseball teams from all four local high schools are ready to take on the state championships.

White River’s Payton Wallen applies a tag at third base, shutting down a North Kitsap scoring opportunity during Friday’s district softball game. Photo by Kevin Hanson

White River’s Payton Wallen applies a tag at third base, shutting down a North Kitsap scoring opportunity during Friday’s district softball game. Photo by Kevin Hanson

The highlight of the spring prep sports season awaits fans of high school athletics, with one state tournament already in the books but most on tap for this weekend.

Here’s where things stand for local teams and individuals.

SOFTBALL

Bonney Lake

The Panthers open Class 3A state tournament play after clinching the school’s first district championship.

Bonney Lake opens the 16-team state tourney with a contest against Juanita at 9 a.m. Friday. The double-elimination tournament will take place at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey.

The Panthers advanced to state by sweeping four opponents during the district tournament. In taking the title, Bonney Lake whipped Central Kitsap, North Thurston, Kelso and, in the finals, Prairie High.

White River

The Hornets have qualified for another Class 2A state tournament and will be making their way to Carlon Park in Selah for the 16-team, double-elimination, two-day battle.

White River begins tourney play at 10 a.m. Friday against W.F. West of Chehalis.

The Hornets advanced to state after winning three of four games during the West Central District tournament at Lacey’s Regional Athletic Complex. The team opened with a tough, eight-inning, 1-0 loss to North Kitsap Friday, but bounced back with a victory over River Ridge. Saturday brought a pair of loser-out games, but White River twice prevailed, beating Sequim 11-3 and Lindbergh 7-0 to claim the district’s No. 5 seed to state.

Enumclaw

Enumclaw pitcher Jenna Ritzdorf delivers during Friday’s victory over Curtis High. Photo by Kayse Angel

Enumclaw pitcher Jenna Ritzdorf delivers during Friday’s victory over Curtis High. Photo by Kayse Angel

The Hornets played five games in the West Central/Southwest District 4A tournament and advanced to a winner-to-state contest early Saturday evening. But, in the end, Enumclaw fell a game short and saw its season come to an end.

The Hornets were in Kent for the two-day district tournament, splitting a pair of Friday games, beating Curtis 7-3 and losing to Tahoma. Facing elimination Saturday morning, EHS defeated Bellarmine Prep 6-1 before losing to Camas 9-1. With a state berth on the line, the Hornets fell 5-2 to Auburn Riverside.

SOCCER

The Sumner Spartans have landed in the Final Four of the state Class 4A boys soccer tournament.

Starting as one of 16 teams in the running, the Spartans defeated Mount Si 2-1 on May 15. Then, in the Elite Eight round, Sumner edged Glacier Peak 3-2 in overtime during a Saturday contest.

Now, the Spartans are paired against Skyline in a Final Four battle slated for 8 p.m. Friday at Sparks Stadium in downtown Puyallup. A victory would sent the Spartans into the championship game at 5 p.m. Saturday, also at Sparks. The other semifinal contest features Eastmont (East Wenatchee) and Pasco.

WATER POLO

The Enumclaw High School girls qualified for the state tournament with a third-place finish at last weekend’s Region 1 championships at Curtis High School.

The Hornets finished the tournament with a 3-1 record, beating Peninsula 6-4 on Friday before falling to four-time defending state champion Gig Harbor in a late Friday game, 21-6. Saturday, EHS clinched a state berth with a 9-4 win over Auburn, then earned the region’s No. 3 seed with an 8-1 win over Bainbridge Island.

Enumclaw opens state play on Thursday with a 3:30 afternoon game against Bellevue. All state games will take place at Curtis High in University Place.

BASEBALL

The Bonney Lake Panthers reached the Elite Eight in the state Class 3A tournament before seeing their season come to a close.

Bonney Lake had made the 16-team state field and headed to Sherman Anderson Field in Mount Vernon for a May 19 opening-round contest against Marysville Pilchuck. A 12-6 victory pushed the Panthers into the state round of eight, where they met Eastside Catholic. In a loser-out contest, also on Saturday, Bonney Lake left the diamond on the short end of a 12-1 score.

TRACK AND FIELD

Area runners, jumpers and throwers will head to Mount Tahoma High School for this weekend’s state meet. The Tacoma school will host 4A, 3A and 2A competition.

Here’s a rundown of athletes who qualified for state during last week’s district meets.

White River

On the boys side, Joel Slominski is headed to state in the 3,200 meters, Zach Kayner qualified in the pole vault and Thomas Cox is going in the javelin. Hornet girls at state will be J’Kira Wolbrecht in the long jump; Tori Schmidtke, 400 meters; Makayla Melcher in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdle races; and the 4×400 relay team.

Bonney Lake

Dreakeanna Adair heads the Panther list, qualifying for state in both the discus and shot put; teammates headed to Mount Tahoma include Tanya Dean in both hurdles races and Katie Fryberger in the high jump. For the Panther boys, Donovan Henderson qualified in both the long jump and triple jump; Jackson Gibbon made it in both the discus and shot put; and Amitri Allen will be running the 400 meters;

Enumclaw

For the Panther boys, Bryson Engebretsen earned a state trip in both the pole vault and 110-meter hurdles; Carson Christensen is in the long jump; Caleb Matson is going in the javelin; and Connery McLaughlin qualified in the discus. EHS girls making a state trip are Hunter Storm in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters; Emmie Neu in the high jump; and the 4×400 relay team.

Sumner

Donovan Clark will be running the 110-meter hurdles at state, David Davydenko advanced in the triple jump and the team’s 4×100 relay also earned a state trip. On the girls side, Emma Sjolund will be running the 800 meters.

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