Oroville athlete shines

Arrigoni named athlete of the year

Catie Arrigoni’s performance in cross country and track recently landed her the Everett Community College’s Female Athlete of the Year honor.

The Oroville graduate also signed last week a full-tuition scholarship to attend Eastern Washington University starting this fall.

She won the 3K steeplechase (11:2 7.16) and finished third in the 5K (18:35.73) at the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges track championships May 20-21 at Spokane Falls Community College.

This spring, Arrigoni ran 17:54.40 in the 5K, the third best all-time Everett performance, track and field coach Matthew Koenigs said.

“She is ranked No. 2 nationally among junior college athletes in the steeple just three seconds behind the No. 1-ranked athlete, who posted her time with someone pushing her all the way to the line,” Koenigs said. “Catie, by contrast, ran away from her field and had no reason to kick in the last lap. She has been untested this season in the steeple, winning the event at meets hosted at Western Washington University and the University of Washington in addition to the NWAACC Championship.”

Arrigoni, a sophomore, was red-shirted a year ago to save a season for a four-year program, the coach said.

“During the cross country season, Catie ran 18:40.8 in the 5K, which is the all-time No. 8 time at Everett Community College,” Koenigs said. “Catie was fourth at the Northern Region Championship in cross country. She was seventh at the NWAACC Championship where she earned All-American honors despite suffering from a severe head cold.

“At the Sundodger Invite she ran 22:37.42, which was the fourth best all-time performance — good for ninth place in the meet. A Top 10 finish at the Sundodger Invite is a big deal and helped her team to finish second in one of the largest collegiate races in the Pacific Northwest.”

In a May 20 online story by Rich Myhre of the Herald in Everett, Arrigoni, 19, said she tried the steeplechase to take advantage of her 5-11 height.

Because she is tall, “she doesn’t need to jump at all,” Koenigs said in the Herald story. “She can almost (step) right over the barrier.

“Lots of people are 5-4 and 5-5, and they actually have to jump,” Arrigoni said. “But I just go over real easy.”

She set a WWU meet record earlier this year in winning the steeplechase in 10:59.7, which was 44 seconds better than the conference’s second-best runner.

“She has gotten astronomically faster (since high school),” Koenigs said. As coaches, he went on, “we can only do so much to help kids get faster. We can teach them how to train, but we can’t actually run the mileage for them. But everything we’ve asked Catie to do, she’s done. She’s got the Division I work ethic that it takes to become a runner of this caliber.”

“She’s just a great person and a testament that if you are willing to put in the work and do things the right way that there are very few limits to what you can accomplish.”

Arrigoni originally went to Everett to compete in basketball. In her first and only season, she averaged about 3 points and 4 rebounds a game before focusing on running.

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Chandler Smith of Brewster will play in the 20th annual Jack Blair Memorial Girls All-Star Basketball Classic at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at The Arena at Post Falls, Idaho.

She joins the Region team of Idaho players that includes four members of the Idaho state 5A champion Post Falls Trojans, four from the Coeur d’Alene Vikings and single players from Lake City and Lapwai.

Metro team, composed of girls from the Greater Spokane League, has won 18 of the 19 matchups with the Region team.

The Region’s lone win came in 2009. Last year, the Metro eked out an 80-79 victory at University High.

“The reason the Metro is so good is they play such good defense — the entire league,” Ron Adams, director of the Spokane Stars and organizer of the Jack Blair game, said in a Coeur d’Alene Press story May 23.

“There’s probably 13, 14 D-I kids between the two teams,” Adams said. “The Region team, their strength is their physical talent, from the guards all the way to the post players. And they have the most highly recruited player for both teams in Chandler Smith. She’s a monster — good luck trying to defend her.”

Smith, a 6-foot junior guard/forward, is the daughter of Dale Smith, who starred on Brewster’s three straight Washington class B state titles in the mid-1970s. Chandler Smith was the Washington 1A Player of the Year.

Adams reminds fans that the players will be available for autographs before the game from 6:30 to 7:05 p.m.; after that; they won’t be available until after the game.

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Katie Wimpari of Curlew, a freshman on the University of Louisville women’s track team, finished 10th in the 2013 Outdoor Track and Field Championships on May 4 at the Bauer Track and Field Complex, Piscataway, N.J.

Wimpari tossed the javelin 38.67 meters (126 feet, 10.44 inches) at the Big East Championship meet.

The college javelin weighs more than a high school javelin.

She was track and field team co-captain at Curlew and was a two-time Panorama all-league team member (2009 and 2012). She took first places in the javelin at the 2012 Ezra Gordon Colville Invitational, the 2012 Eagle Home Mortgage Invitational and the District 7 meet.

Wimpari, who is enrolled in pre-dental classes, is the daughter of Pat and Nikki Wimpari.

“She competed in seven outdoor meets in the javelin” this spring, said Associate Sports Information Director Ira Green, who covers the university track team. “Her lone victory of the season came at the Border Battle, finishing first on a throw of 39.48m/129-6 at the Auburn Tiger Classic.”

She did not compete in the winter track season.

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Ryder Lewis of Omak signed an NCAA letter of intent to play for the Montana State Billings men’s golf team next year.

“He’s pretty exited,” Omak coach Nick Popelier said. “He went on a trip over there about halfway through the season. He played with the team and had a great time. MSUB plays a great schedule, they are a very successful program and he will be able to be a big part of the team early on.”

Lewis finished his senior season with a seventh-place finish at the state 1A tournament with a two-round score of 154.

Prior to state, Lewis used a 69 to win medalist honors in the Caribou Trail League Championships. He averaged a 73 score his four years in high school play.

Lewis was second at the 1A state tournament in 2012 and was among the Top 15 as a sophomore and freshman. He also won district and regional titles in 2011 and 2012.

“He’s confident that if he keeps working hard, this is a great opportunity both athletically and academically,” Popelier said.

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Jacqueline O’Keefe of Liberty Bell and Neal Champagne of Cascade High School each recently received $1,500 college scholarships from the Wenatchee North Rotary.

They will be honored as scholar-athletes at the 43rd Wenatchee Valley Medical Center North-Central Washington Sports Awards banquet June 25 at the Wenatchee Convention Center, 121 N. Wenatchee Ave.

O’Keefe is headed to Colorado College while Champagne is going to attend Harvard.

“The achievement of excellence in academics while also fulfilling time commitments associated with developing skills, training and competing in athletics sets all scholar-athletes apart,” Jeff Mertes with Wenatchee North Rotary said.

A $1,000 Sports Awards Outlying Grant will be presented to the Malaga Colockum Community Council to help pay for an irrigation system in the Phase 1 portion of the new Malaga 11-acre facility that will become the only park able to accommodate athletics and recreation in the area when completed.

In addition, the Sports Awards honors region’s finest athletes, teams and coaches in eight categories. Finalists will be announced early in June.

Marco Azurdia, executive director/commissioner of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges, will be the banquet’s featured speaker. Azurdia was an eight-time finalist and two-time Sports Awards recipient as the highly successful coach of the Wenatchee Valley College women’s basketball team, as well as a former Wenatchee Valley College athletic director.

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Mazama and its wealth of hiking and climbing possibilities landed No. 4 of the Top 5 Climbing Towns in the U.S. under population of 10,000 in a May 16 story at splitterchoss.com.

“The residents of this small town on the east side of the Cascades named it after what they thought was the Greek name for ‘mountain goat,’” the website said. “It turned out that they were looking in the wrong dictionary; ‘Mazama’ means mountain goat in Spanish, not Greek. Still, it is an apt name for the town, as it sits just below Washington Pass in the North Cascades.

“In addition to the roadside alpine rock and access to some of the best alpine lines in the lower 48, there is great cragging in the summer on several different rock types, and backcountry skiing in the winter. Mazama is truly a small rural town; there is no chain store or stoplights for 70 miles.”

Notable areas: Washington Pass, Fun Rock, Goat Wall, Gate Creek, Prospector area

Worthwhile distractions: Goat’s Beard, The Mazama Store, Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Kelly’s at Wesola Polana, North Cascades Adventure Hostel.

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The huge sockeye salmon run coming through the Columbia and Okanogan rivers last year could become routine with the addition of a 25,000-square-foot sockeye salmon hatchery opening next spring on Penticton Indian Band land.

The salmon rush up the Okanogan River and through Osoyoos Lake and the South Okanagan watercourse system.

A groundbreaking occurred a couple weeks ago for the new hatchery, which will produce eight million fry annually. The fish are expected to keep the historic run going from Washington State through Osoyoos Lake and up into Skaha Lake and Okanagan Lake.

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Louis Zacherle, Omak, picked up his first two wins at Emerald Downs in Auburn over the weekend.

Zacherle, who rides for Omak’s Preston Boyd, won his first race at the elite Northwest track on Austincitynights ($4.20) on Friday. The horse is jointly owned by Edward Marchand and Boyd.

Zacherle, 25, followed that up with a win on Chaching Pete ($18.20; owned by Boyd) on Saturday. Both races were 5 ½ furlongs.

Boyd trained both horses, which each won gate-to-wire.

Zacherle’s success led to his signing with an agent, who plans future races in California.

Zacherle has raced all his adult life and just starting a career at the big tracks. He’d previous raced at Sun Downs in Kennewick.

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Rachael Kraske of Omak, who is competing in track for George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., ran 1:04.06 in her heat of the 400-meter hurdles May 23 and did not make the finals at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.

Kraske finished 19th overall in the qualifying races at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Roger Harring Stadium at Veterans Memorial Field.

She entered the meet ranked 13th nationally with a 1:01.96 in the St. Martin’s University Last Chance meet on May 12. Kraske led the Northwest Conference and was No. 3 all-time at George Fox, but that would have only put her 11th on Thursday at nationals.

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Roger Harnack of Tunk Creek competed at the Devils Lake Dash Jet Ski races presented by Chinook Winds Casino and Resort in Lincoln City, Ore., on May 18-19.

Harnack finished third in Vintage 550, third in the veteran ski and fourth in the novice ski limited the first day.

He finished third in the veteran ski and fifth in novice ski limited the second day.

Al Camp is the sports editor at

The Chronicle. Email him at sports@omakchronicle.com.

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