While spring sports provided most of the Twin Harbors highlights this season, there were significant accomplishments in a wide variety of other activities that ranged from wrestling to weightlifting and swimming to bowling in 2013.
A sport-by-sport recap:
After a rare year of being excluded from the state title round in 2012, Twin Harborites made a comeback of sorts on the mat last year.
Raymond’s Hunter Borden captured the state Class B 182-pound championship with a 6-3 win over Lake Roosevelt’s Sean Watters in the Tacoma Dome.
North Beach heavyweight Daniel Fruh was a state runner-up. Elma was sixth in 1A and Raymond eighth in the 2B team tandings.
Ironically, Borden was not among the regional champions (he finished second at that level). Raymond had three other champs — Matthew Boyes and Grant and Josh Camenzind — in taking regional team honors.
Other regional champs included Fruh, Elma’s Ryan Wilson, Matt Gamino, Layne Sutten, Tanner Sample and Tyson Dick, Hoquiam’s Jonathan Molina and Ocosta’s Connor Maben and Drew Angelus.
Kylar Prante and Austin Cain of Montesano and Elma’s Brek McGaughy captured state folkstyle titles.
Aberdeen’s Joseph Bowley and Colton Sundstrom each won a pair of district boys championships during the winter. Bowley also mustered a pair of third-place finishes at state in helping the Bobcats take sixth in the 2A team standings.
Although they boasted only one swimmer who even placed in the top eight at state, Aberdeen’s girls parlayed their depth into an unbeaten dual season and a district team title. Taylor Jones, in the 100-yard breaststroke and Emily May, in the 200 individual medley, won district individual titles.
Anna Weber, Annika Eisele and Kayeia Sias of the Aberdeen YMCA Sea Otters won state Y championships.
Scrambling to fill their regular-season schedule following the dissolution of the Coastal League the previous December, Taholah’s boys and girls nevertheless captured district Class 1B championships. It was the fifth consecutive district title for the Chitwhin girls.
Both Taholah teams also made it out of regionals — a stumbling block in recent years — to qualify for state. The Chitwhin boys wound up earning their first state trophy by placing sixth.
Several other Twin Harbor teams would have also qualified for state under the old 16-team format, but wound up being eliminated at the regional level. That group included Hoquiam’s boys and girls, North Beach’s boys and Montesano’s and Raymond’s girls. Only the fifth seed out of their own league, Monte’s girls advanced to the district title contest for the first time in school history.
Raymond’s Abby Maneman was the area’s lone first-team all-state selection. Elma’s Megan Finger and Taholah’s Keanu Curleybear were second-team choices.
Elma High grad Carly Meister, playing for Southern Oregon, received the Cascade Conference’s Co-Freshman of the Year Award. Katie Colard, another former Eagle, is currently the leading scorer on Western Washington University’s women’s team while her former high school teammate Brandi Thomas is a reserve at Washington State University.
Montesano continued its long tradition of powerlifting excellence.
The Bulldogs won their 10th consecutive state boys championship, this time overcoming a strong challenge from fast-rising North Beach. The Bulldog girls regained a state team title.
Individual champions included Montesano’s Rayna Ashlock, Ashley Laney, Chazlyn O’Bannon, Tanner Birdsall and Shad Rogers and North Beach’s Raymond Shiner, Crystal Lynch, Koral Frost and Shyanne Morrow.
As usual, Twin Harborites made a big impact at the state level.
Hoquiam’s second consecutive boys Class 1A team title was the biggest story, with Nolan Hoiness and Cole Smith each winning two individual title and Hoiness also joining Devin Kelly, Paul Girts and Tyler White on a championship sprint relay team.
Wishkah’s Keigan Gardiner swept the 100 and 300 hurdles at the state 1B meet. Taholah produced a trio of state champs in the same meet — Joseph Winn in the boys discus, Jon Jackson in the boys javelin and Rachel Cheney in the girls javelin.
Willapa Valley’s Matt Konigsberger owned perhaps the most dramatic state championship, going from fourth to first in the Class 2B boys javelin on his final throw. Valley’s typical domination of the girls pole vault continued as state champion Lauren Friese led a group of Vikings who took five of the top six places in that event.
Raymond’s Andrew Hamilton, in the shot put, became the school’s first state boys track champion since 1994. The district champion Seagull boys wound up fourth in the state team standings.
Individual state runners-up included Aberdeen’s Shayna Wilson (Class 2A girls javelin), Hoquiam’s Evan Erickson (Class 1A boys javelin), Elma’s Ray Stark (1A boys 300 hurdles) and Bethany Lipska (girls triple jump), North Beach’s Crystal Lynch (Class 2B discus), South Bend’s Dennis Johnson (boys triple jump) and Willapa Valley’s David Rockett (boys pole vault).
Hoquiam’s and Raymond’s boys captured district team titles. A flood of district individual champs included Aberdeen’s Wilson, Poli Baltazar and Brock Struthers, Hoquiam’s Hoiness, Smith, Kelly, Kenny Huffman and Olivia Rose, Elma’s Stark and Natalie Grant, Montesano’s Gabrielle Rudolph, Raymond’s Hamilton, Rayce Newman, Carte Bisbee and Ally Phansisay, Willapa Valley’s Rockett, Michaela Huber and Don Carlson and North Beach’s Lynch and Caleb Bridge. Gardiner, Winn and Jackson were among the champions in a quad-district Class 1B meet.
Hoquiam’s boys and girls repeated as team champions in the Grays Harbor All-County Championship.
A Miller Junior High boys team of Jeran Paris, Braden Castleberry-Taylor, Gordon Shaw and Kyle Hurd established the nation’s fastest time in the 800-meter medley relay.
Montesano nearly joined Lake Quinault as a state high school champion.
Following an unbeaten regular season, the Bulldogs were upended by Woodland in the district 1A tournament. But they nevertheless qualified for regionals and gained revenge on the Beavers with a 9-1 victory in the regional championship game. Layne Bruner pitched a three-hitter and hit a three-run homer for Montesano in that contest.
Making the state semifinals for the first time since 1989, Monte endured a bus breakdown, rainout and a shift in venue from Yakima to Richland. The Bulldogs topped Evergreen 1A League rival Tenino, 6-5, in the semifinals before falling to defending state champion Cashmere, 8-4, in the championship game.
Bruner received the state Class 1A Player of the Year award. Although drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, the hard-throwing southpaw pitcher opted to continue his career at Washington State University.
This was also a generally successful summer for area baseball teams.
Winning three consecutive games with seventh-inning heroics, the Grays Harbor all-stars won the Southern Washington State 15-year-old Babe Ruth Tournament. Rio Ortega’s sacrifice fly in the seventh inning gave the Harborites a 9-8 win over Kennewick in the title contest.
Earlier, Grays Harbor 13-year-old, 14-year-old and 15-year-old teams had swept district competition — albeit in a district lacking many entrants. The 14-and 15-year-old teams advanced to the semifinals of a regional extravaganza in Centralia, but both were eliminated at that stage.
Mason Baseball of Aberdeen wound up third in the State Senior Legion AA Tournament.
Montesano captured the district 9-10 Little League championship.
Softball teams from Grays Harbor’s four largest schools all qualified for state competition.
Characteristically peaking late in the campaign, Montesano made its 16th consecutive state appearance and fared well with a third-place finish at the 1A tournament. Hoquiam and Elma also won games in that tournament but failed to place. Montesano’s Bobbi Fry and Courtney Swan and Hoquiam’s Kayla Hilliard made all-state teams, while Elma’s Reagan Wollen and Brooke Goldsmith and Montesano’s Megan Choate earned second-team recognition.
Aberdeen made its first-ever appearance in the district 2A championship game, dropping an 8-7 heartbreaker to Centralia, en route to a third straight trip to state. The Bobcats won their state opener, but fell victim to brutal scheduling in the rain-delayed event and dropped their next two contests.
District 1B champion Wishkah fell barely shy of a state trophy while Grays Harbor College earned its second straight berth in the NWAACC tourney.
Hoquiam captured the state 16-U Babe Ruth tournament and tied for fifth in the Babe Ruth World Series in North Carolina. Hoquiam’s 10-U and 12-U clubs placed second at regionals.
The Montesano-based Dragin’ Magic won the state USSSA 14-U championship and the Northwest Regional title. The Montesano Bulldogs won the NSA state 16-U title.
The Grays Harbor-based Aro Glass Clubbers continued to place high in a wide variety of national and world senior men’s slowpitch tournaments.
Harborites performed well in state summer junior and senior events.
Hoquiam’s John Sand racked up a slew of junior titles in the Northwest and Arizona and tied for second in the Washington Junior Golf Association boys 14-15-year-old age group.
Gretchen Klein, also of Hoquiam, placed fourth in the State Senior Women’s Amateur and teamed with longtime partner Patty Sundstrom to capture another women’s HABIT best-ball title.
Raymond High graduate Jerry Swanson, who now lives in Oregon, won his second consecutive Pacific Northwest Senior Long Drive contest.
In the high school ranks, Elma’s Lauryn Keating succeeded her older sister Alexis (now at the University of Colorado) as the district 1A girls champion en route to a third-place state finish.
Willapa Valley’s Connor McAllister won the district Class B boys title.
The lack of indoor facilities make it difficult for Harborites to compete successfully at the state level in this sport.
The Montesano doubles team of April Easter and Johanna Brulotte, however, went unbeaten in league competition and wound up eighth at the state 1A tournament.
Twin Harbors teams capped the year by making a strong showing in the state youth Recreational Cup tournament.
The Montesano Renegades, in the girls U-14 division, and the Harbor Sounders (boys U-15) won championships — the second straight for the Sounders.
Three other area teams — the Elma/McCleary Dynamite, Montesano Wildcats and Willapa Harbor Health Pros — earned regional titles and advanced to the state’s Final Four.
At the high school level, Elma’s girls won their first district championship since 1998 by topping league rival Rochester in a shootout, 2-2 (4-3).
In the spring, Hoquiam’s boys earned a state berth. Aberdeen captured the Evergreen 2A Conference championship but failed to make it out of district.
Aberdeen forward Juan Lopez and Hoquiam defender Osiel Rivera earned all-state boys honors, while Hoquiam’s Jonathan Molina and Israel Fernandez were selected to the second team.
This was an unusually productive year for Harborites on the lanes.
Elma Lanes proprietor Henry Dawson teamed with a partner from Cincinnati to won the Open Doubles division of the Bowlers Journal tournament in Reno. Dawson also placed 27th in the USBC Senior Open.
After spending part of his summer serving as, of all things, the tournament director for a state Babe Ruth baseball tournament, Hoquiam High graduate Perry Crowell IV re-established himself as one of the nation’s finest collegiate bowlers at Midland University in Nebraska. He has won several tournaments and is currently ranked third nationally.
Veteran Grays Harbor standout Curtis Messer Sr. began the year by capturing the county men’s title and ended it by adding to his plentiful harvest of 300 games.
Joe German of the Wishkah Valley, in the modified classification, and Hoquiam’s Jason Tole (street stocks) repeated as season champions at Grays Harbor Raceway. Veteran driver Jay Cole of Shelton (360 sprints), Chase Goetz of Snohomish (midgets) and Chad Norton of Tenino (hornets) were the other season champions.
Donny Schatz of Fargo, N.D., took top honors at the Elma stop on the World of Outlaws tour.
Although no area team duplicated Montesano’s dramatic 2012 state championship run, a couple reached noteworthy plateaus.
Raymond continued its gridiron resurgence by taking a second consecutive Pacific League championship and winning two rugged playoff games against Wahkiakum and Napavine to reach its first state semifinal since its 1993 state championship season. The Seagulls played top-ranked Morton/White Pass tough in the semis before bowing out, 27-14.
No fewer than eight Twin Harbors clubs made some sort of postseason appearance, but only three advanced as far as the state playoffs.
Wishkah captured a bi-district 1B title and reached the state quarterfinals. A couple of clutch late-season wins enabled Montesano to return to the playoffs, but the Bulldogs dropped a dramatic 28-21 decision to traditional nemesis Cascade Christian in the opening round of state.
The Twin Harbors were well-represented on the Associated Press all-state team. Wishkah’s Keigan Gardiner was a three-way (offense, defense and all-purpose) selection on the Class 1B first team. Other first teamers in the various classifications included Elma’s Ricky Escalante, Raymond’s Darol Ratsavongsy and James Hamilton and Wishkah’s Trey Berge. Aberdeen’s Chase Johnson, Montesano’s Evan Bialkowsky, North Beach’s Caleb Bridge, Wishkah’s Dillon Mitchell and Raymond’s Hunter Borden were second-team choices.
In his third season as a linebacker for the British Columbia Lions, Montesano High grad Adam Bighill earned a second straight berth on the all-Canadian Football League team.
The Grays Harbor Bearcats had their ups and downs in the semi-pro Pacific Football League but nevertheless qualified for the league playoffs.
Aberdeen High graduate Cassie Dunsire continued as a standout for the Portland Fighting Fillies of the Adult Women’s Football Alliance.
A young Ocosta girls team emerged as the top finisher at the state championship meet at Pasco. Although perennial power Northwest Christian of Lacey literally ran away with team honors, the Wildcats made their best-ever state team showing by claiming the second-place trophy.
Elma’s boys and girls and Montesano’s girls also qualified for state. Monte’s Gabrielle Rudolph captured the district 1A girls championship, but no Twin Harborite placed in the top 10 at state individually.
Two former Grays Harbor high school standouts, Elma’s Todd Jackson and Aberdeen’s Poli Baltazar, ran on a Central Arizona team that won the national JC men’s team championship.
Lake Quinault won the district Class 1B championship with a three-set victory over Three Rivers Christian.
With one exception, other Twin Harbors teams found the going rough at the district level. Not surprisingly, traditional volleyball power South Bend was that exception. By beating Pacific League champion Northwest Christian in a winner-to-state, loser-out contest, the Indians earned their 13th trip to state since 1996.
Paul Roberts of Elma finished second in the standing long jump in his age group at the World Senior Games. Former Hoquiam High standouts Miguel Galeana and Franzine Potts won the Harbor Half-Marathon in Hoquiam.
Aberdeen High grad Jeff Hatton continued his career in professional mixed martial arts.
Taholah’s Stanley Markishtum won the Outboard Power Canoe Racing national championship on Lake Quinault.