Locally: Cheney’s Rose Ruotsalainen wins titles at dressage championship

Rose Ruotsalainen of Cheney had a gold-plated weekend at the 2017 Western Dressage World Championship Show Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Ruotsalainen won three world championships and two reserve world championships in the Lazy E Arena and also won the introductory level junior divisional championship with the bay American Quarter Horse mare Spindoll, owned by Michelle Binder-Zolezzi of Cheney.

The fifth annual show drew competitors from 29 states, five Canadian provinces and New Zealand, who put in more than 800 rides during the long weekend.

Basketball

Former Gonzaga Bulldogs wing Kyle Dranginis, who plays for Romerstrom Gladiators Trier in Germany’s Pro A League, averaged 30 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists to earn player of the week honors.

Dranginis earned all-league honors last year playing for SISU Copenhage in Denmark in his first pro season. Trier went 1-1 to open the season.

Bowling

Grace Martin and Cody Davenport registered a couple of firsts, but in the end it was a Junior Bowlers Tour veteran who prevailed in the season-opening tournament last Sunday at Sunset Lanes.

John Hilden, who led the JBT All-Star team during the 2016-17 season, defeated Martin 186-170 for the title after leading the qualifying and rolling the high game of the day, a 279.

Martin made the top five for the first time, qualifying third, and earned the championship match off her highest game of the day in a 247-233 victory over No. 2 qualifier Blake English after she dispatched Davenport 231-189. Davenport made the five-person roll-off in his first JBT.

English finished third, Davenport was fourth and Wyatt Rosenau finished fifth.

Hilden also had a 963 four-game series and Makayla Hoover rolled an 863 to lead the girls. Martin put together a 648 three-game set in the roll-offs.

The next JBT is Oct. 15 at Players & Spectators.

College scene

Launi Meili has some local talent on board as she continues to build the Air Force Academy rifle team into a national contender.

Mary Maystrovich, a Northwest Christian graduate, is a freshman at the Air Force Academy, where Meili, a Cheney graduate and two-time Olympian, begins her 11th season as head coach.

In 2017, Meili took Air Force to its fifth NCAA National Championships, where the Falcons finished eighth after placing fourth in the Patriot Rifle Conference.

“I expect the team to do well during the shooting season and make it to the NCAAs and place well,” Maystrovich, a Spokane Junior Rifle Club standout, is quoted on the Air Force website.

Kayla Leland, a Whitworth senior from Gonzaga Prep, won the Charles Bowles Invitational in Salem, Oregon, on Sept. 30 and was honored as the Northwest Conference Women’s Cross Country Student-Athlete of the Week for the third time this fall. Leland covered the 5K course in 17 minutes, 37.1 seconds in outrunning 165 competitors, finishing 6 seconds ahead of a Division I runner who was second. It was Leland’s sixth NWC weekly cross country honor in two seasons.

Emiko Kahler, Whitworth’s sophomore outside hitter from Happy Valley, Oregon, was a Northwest Conference Volleyball Student-Athletes of the Week after leading the Pirates in a pair of road victories last weekend. She averaged 4.33 kills per set, hit .355 and had 4.50 digs per set, including a career-high 22 in a win at George Fox.

Natalie Taylor, an Evergreen State College junior outside hitter from Lake City, was named Cascade Collegiate Conference Attacker of the Week in Volleyball after leading the Geoducks to a pair of victories. Her contribution included hitting a career-high .457 against Multnomah, surpassing a .409 earlier this season against UC Merced. She averaged 5.5 kills per set and hit .375 for the weekend.

Hunter Weitze, a Lewis-Clark State junior from Colfax, was named the Frontier Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week after he claimed medalist honors at the Carroll College Invitational with a 9-under-par 204 on rounds of 67, 70, 67.

Jasmine Margetts, a Washington State junior from Torrance, California, has been selected to the Pac-12 team that will face the USA National Swimming Team in the second edition of the USA College Challenge on Oct. 21-22 at the USC aquatics center in Los Angeles. Margetts, who has WSU top-10 times in seven events, has registered five victories in two dual meets this season to add to her 14 wins as a freshman and eight as a sophomore.

The Gonzaga men and women and Washington State women have earned United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Awards for the 2016-17 academic year with team grade-point averages of 3.0 or higher. The GU men were honored for the 15th consecutive season, this time with a 3.36 GPA. The women received the award for the ninth consecutive year with a 3.48 GPA. Gonzaga is one of four WCC schools to place both its men’s and women’s teams on the list. The Cougars women, one of 10 Pac-12 teams to receive the honor, had a 3.19 team grade-point average.

Golf

Led by Jeff Gove and Darren Slackman, area golfers claimed three of the top four spots in the Pacific Northwest Pro-Amateur Championship last week at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman.

Gove, from the Idaho Club in Sandpoint, and Slackman, from The Creek at Qualchan, combined for four-ball scores of 61-61 for a 22-under 122 and a two-stroke victory over Brian Thornton and Todd Densley of Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent, Washington.

North Idaho College coach Rusell Grove and Reid Hatley from Hayden Lake Country Club were third at 126 (62-64) and Derek Siesser, from Qualchan, and Erik Olson, from Riverbend Golf Course in Thompson Falls, Montana, were fourth at 127 (64-63).

Hockey

Sean MacFarlane, who played youth hockey in the Spokane Americans program and has been an on-ice official for 13 years, has been hired by the East Coast and the American hockey leagues as a referee for the 2017-18 season.

Only the second hockey referee from the area to work in the AHL, MacFarlane has also been hired to work the IIHF World Championship U20 tournament in Bled, Slovenia, Dec. 9-15.

Rowing

Former Washington State rowers Nicole Hare and Lisa Roman earned silver medals with their Canadian teammates for a second-place finish in the women’s eight at the 2017 World Rowing Championships last week in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida. Romania won the gold.

Hare (Calgary, Alberta) and Roman (Langley, B.C.), both members of the 2016 Canadian Olympic team, were also on Canada’s women’s four that placed third in the B Final to finish ninth overall. Hare rowed for the Cougars from 2013-17 and Roman from 2010-12.

Hare’s former WSU teammate, Ieva Adomaviciute, who completed her career in 2017, was a member of the Lithuania women’s double scull that finished fourth in the A Final.

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