YAKIMA, Wash. — John Arlt knows track athletes come in all shapes and sizes and first impressions can be misleading.
Nevertheless when junior Branden Wise, who moved in from Oregon, told the Ellensburg track and field coach what his two main events are there was some unavoidable skepticism.
First off, Wise is a distance runner, obviously, because he looks like one at 5-foot-5, 130 pounds and he ran cross country for the Bulldogs last fall and competed at state.
But this kid can also fling a javelin. And there’s no messing around here.
Wise has won two invitational meets, throwing a career-best 174 feet, 4 inches on March 23 and then following up a week later with 178-8 at the Holder Relays. At present, the 178-8 ranks second in the state among 2A throwers and fourth overall behind three seniors.
“Branden isn’t a big kid, but he’s quick on the runway and his arm speed is incredible,” Arlt said. “The biggest thing with him is trying to keep him from throwing his arm out. He’s a hard worker who loves to throw and analyze his technique.”
Wise ran just the 3,200 and skipped the javelin at the Davis Invitational last week, but he’ll get a look at the state’s best this Saturday in a field of 40-plus at the Pasco Invitational.
“He PRed in his first two meets so last week was a good time to rest that arm,” Arlt noted. “I know he’s looking forward to Saturday.”
Branden isn’t the only member of the Wise family making an impact in the CWAC this spring. Sophomore Aiden Wise leads the league — and Valley — in the 110-meter hurdles at 15.62. Both competed last year for Banks, a 4A school in Oregon.
Best of the best
Sunnyside’s Ashlee Maldonado and Kittitas’ Brock Ravet will represent their state in Saturday’s 25th annual Northwest Shootout at Liberty High School in Hillsboro, Ore.
Maldonado will try to help Washington’s girls beat Oregon for the 10th time in 11 years in the 4 p.m. game. The boys game follows at 6 with Oregon having won five of the last six.
Rams stay in-house
To find Katie Hinckley’s successor, West Valley simply looked to her predecessor.
Jill O’Brien will take over as the Rams’ head volleyball coach this fall, a position she held for five seasons before Hinckley took over in 2008.
O’Brien has been a teacher and coach at West Valley Junior High since 1991.
• Sunnyside has hired Erin Koerner as its new volleyball coach. Koerner has coached at Zillah and Prosser and founded Club Lokahi in Zillah.
Passings of note
Two significant members of the Yakima School District’s athletic legacy passed away recently, Cal Reimcke and Ted Stone.
Reimcke was the YSD’s Director of Athletics from 1976 to 1990 and earned the state’s AD of the year award in that final year. After moving to Spokane, he was inducted into Washington’s AD Hall of Fame in 2000.
Prior to Yakima, Reimcke coached men’s basketball at Whitworth and College of Marin (Calif.).
Stone coached wrestling at Eisenhower from 1967 to 1987 and was inducted into Washington’s wrestling coaches Hall of Fame in 1988.
Former YHR sportswriter Roger Underwood profiled Stone in 2015 just before he became a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Six players from three local schools have been selected to play in the 25th edition of the Earl Barden Classic on June 22.
Selah’s Cameron Ditter, Jake Weber and Skylar Rayburn, Zillah’s Dakota Hibbs and Bailey Sparks and Prosser’s Kord Tuttle will represent the East squad in the all-senior 2A-1A-B game, which will be held at Zaepfel Stadium this year while construction continues at East Valley.
The 4A-3A All-State game, which has been most recently held in Spokane and Moses Lake, is coming to Ellensburg this summer. Central Washington’s Tomlinson Stadium will host the game on July 12.
From the note file
Selah baseball coach Mike Archer has added an interesting nonleague game for the end of the regular season. The Vikings (9-2), ranked second in this week’s 2A coaches poll, will host Southridge on April 29. The Suns are 10-0 and ranked No. 1 in 3A.
• Naches Valley’s Kaylee Moore wrapped up her senior season ranked third (127 pounds) in the final national wrestling rankings. Also in the rankings were Sunnyside sophomore Lourdes Torres (12th) and Granger junior Viktorya Torres (14th).
• The CBBN’s winter winners for the NECA/IBEW awards are Alexis Rojas and Joshua Montgomery of Davis, Lexy Santiago and John McDonald of Eisenhower, Mireya Sanchez-Cisneros and Jose Campos of Sunnyside and Victoria Loveless and Erik Feldmann of West Valley.
• Ryan Scott of West Valley was named the District 6 assistant coach of the year in football. Scott coaches wide receivers and defensive backs and is the special teams Coordinator for the Rams.
• The OSAA’s Executive Board officially accepted the full-membership applications from Trout Lake, Lyle-Wishram, Bickleton, Klickitat and Glenwood last month. They will join Oregon’s Big Sky League in the 2020-21 school year.
• Lincoln High School in Seattle, which closed after 74 years in 1981, is reopening this fall with freshmen and sophomores and will offer all varsity sports.
• West Seattle senior Chloe Cunliffe broke the national prep indoor record in the pole vault last month at 14 feet, 9 inches and she established a new outdoor record of 14-8 at the Arcadia Invitational last weekend. Cunliffe is headed to WSU.