Speidel finds a new home to run at Spokane Falls

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 21, 2013 

It took Paris Speidel a couple of years to find a home at Bellingham High School. But now that he's graduated, he believes he's found a new one at Spokane Falls Community College.

Speidel, who also attended Meridian and Lynden during his high school career, will run track and cross country for the Bigfoot. He said he made the choice to attend the school over Eastern Oregon.

"They have a really good coach," Speidel said in a phone interview. "Sean McLachlan, he recruited me and he's the cross country coach. They have a real strong team and a really well-built team. I just liked everything about the coach. He's a good guy to be with for the next two years to help me get better. He's a coach that won't only help you running, but with life skills."

That, Speidel said, should help him when he looks to move on to a four-year school in a couple of years.

At Spokane Falls, Speidel will likely run the 800 and the 1,500 meters, and he hopes to earn a spot on a highly competitive Bigfoot 4x400 relay team. He'll also train with the cross country team and said he will decide whether to compete or not during the fall.

"They have some real fast guys on the track team," Speidel said. "They have good workouts and the training is really good. They have coaches that know what they're doing. They didn't last year, but the previous couple of years, they won the league meet."

The Bigfoot also won 10 straight Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges cross country championships from 2001 to 2010 and another in 2012.

Speidel should be a valuable addition, as he just missed qualifying for state, finishing fourth at the district meet in the 400 meters with a season-best time of 51.06 seconds and was fifth at the district meet in the 800 and had a season-best time of 1:56.49.

He also finished 53rd at the Class 2A State Cross Country Championships last fall, helping Bellingham to a second-place team finish.

Speidel said he plans to major in Business, but is still deciding what area.

SMITH HEADS TO WHITWORTH

While Lynden graduated senior Logan Smith saw quite a bit of success playing in what he called the Lions' "finesse and dynamic" style of offense, he's looking forward to moving into attack mode in college.

Smith will play soccer for Whitworth University beginning next fall, making the selection, he said, over a couple of schools in California.

"They're very focused on your school work, but it also allows me a chance to keep playing at a competitive level," Smith said in a phone interview. "They're a top team, and they've won their conference (the NCAA Division III Northwest Conference) the past few years, and it will be a good program to play for. I liked the coach as well."

One of the things Smith said he liked most about coach Morgan Cathey, in addition to the winning tradition he's built at Whitworth, is the attacking brand of soccer he has instilled for the Pirates.

"I like the attacking style better," Smith said. "It's more free-flowing and you focus on getting the ball and scoring goals. You defend by attacking."

Smith said he will likely slot in as a center midfielder or outside back, similar to what he played for the Lions.

Smith scored two goals and logged four assists as he and the Lions fell one game short of qualifying for the postseason last spring. He also was a part of the Lions' run to the Class 2A state title as a sophomore.

Smith said he plans to major in Physics and Engineering so that he can focus on Mechanical Engineering.

Blaine coach opening: The Blaine volleyball team is seeking a C-team coach. Qualifications and a full job description are available at blainesd.org. For further questions, contact Athletic Coordinator Steve Miller at 360-332-0394.

Reach DAVID RASBACH at david.rasbach@bellinghamherald.com or call 715-2271.

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