College Sports

Former Lynden QB Kraght makes first collegiate starts

Redshirt freshman quarterback Josh Kraght (Lynden) made his starting debut on Nov. 8 for the Portland State football team in a 29-22 loss to FCS No. 15 Montana State at Bozeman, Mont.

Kraght had 314 yards of total offense, including a 50-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Carter in the final minute of the game. He also scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 1-yard run.

Kraght rushed for 96 yards on 19 carries and completed 19 of 38 pass attempts for 218 yards and the TD.

Kraght also started on Saturday, Nov. 14, in a 48-41 loss at Sacramento State. He hit 22 of 40 passes for 265 yards and a TD and rushed for 44 yards and another score on 10 carries.

The Vikings (3-8) will play their regular-season finale against Eastern Washington at Portland at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22, in a game that is scheduled to be televised on ROOT Sports.

The game will mark the regular-season finale for fellow Lynden alum Blair Bomber. The senior receiver has 13 catches for 165 yards and three touchdowns so far this season for the Eagles (9-2).

Two former Vikings make U.S. bobsled team

Former Western Washington University track and field athletes Michelle Howe and Alex Harrison were among the 23 athletes selected to represent the United States bobsled team on the 2014-15 World Cup and Intercontinental Cup tours. The team was announced last week.

The selection puts both in the running to earn spots on the team the U.S. will send to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Howe, who attended Lakewood High School, majored in Exercise Science while at Western, before graduating in 2012. She went on to earn her Masters Degree at East Tennessee State University, where she is currently working on her Ph.D. She held the indoor 60-meter hurdling record at Western until Tanya Bjornsson broke it in 2013.

Howe had a hand in bringing her friend, Harrison, to the sport of bobsledding. Harrison was a former decathlete at WWU until graduating in 2012. The Edmonds resident set the school records in the javelin and decathlon in 2012. Slater Hirst broke his record in the javelin last spring, but Harrison’s mark of 6,772 points in the decathlon still stands.

The World Cup season began last weekend at Lake Placid, N.Y., and Harrison started strong riding with Olympic champion driver Steven Holcomb to a second-place finish in the four-man competition and grabbing gold as Holcomb’s brakeman during the second day of two-man competition.

Howe also had a good showing, pairing with driver Jamie Greubel Poser to finish second in the first women’s competition and with Brittany Reinbolt to finish fourth on Day 2.

The Intercontinental Cup tour gets underway this weekend at Lillehammer, Norway.

Locals making mark on D-III tournament

A trio of former Whatcom County players have helped the Whitworth men’s soccer team reach the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Division III Tournament — the fourth time the program has advanced this deep.

Defenders Spencer Wolfe (Squalicum) and Logan Smith (Lynden) and midfielder David Starkovich (Squalicum) all have seen playing time for the Pirates, who won the Northwest Conference title and beat Covenant College 1-0 and Berry University 2-0 in the Southeast Regional round play last weekend.

Wolfe, a junior, was selected a second-team all-league defender after making 19 starts. He was an honorable mention selection in 2013. This year he’s logged four assists, including one in the win over Berry on Saturday and helped Whitworth shut out nine opponents in 20 games and allow only 0.82 goals per game.

Smith, a sophomore, has played in nine games for the Pirates this year, though he did not make any starts.

Starkovich, also a sophomore, played in 19 games as a substitute. He logged nine shots, three of which were on goal.

Whitworth will next face Christopher Newport University in Gambier, Ohio, at 10:30 a.m. PST on Saturday. The game will be streamed by Whitworth at

The Whitworth players were not the only local products to help their teams advance to the NCAA Division III Tournament this fall, as senior center back Geordie Marriner (Sehome) helped lead Pomona-Pitzer to the tourney for the first team since 1980 with a 1-0 win over Redlands in the Southern California Interscholastic Athletics Conference championship game on Nov. 8.

Marriner, who was a four-year starter for the Sagehens, quarterbacked a defense that allowed Redlands only one shot on goal in the conference championship game. Marriner started every game but one this fall and helped Pomona-Pitzer log seven shutouts.

The Sagehens fell 2-0 to Texas-Dallas in the first round to end the season and Marriner’s collegiate career. Marriner leaves as a two-time Academic All-SCIAC selection as a economics and mathematics dual major.

Olson signs with Sacramento State

Lower Columbia College sophomore pitcher Tanner Olson (Lynden) on Thursday, Nov. 13, signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Sacramento State beginning next year.

The right-hander, who is expected to be the ace of the Red Devils’ rotation this spring, went 5-2 with a 3.29 ERA as a freshman. He had 51 strikeouts and just 15 walks in 79 innings.

Sacramento State won the Western Athletic Conference title last spring and advanced to the regionals of the NCAA Division I tournament.

Hommes starts season strong

Montana State junior forward Jasmine Hommes (Lynden Christian) scored a game-high 24 points on 10 for 16 shooting from the field to lead the Bobcats to a 63-47 women’s basketball victory at Cal State-Fullerton on Sunday, Nov. 16.

Hommes also logged four rebounds and an assist in the game, two nights after scoring a team-high 15 points to go with her four rebounds and a block in a season-opening 75-60 loss at Boise State.

Hommes was an honorable mention All-Big Sky selection last season, after a breakout season when she led the Bobcats with 13.8 points and averaging 4.3 rebounds per game.

Bruce lends an assist

College of St. Scholastica junior forward Keegan Bruce (Bellingham) recorded his second assist of the season, but it wasn’t enough, as the Saints suffered a 4-3 men’s hockey loss to Finlandia University on Saturday at Hancock, Mich.

Bruce has played in all six games so far this season for St. Scholastica and is tied for fourth on the team with five points. He has three goals and two assists and has taken 18 shots so far this year, helping the Saints get off to a 5-1 start.

Shine leads comeback

Central Washington junior guard Hannah Shine (Lynden) scored five of her 17 points during an 8-0 game-ending run that lifted the Wildcats to a 68-63 women’s basketball win over Hawaii Pacific on Saturday at Nampa, Idaho.

Senior guard Erica Locker (Ferndale) scored eight points in the game, one night after she scored nine in a season-opening loss to Cal Baptist.

Both players have come off the bench so far this season.

Bramlett finishes strong

Northwest Christian University senior midfielder Josh Bramlett (Squalicum) wrapped up his collegiate playing career last month owning the school record with six assists.

Bramlett, who played in 65 career games (third in team history), also scored three goals.

Bramlett also was selected to the Capitol One Academic All-District team for the second time in his playing career. As an all-district honoree, Bramlett, who also was selected to the U.S. Bank Academic All-Cascade Collegiate Conference team, advances to the ballot for the Academic All-America Team.

Football: Montana State Northern sophomore running back Mario Gobbato (Blaine) rushed four times for 18 yards to help the Lights close out Frontier League play with a 44-41 win over Rocky Mountain on Saturday. Gobbato finished second on the team with 82 rushes for 380 yards and three TDs, with his biggest game coming Oct. 25 against Eastern Oregon, when he rushed for 52 yards and two TDs on nine carries.

Women’s soccer: Peninsula College sophomore forward Larkyn Nelson (Bellingham) helped the Pirates reach the Northwest Athletic Association of Community College championship game last week, before the team lost 1-0 to Everett on Sunday. Nelson finished the season with five goals and two assists.

Men’s soccer: Oregon State sophomore forward Michael Steele (Ferndale) started 13 of 18 games for the Beavers this year, logging a goal and five assists and taking 21 shots.

Men’s basketball: San Diego Christian junior guard Daniel Nielsen (Whatcom Community College) scored 11 points in a 70-58 loss at Santa Clara on Saturday. Nielsen had a game-high 23 points Friday, Nov. 14, in a win over UC Merced and is averaging 10.3 points in four games coming off the bench for the Hawks.