College Sports

Squalicum grad Gus Evans takes 11th at swimming championships

Denison University sophomore Gus Evans (Squalicum) placed 11th in the 200 breaststroke at the NCAA Division III National Championships on Saturday, March 21, at Shenandoah, Texas.

Evans turned in a time of 2 minutes, 1.74 seconds, which was 8.77 seconds off the time by national champion Andrew Wilson from Emory. Evans entered seeded third in the event with a time time of 1:59.86. He turned in the 10th-fastest time in the preliminaries earlier Saturday with his time of 2:00.97.

Evans also placed 11th in the 100 breaststroke on Friday, March 20 with a time of 55.63 seconds. Evans swam in the consolation final after turning in the 11th-fastest preliminary time earlier in the day 55.79, which was three hundredths of a second faster than the time he was seeded by.

Hafford returns to Australia

Swingman Paul Hafford (Lynden Christian, Bellingham Slam) has signed a contract to return to Australia to play professional basketball for another season.

Hafford, 31, re-signed with the Mandurah Magic of Australia’s State Basketball League, continuing a career that has taken him around the world. Hafford also played in Mandurah, which is located on Australia’s west coast, in 2014, averaging 20 points per game and 8 rebounds per game.

Hafford, who graduated from Portland State, starred for the Slam for five seasons from 2008 to 2012. He was named co-MVP of the 2008 IBL title game and was the club’s leading scorer in 2012.

In seven total seasons in the IBL split between Central Oregon, Bellingham and Vancouver, Hafford made four title game appearances and earned three league all-star selections and averaged 19 points per game. He ranks second on the league’s all-time scoring list with 2,520 points.

Australia is Hafford’s fourth stop internationally in his playing career. He also has competed in Romania, Norway and China.

Burke off to strong start

Sophomore outfielder Aaron Burke (Bellingham) entered Saturday fifth on the Oregon Tech baseball team with a .296 batting average (8 for 27). Though he’s only started eight games, he’s seen action in 22 of the Owls’ first 24 games this season. He’s scored 15 runs and has two doubles, two RBI and stolen two bases in three attempts.

As a freshman, Burke hit .190 (8 for 42) with six runs scored and three RBI in 26 games, including 13 starts.

Park’s college career comes to a close

Senior Bree Park (Meridian) gave third-seeded Southern Oregon a shot with a 3-pointer with less than two minutes to play, but it wasn’t enough, as the Raiders fell 72-65 to Tabor on March 13, in the quarterfinals of the NAIA Division II National Tournament.

Park, who finished with five points in the game, drew Southern Oregon within two points, 65-63, with her 3, but the Raiders couldn’t get over the hump.

Park appeared in 27 games coming off the bench for the Owls and averaged 5.6 points, 1.0 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 11.8 minutes of playing time during her senior season.

Speidel claims 1,500 meters

Spokane Community College sophomore Paris Speidel (Bellingham) won the 1,500 meters and finished third in the 800 at the Linfield Erik Anderson Icebreaker March 6-7 at McMinnville, Ore.

Speidel turned in a time of 4 minutes, 0.82 seconds to win by more than a second in the 1,500 and ran a 1:53.09 in the 800, finishing less than a quarter second behind Portland State’s Nathan Fleck. Speidel also was part of the Bigfoot’s 11th-place 4x400 relay.

Hommes not enough for Bobcats

Junior forward Jasmine Hommes (Lynden Christian) recorded her fourth double-double of the season, scoring a game-high 22 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough, as the Montana State women’s basketball team fell 78-62 to Sacramento State in the Big Sky Tournament quarterfinals. The loss ended the Bobcats’ season with a 15-15 record.

Earlier in the week, Hommes was selected to the All-Big Sky Conference second-team by the conference’s coaches for a second straight year. She also was selected the Big Sky Player of the Week after scoring 25 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the Bobcats’ regular-season finale against Montana.

Hommes led the Bobcats with 16.9 points per game and was third with 5.1 rebounds per game in 30 games.

Peterson wins MIAC honor

Carleton College sophomore Zoe Peterson (Squalicum) earned Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Track and Field Athlete of the Week honors on March 6 after capturing a pair of first-place finishes at the Ole Open Qualifier at St. Olaf.

Peterson won the triple jump with a new team-record leap of 35 feet, 21/4 inches and claimed first in the long jump with a jump of 16-101/2.

Peterson’s record was broken by teammate Damali Birtton March fifth at the MIAC Indoor Championships on March 5, but Peterson still placed fourth at the meet and earned honorable mention all-conference recognition with a leap of 34-81/4. Peterson also placed seventh in the long jump at 15-81/4 and placed ninth in the pentathlon with a score of 2,609.

Shagren earns conference honor

Sophomore Dak Shagren (Lynden) was one of three Northwest University men’s basketball players selected honorable mention on the All-Cascade Conference team announced on March 4.

Shagren led the Eagles with 14.6 points per game this season, shooting 42 percent from the field and 41 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. Shagren also led the team with his 79-percent free throw percentage (53 for 67).

Manson starts strong

Sophomore infielder Jake Manson (Sehome) opened the baseball season with two hits and two runs scored in Yakima Valley’s 8-2 win over Everett on March 1.

In his first 10 games of the spring, Manson ranks in the top 40 in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges with his .341 batting average (14 for 41) and has seven runs scored, two doubles, 12 RBI and a stolen base.

Bruce makes impact during playoffs

Junior forward Keegan Bruce (Bellingham) set up teammate Dave Williams for a goal 23 seconds into a Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Haris Cup semifinal on Feb. 28 to put St. Scholastica up early, but the Saints couldn’t hold on and fell 4-3 to Adrian to end their season.

Bruce scored the game winning goal at the 6:16 mark of the third period in a 2-1 quarterfinal win over Lake Forest a week earlier. It was his second game-winning goal of the season.

Bruce finished tied for sixth on the team with six goals this season and was tied for third with 14 assists.

To suggest a former Whatcom County student athlete for Whatcom Connections, email david.rasbach@bellinghamherald.com or call 360-715-2286.

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