Last week the Pac-12 conference announced that all spring sports would be cancelled following the outbreak of Covid-19 and, like basketball players around the nation, their seasons came to a quick stop. Shortly after the announcement from the Pac-12, the NCAA announced that they would be giving all spring sport student-athletes relief in eligibility and that this current year would not count against them. Our own Kevin Dudley wrote about that this past weekend and you can check that out here.
With that extra year of eligibility it made me wonder, which seniors at Washington State can we see return for an extra year?
Washington State currently has two seniors on it’s roster; AJ Block and Owen Leonard - both Washington natives and pitchers for the Cougars. Block made the announcement to return to Pullman after being drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 17th round during the 2019 MLB Draft. During his time pitching for the Cougars he appeared in 55 games and get 30 starts finishing with a 5.48 ERA. He was off to his best start of his career this season with a 2-1 record and a 3.25 ERA including a complete game. His decision last season to return was a bit of a surprise and it has me wondering if he is willing to roll the dice again and return for his senior season a second time.
Leonard has spent just one full year on the Palouse after transferring to Washington State for the 2019 season. He appeared in 15 games in 2019 and added another 6 this season for a 1-0 record. His ERA took a hit last year and finished with a 10.42 but that dropped significantly this season as he gave up just one run in his 8.2 innings. He also gave up just three hits on the short season while sitting down seven. If he decides to leave and test his waters in the MLB it would be his fourth team in as many years as he started out at Pacific University before moving on to Everett Community College as a sophomore.
Track and Field:
Unlike baseball, there are a lot of seniors whose seasons came to an early end when it came to track and field. On the Men’s side there are 14 seniors; Corey Allen, Sam Brixey, Cameron Dean, Max English, Robby Flores, Troy Gingerich, Justin Janke, Nick Johnson, Paul Ryan, Kennan Schrag, Emmanuel “Ray Ray” Wells Jr., Ja’Maun Charles, Reid Muller, and Chandler Teigen are all athletes that will get an extra opportunity to showcase their talents. Both Brixey and Wells Jr. qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships that were supposed to be held last weekend.
For the women there are also 14 seniors; Natalie Ackerley, Stacia Bell, Chrisshnay Brown, Marie Gaudin, Melissa Hruska, Kaili Keefe, Morgan Lash, Lauren Newman, Janet Okeago, Leonie Reuter, Desi Stinger, Jordyn Tucker, Lovely Tukuafu, and Stephanie Cho. Reuter was the only senior out of that group to make the NCAA Championships.
Both the men’s and women’s team were ranked in the top 40 earlier this month.
On the men’s side, Nicklaus Chiam, Daniel Kolar, and Scott Redelsperger are all seniors who will be given another year to hit the course. The trio combined for 14 rounds of par or better and four top-25 finishes during the 2018-2019 season.
Elodie Bridenne and Marie Lund-Hansen are the two seniors on the women’s side. Lund-Hansen finished top-25 in half of her tournaments she played in last year including a second place finish at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational.
Madeleine Bingham, Ella Cowan De Wolf, Isabella Cristelli, Ivy Elling Quaintance, Nora Hefte, Renee Kemp, Kamila Ondrackova, Rosalina Torcivia, and Sue Yu rounded out the senior class for rowing. Rowing had yet to begin their spring season yet as it was scheduled to begin at the end of this month.
Melisa Ates and Jovana Knezevic are the two seniors on the tennis team that had 10 matches remaining in their season before the Pac-12 championships that were scheduled for the end of April. With an 11-3 record the Cougars were sitting in third in the conference
A Grip on Sports: The past is a mother lode of items to mine as we get through the next few weeks
As the days without sports on TV and in the community drag on – and they will drag on if the weekend’s news is any indication – it would be easy to become a bit stir crazy.
DE Nathan Rawlins-Kibonge still weighing two-sport options
Portland (Ore.) Jefferson defensive end Nathan Rawlins-Kibonge (6-7, 245), is still weighing out what he’ll do in college. A commit to Washington State for basketball, Rawlins-Kibonge played football for the first time last fall and saw his recruitment explode on the field, with 13 offers
Round two begins— Nick Rolovich (@NickRolovich) March 16, 2020