SPORTS: Championship weekend for high school sports

The busiest weekend of the entire prep sports season could end with more than one state championship for area athletes/teams.

Along with the unbeaten Sequim softball team, the North Olympic Peninsula has a number of contenders primed to make a prolonged state tournament run.

Here’s a quick rundown listing the area’s top 10 state hopefuls in track and field, softball, baseball and tennis:

■ No. 10, Mallory Maloney, Sequim boys tennis — Of the area’s five representatives at the Class 2A state tennis tournaments, Maloney may have the best chance to make some noise.

This is, after all, his fourth straight trip to state after visiting the 2A tourney his freshman through junior years as Reed Gunstone’s doubles partner.

Maloney’s lone district loss also came against the eventual 2A bi-district champion.

That being said, he did split with Port Angeles’ Micah Roos, also visiting 2A state, in regular season singles matches last fall.

■ No. 9, Derek Toepper, Chimacum track — Last year’s All-Peninsula male track and field MVP has the sixth-best marks in 1A in the long and triple jumps this spring.

His best is a little more than a foot short of the top 1A long jump and 1½ feet short of the best 1A triple jump.

■ No. 8, Haleigh Harrison, Sequim track — The Wolves sophomore comes into this afternoon’s Class 2A high jump final with the second-best mark in her classification this season at 5 feet, 5 inches.

Add one more inch and Harrison might just catch up to Fife’s Lateah Holmes, whose best jump of the season is 5-6.

■ No. 7, Crescent boys track and field — The Loggers have athletes competing in nine different events at the 1B track and field championships in Cheney.

If Crescent can put together a bunch of top-three marks, it might be able to do one better than its second-place finish from a year ago.

■ No. 6, Port Angeles softball — The Roughriders (19-3) have just three losses all season, each coming against the unbeaten Sequim Wolves.

One of those games, however, was a 7-6 extra innings thriller that could have easily gone the other way.

If it goes the other way at the 2A tourney in Selah this weekend — the two may meet in the quarterfinals — the Riders may very well roll from there to the school’s first-ever softball crown.

■ No. 5, Neah Bay 4-by-100 meter relay — The Red Devils are tied with Pomeroy for the best 1B 4-by-100 relay time this spring.

Considering that time goes down to a hundredth of a second (46.06 seconds), this looks like it will come down to a photo finish.

■ No. 4, Chimacum baseball — The Cowboys are back at the 1A state semifinals in Yakima for the third year in a row.

Just about everyone of consequence from those two teams is back, including ace left-hander Landon Cray and Nos. 2 and 3 pitchers Quinn Eldridge and Austin McConnell.

Chimacum finished third in 1A in 2009 and second a year ago.

The Cowboys (22-2 overall) play Bellevue Christian today at 1 p.m. in the semis, but the biggest roadblock to a 1A state crown is on the other side of the bracket: Northwest Conference power Meridian.

The Trojans beat Chimacum 2-1 in nine innings to claim the 1A tri-district title two weeks ago.

■ No. 3, Frank Catelli, Sequim track — The Sequim junior has become a bit of a gathering storm in the final three weeks of the track and field season.

That began with an Olympic League title in the shot put and ended with a 2A bi-district record toss of 58 feet, 1½ inches last week. It was the best shot put mark of the year in 2A by nearly five feet.

■ No. 2, Troy Martin, Port Angeles track — Martin has been almost unchallenged this spring in the discus.

Going into Saturday morning’s 2A final, he’s the only 2A discus thrower to trump 170 feet all season . . . and he’s done it four times.

■ No. 1, Sequim softball — Any team that wins a district title by outscoring its opponents 37-4 has to be considered the favorite to win it all.

Matt Schubert