Ketchikan claims fourth state Big League title

Posted: Friday, July 21, 2000

Make it No. 4.

The Ketchikan Big League All-Stars captured their fourth straight state title with a two-game sweep of the District I All-Stars of Anchorage Saturday and Sunday at Norman Walker Field in Ketchikan.

Ketchikan cruised past District I on Saturday with a convincing 11-1 victory behind the one-hit pitching of Don Munhoven. On Sunday, T.J. Milner pitched Ketchikan to the title with a 7-2 complete-game win.

This year, Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League did not field a Big League (age 17-18) team so there wasn't a District II tournament and Ketchikan advanced directly to the state tournament.

On Saturday, Munhoven did it with his bat as well as on the mound. He crushed a three-run home run that put Ketchikan up 7-0 in the fourth inning. Munhoven's dinger mirrored that of Richard McAlpin, who blasted his own three-run homer in the third.

``They both came on hit-and-runs,'' said Ketchikan manager Ken Lewis, who has led the team to two state titles. ``They're not supposed to work that way, but we'll take them.''

With the big lead behind him, Munhoven kept the Anchorage-area ballplayers from getting anything going. He allowed just one hit, a single, while fanning seven and walking no one.

At the plate, Munhoven finished with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored. McAlpin added a single with his homer while driving in three runs.

Sunday's contest saw Ketchikan play more small ball, although Robbie Vincent got the locals in the board in the second with the only homer of the contest. That keyed a four-run rally that gave Milner the kind of support he needed.

Milner went the distance, allowing two runs, four hits and two walks while striking out five.

The Ketchikan All-Stars left Wednesday for Vashon Island, Wash., where regional play involving several Northwest and Western teams takes place.

As always, the team to beat will probably come from Hawaii, Lewis said. Ketchikan came close in 1997 to defeating Hawaii, the perennial Big League powerhouse from the West, but lost 2-1. Hawaii went all the way to the Big League national championship that season. Lewis doesn't see why Ketchikan can't be as successful.

``We have to get over that psychology that we're not good enough. We've got to break past that,'' Lewis said. ``There's no reason a team out here can't win.''

- Jerry Blair

Ketchikan Daily News

Sitka athlete ropes

more titles

Just take Derek Hirai's word for it that the rope is really there.

The holder of 18 national titles and two world championships in jump roping, Hirai spins his rope so fast it is more easily heard than seen.

Tightening his grip on the title of the world's best jump roper, Hirai collected three more national titles in individual events last month at the U.S. Amateur Jump Rope Federation Grand Nationals in Orlando, Fla., setting two national records in the process.

Hirai, who will be a senior at Sitka High School this fall, was part of the 12-member Sitka Skippers jumping team that competed in a field of 62 teams and 1,500 competitors from around the country. The Juneau Jumpers sent 11 athletes to the competition.

Spending most of his competition time suspended barely an inch off the ground, pumping his feet in rapid-fire succession, Hirai took titles and set records in both the one-minute speed jumping event and the three-minute endurance event. He also added the title in the men's freestyle competition, which is a choreographed routine done to music accompaniment.

``I think it's the first time anyone's won all three individuals,'' Hirai said.

Over the course of his nine-year career as a jump roper, Hirai has amassed a dozen national age-group titles, three previous overall national championships and last year won both events at the world championships in St. Louis.

``He blew the doors off the place,'' coach Karen Case said.

In the one-minute speed event, Hirai broke the record with 332 jumps in 60 seconds, more than five jumps per second. He beat the second-place finisher by nearly 20 jumps. In the three-minute endurance event, Hirai had 858 jumps which is nearly five jumps per second.

The only other Sitka Skipper to place in the top five was Kristen Case, who took fourth in the age 14-younger three-minute endurance event with 772 jumps.

Jessica Hadfield of the Juneau Jumpers claimed a gold medal in the girls age 15-17 one-minute speed event, with Mandi Johnson seventh and Megan Salveson ninth. In the age 12-14 division, Amber Johnson was fifth place in her age group and ninth overall, and in the age 11-younger division Lesley Kalbrener took fifth place.

Hadfield also won a gold medal in the three-minute endurance event, with Mandi Johnson seventh and Salveson ninth.

In the single-rope speed relay for age 15-17 girls, Mandi Johnson, Salveson, Hadfield and Shelley Perkins took fourth and sixth place in the national competition. Amber Johnson, Nicole Lim, Kalbrener and Katharine Leque took ninth in the age 12-14 division.

Salveson, Hadfield and Mandi Johnson took fourth in the age 15-17 division for the double-Dutch speed relay, and seventh overall. Perkins, Andrea Cadiente, Salveson and Hadfield took third place in their age group and sixth overall in the double-Dutch pairs speed event.

Cadiente took fourth place in the age 15-17 division single-rope freestyle event, with Hadfield fifth. In the age 11-younger division freestyle Kalbrener was fifth and Sarah Christianson was sixth. Kalbrener and Christianson teamed up for fourth place in the single-rope pairs freestyle event, age 11-younger.

The trio of Salveson, Cadiente and Perkins took fourth place in the double-Dutch single freestyle event, age 15-17, with Hadfield, Mandi Johnson and Kalbrener taking sixth. In the age 12-14 division, Amber Johnson, Lim and Megan Treston took 10th place.

Salveson, Cadiente, Hadfield and Perkins took 10th place in the double-Dutch pairs freestyle event, age 15-17.

- Ben Murray

The Daily Sitka Sentinel,

and Juneau Empire staff

Southeast hoopsters head

Down Under

Several girls basketball players from Southeast Alaska began a journey to Australia today for the Hoops Down Under tournament.

Tammi Meissner, the Wrangell High School girls basketball coach, is leading the team with her mother, Cinda Slough, acting as assistant coach.

The team will feature Jennifer Davies, Lizzy Romane and Kaelene Wilson from Wrangell, plus it will have Polly Hamilton and Meggie Haydu from Craig, Lisa Sele and Jamie Katzeek from Haines and Holli O'Neill from Petersburg.

The Southeast Alaska team will compete against a team from northern towns in Alaska, as well as teams from other parts of the United States, New Zealand and Australia, 22 teams in all.

There will be some different rules than what the Alaska players are used to. For example, the tournament will use a men's ball instead of a women's ball, teams will have to use a 30-second shot clock, and they'll have to watch the contact since more touch-fouls are called in Australia.

``We are counting the days, we are very excited to be going,'' Meissner said last week. ``These girls have never played together on a team, but we have seen them play at different times and feel good about their playing styles. We hope to do well at the tournament.''

- Amy Bower

Wrangell Sentinel

Noack wins Calamity Race 2000

Ian Noack claimed the title in the Calamity Race 2000, a unique triathlon held July 8 in Ketchikan.

Noack posted an overall time of 1 hour, 8 minutes, 20 seconds to win the event that featured a 2.5-mile kayak from the Mountain Point boat launch to Brand's Beach, a 7-mile bike ride to Saxman City Hall and a 2.5-mile run to the finish line at City Park in Ketchikan.

Chris Olsen took second place overall with a time of 1:08:44, leading for much of the race before being passed by Noack in the run leg. Raymond Dezek took third place overall in 1:10:14. Eight men completed the course as solo entrants.

Deborah Harney was the only female solo entrant, winning the category in a time of 1:24:21.

The trio of Jeff Lawrence, Joe Odell and Dan Ortiz won the men's team competition with a time of 1:06:06. The squad of Jodi Landis, Linda Mortenson and Danielle Landis was the only women's team entrant, posting a time of 1:23:33. The top youth team was Tyler Preston, Karl Chaudray and Cameron Spence, with a time of 1:26:06.

- Ketchikan Daily News

Craig Waverunners swim camp

The Craig Waverunners Swim Club is hosting a five-day swim camp with U.S. Olympic gold medalist Tom Jager as the featured clinician.

Jager, who held the world's 50-meter freestyle record for several years until it was broken two weeks ago, recently completed a sixmonth guest coaching stint with the Midnight Sun Swim Team in Fairbanks. Craig Waverunners coach Bob Goldhahn will work with other Southeast coaches and swimmers in the afternoon.

The five-day camp will take place Aug. 10-14 at the Craig Aquatic Center, and the cost is $150. Each swimmer will be videotaped under water.

For more information, contact LaVonne Garvey at 826-5297 or

- Press release

Smith wins Firecracker race

Gary Smith held off a late challenge from Roy Kleinert to win the annual Firecracker Bike Race July 3 in Sitka.

``Somehow he jumped up on a log or something and shot past me,'' Smith said of Kleinert's pass late in the 6-mile race, in an area of the trail that appeared too tight for passing.

To have a shot at winning the race, Kleinert had to find a way around Smith. So he made his move by skirting the edge of the narrow trail.

``Kind of off in the bushes,'' Kleinert said.

Smith came out of the woods hot on Kleinert's wheels, and was able to regain the lead on the short section of dirt road leading to the finish line. Smith posted a time of 30 minutes, 13 seconds, with Kleinert second in 30:22. Matt Betty took third place in 32:02. Ann Zweizig was the top female rider, but no time was available.

In another Fourth of July event, the 10-kilometer title of the annual fun run went to Smith, who is training to run a full Iron Man Triathlon in August in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Smith posted a time of 37:07 for the victory July 4, with John Collins second in 39:56 and Eric Speck third in 40:20. Jean Adams was the top female runner, posting a time of 54:41.

The 5-kilometer race was won by visiting 8-year-old Ronald Crouse of San Diego, Calif., who posted a time of 17:12. Torin Lehmann, age 10, of Sitka took second place in 23:45.

- Ben Murray

The Daily Sitka Sentinel

Carriere, Solie conquer

Yukon River Quest

In the end, it wasn't a question of who, but rather, by how much.

The team of Solomon Carriere and Dan Solie paddled into Dawson City, Yukon Territory, around dinner time on June 23, exactly an hour ahead of the next-fastest finishers of the 2000 Yukon River Quest.

The Carriere-Solie pairing left the other 13 teams in their wake shortly following the race's June 21 start in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Carriere, of Cumberland House, Saskatchewan, and Solie, of Fairbanks, stroked their way to the victory by finishing the 800-kilometer endurance race in a record time of 53 hours, 35 minutes.

The mark obliterated last year's winning time of 56:08, by Carriere and partner Jim Lokken. Carriere and Solie collected a total of $1,700 (U.S.) for winning the second-annual canoe/kayak race - $1,200 for finishing first overall and another $500 as the top men's team.

The second-place team was Tom Feil and Jeff Mettler, both of Wenatchee, Wash., posted an overall time of 54:35 and won $700.

The race is billed as the longest endurance marathon canoe/kayak race in the world, with a total purse of $13,000. Several Alaskans competed in the event, but none this year from Southeast. Last year, Skagway's Jeff and Sarah Brady competed in the race.

- Jeff Korenko

The Whitehorse Daily Star

The Juneau Empire's Southeast Sports Roundup is compiled about once a month by sports reporter Charles Bingham from local newspapers and press releases. To tip us off about an event, please fax the information to 1-907-586-3028 (attention sports) or e-mail it, without attachments, to

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