This past weekend, the Burton Beach Rowing Club’s Gabbie Graves competed at the USRowing Youth Regional Challenge in Sarasota, Florida, as part of the Northwest Team, along with athletes from throughout Washington and Oregon. The relatively new regatta hosts teams from the six rowing regions across the country, and is intended as both an incentive to winter training and as a kickoff to a series of Olympic Development Program identification camps for young athletes.
Although eligible for the U-17 races, Graves raced in the U-19 women’s quad, powering to an open water victory with teammates Mara Cassidy (Vancouver Lake), Emily Jaudon (Olympia) and Ryan Swardstrom (Seattle Rowing Center). The Northwest’s only other victories came in the U-19 men’s pair (both from Rose City Rowing Club) and the U-19 men’s double (both from Oregon Unlimited).
“Representing the Northwest at the National Regional Challenge was a really great experience,” Graves said. “Being able to race against the rest of the country with people I normally compete against really made me feel a strong sense of NW pride.”
The Northwest came third out of six overall in the points table behind the Northeast and Southeast Regions respectively, just edging out the Mid-Atlantic, and leaving the Southwest and Midwest regions well back.
The Vashon Tennis Club finished erecting the inflatable dome over the tennis courts last week, in a partnership with the Vashon Golf & Swim Club.
The dome, which rises 48 feet into the sky, will be in place for six months of the year and will enable both kids and adults to play tennis— and a variety of other sports — year round. There is room for two tennis courts and as many as eight pickelball courts, according to Marcus Gautesen, co-founder of the club.
The facility needs final approval from the King County Fire Marshal, which is expected this week.
“We are ready to play the minute he walks away,” Gautesen said.
The facility is expected to be fully open to the public Jan. 1, with preliminary activity happening there throughout the holidays. Gauteson noted that representatives from several sports have contacted him about using the space, including badminton, ping pong and futsal. Both clubs involved in the dome effort are open to other activities taking place there, as well, from birthday parties to weddings, if couples were so inclined.
“We can do everything here but archery,” Gautesen said.
The main sport behind the dome effort, of course, is tennis, and those involved say the dome will enable the high school teams to practice inside during their respective seasons as well as take lessons and practice after school with a coach coming to the island from Seattle beginning in the new year.
For more information, about using the domed courts for non-athletic events, contact the Vashon Golf & Swim Club at 206-463-9410 and for sporting events, contact Gautesen at Vashontenniskids@gmail.com.
VHS wrestlers have been busy recently in local competition and in Idaho late last week at the annual TriState Tournament.
The grappling Pirates remain undefeated so far this season, after beating both Bellevue Christian (65-9) and Cascade Christian (60-10) in league matchups.
Then it was off to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, for the 66-team TriState Tournament. Several Vashon wrestlers earned victories during the two-day event: Jordon Rutschow won two, and Ryan Nelson, Moses Kilpatrick and Lewis Kanagy each won three of their matches, with Nelson and Kilpatrick just barely edged out of the top eight in their weight classes.
Coach Anders Blomgren said that the relatively young team competed fiercely at this ultra-competitive tournament, ultimately finishing in the “middle of the pack.”
Coming up: the island’s 30th annual Rock wrestling tournament, on Saturday, Dec. 29.
Jingle Bell fun run
The Vashon Running Club’s annual Jingle Bell fun run/walk will return to downtown Vashon at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, in the lot next to Recess Lab and Voice of Vashon. The 2.5 mile fun run/walk is free and also open to furry friends and strollers (no carrying strollers over high water this year!) There will be music, snacks and hot cider. Everyone is welcome. At this year’s Turkey Trot, participants donated more than $120 and 100 cans of food to the Vashon-Maury Community Food Bank. There are volunteer opportunities to help set up, mark the course, accompany runners and walkers, and tear down after the event. Those who want to volunteer should leave a message on the Vashon Running Club’s Facebook page. This year’s Jingle Bell Run takes place the morning after the Solstice Run at Dockton Park, which is at 7 p.m. tomorrow.
— Rowing and wrestling by Sarah Low; tennis and Jingle Bell run by Susan Riemer