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Whidbey alumni continue athletic careers in college
Here’s an update on Coupeville and Oak Harbor high school graduates who have continued their athletic careers on the courts, tracks and pools of colleges around the United States this winter sports season.
Oak Harbor brothers John and Price Hu helped the Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, N.J.) win the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference swim title this winter.
John Hu, a junior, won his third consecutive Swimmer of the Meet honors at the conference meet while winning three events. During his career he has earned four all-conference awards and set three school records.
Price Hu, a freshman, finished second to his brother in the 200-yard butterfly at the conference meet and placed fifth in two other events.
Coupeville’s Lily Doyle, a sophomore at Vassar, placed 22nd in the 200 backstroke at the Liberty League Championships and 19th in the 100 back at the Seven Sister Championships earlier this season.
Oak Harbor’s Jessica Denmon, a sophomore at first-place Skagit Valley College (14-1, 19-6), is “having a great year,” according to women’s basketball coach Steve Epperson.
Epperson added, “She has made a great contribution this year, and she is the best rebounding point guard I have ever seen in my 35 years.”
Though Denmon is only 5-feet, 6-inches tall, she is ninth in the league in rebounding with over eight per game.
She also averages 12.6 points per game, leads the team in minutes played and assists (83) and is second in steals (46).
Yakima Valley College men’s basketball coach Ray Funk said Coupeville’s Jason Bagby “has been a solid contributor to our program this year.” Funk added, “He has provided a toughness, energy and coachability that all teams need in its players.
“He has improved his game and we are looking forward to what he will be like next year with even more improvement.”
The 6-4 freshman is averaging 4.5 points per game for the Yaks (9-4, 16-9), is third on the team in field goal percentage (48) and is fifth in rebounds (65) and steals (23).
Another college freshman from Coupeville, 6-6 Hunter Hammer, competes for Everett Community College (2-13, 5-20) and is averaging 2.4 points a game and is seventh on the team in rebounds (37).
Coach Larry Walker said, “Hunter has made great contributions to our team because of how hard he works and his positive attitude. This year he has backed up Devin Andrew, a two-year starter…Hunter has not played a lot but that has not stopped him from being a great teammate and a very hard worker.”
Megan Smith and Ashley Manker, former Coupeville classmates, are sophomores on the Peninsula College (11-4, 17-8) women’s basketball team.
The 5-6 Smith is sixth on the team in scoring (4.95 per game), while the 5-10 Manker is 10th in rebounding (1.8 per game).
Peninsula coach Alison Crumb said, “Megan Smith has been an incredible impact player to our program… She is a great competitor, an excellent student and a wonderful kid to have around. Never complains, never slacks and always is a dependable teammate. Couldn’t ask for a better person to be in our program.”
Of Manker, Crumb said, “I am impressed with her character and her willingness to learn and grow as a person. She is a two-sport athlete (she also plays soccer) at Peninsula, which is a hard thing to accomplish. She has dedicated thousands of hours to our athletic department and has done it with a smile on her face…I’m so thrilled that I had to opportunity to coach Ashley."
Coupeville’s Cody Peters, a 6-6 junior, is red-shirting this season at Western Oregon University (10-6, 17-8) after playing two years at Whatcom Community College.
Oak Harbor’s Shantae Young, a sophomore, has produced Washington State University’s second-best long jump (17-10.25) and triple jump (38-9.5) marks this indoor track season. She also posted the Cougars’ sixth-best time in the 60 meters (7.94).
Coupeville’s Kyle King, a senior at Eastern Washington University, is running the 3,000 and 5,000 meters in the Big Sky Conference indoor championship meet this weekend. He is the defending 5,000-meter champion.
This season he has earned personal bests in the mile (4:12) and 5,000 meters (14:09).
After red-shirting earlier in his career, he has one year of eligibly left and will compete at the University of Oklahoma next year while attending graduate school.
King will receive a degree in communications from Eastern this spring and hopes to enter the Masters of Intercollegiate Sports Administration program at Oklahoma next fall.
King’s brother, Tyler, a freshman at the University of Washington, has posted the fourth-best 3,000-meter time (8:16.81) and eighth-best mile time (4:12.01) for the Huskies this indoor season. This weekend he runs the 3,000 in the Mountain Pacfic Sports Federation Indoor Championships.
Central Washington University junior Krissy McGill from Oak Harbor has the Wildcats’ second-best indoor 3,000-meter time (11:50.66) and third-best mile time (5:54.83).
Oak Harbor’s Adrianna Royal, a freshman at Sacramento State University, is red-shirting this indoor season but is expected to compete for the Hornets this spring.
Recently she was named to the Big Sky all-academic cross country team, and her team earned national all-academic all-American honors for Division I schools.