Whidbey athletes impressive in 2016 / Year in review, Part II

Here’s a glance at the top local sports stories from the second part of 2016. A recap of January through May appeared in Wednesday’s Whidbey News-Times.


Dyllan Harris and AnnaBelle Whitefoot were Oak Harbor High School’s Athletes of the Year.

Harris earned four varsity letters in basketball and three in football. In addition to being one of the all-time leading scorers in OHHS basketball history, he earned all-league honors three times, including first team as a senior. In football, he was a first-team selection on both offense and defense as a junior and senior.

Whitefoot earned 11 varsity letters (four in tennis and basketball and three in volleyball) during her career. She was first-team, All-Wesco North twice in tennis.

Coupeville graduate Tyler King earned All-American honorable mention honors by placing 23rd in the 10,000 meters at the Division I Track Championships June 8 in Oregon. The University of Washington senior was third in the 10,000 at the Pac-12 championships and ninth in the Western Preliminaries.

Coupeville graduate Ben Etzell earned two pitching wins in the postseason to help St. John’s College (Collegeville, Minn.) win the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament (he got the win in the title game) and place second in the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament.

Haley Borja, in her final race as an 8-year-old, set her 14th North Whidbey Aquatic Club record (1:20.74 in the 100-meter free, good for 28th in the country) at Toppenish June 17-19.

Oak Harbor’s Elena Flake won gold and bronze medals at the National Rifle and Pistol Championships in Georgia.


Six former Oak Harbor High School runners came from around the world to compete in the Northwest Passage Ragnar Relay July 15 and 16 and honor their high school coach, Eric Lindberg, who died Feb. 9, 2015. The 200-mile relay began in Blaine and finished in Langley. Jake Marriott came from Peru, Wes Berry from Japan and Sean Rooney from Virginia to team with Eric Smith and Jason Jamerson of Everett and Brian Tyhuis of Oak Harbor to recognize the impact Lindberg had on their lives. Each ran about 33 miles split over six legs in a 30-hour period, and they credited the lessons Lindberg engrained in them for being able to finish the grueling event.

Robert Chrisman, Arik Dahlen, Andrew Fridlund, Willie Sprague and Robert Tercero won the Whidbey Golf Club’s Five-Person Best Ball Tournament July 31 with the same score, 378, that snared the title for the same group in 2015.

It was a summer of near misses for local Little League teams. Six placed second in district, one spot from qualifying for state.


Marti Malloy, the third seed, lost in the first round of the Olympic judo tournament and failed to match the magic of her bronze medal effort in London in 2012.

NWAC’s Lindsey Brown was selected by Pacific Northwest Swimming to represent Western Washington in the USA Swimming Zone Championships in Utah and placed in the top 16 in three events. The Zone Championships “are the closest thing in our sport to an actual nation championship for younger swimmers,” NWAC coach Dick Taylor said.

In the sixth annual Race the Reserve in Coupeville Aug. 13, the host town’s Andre Stone won the 5K and Helene Lhamon was the top female finisher in the 10K.

Hydroplanes skipped across Oak Harbor Bay Aug. 13 and 14, returning for a third consecutive year after a nearly 40-year absence. Craig McKenzie took over sponsorship, and aided by the Craig McKenzie Team from Keller Williams Realty, Oak Harbor Rotarians and a host of volunteers, renamed the event Hydros for Heroes to honor men and women in uniform.


The Oak Harbor High School football team rushed for what is believed a school record 624 yards in a 55-21 win over Kamiak Sept. 8. The Wildcat had three runners top the 100-yard mark, led by Princeton Lollar with 275.

Sept. 16, Lollar broke the school career rushing record during Oak Harbor’s 41-0 win over Stanwood. The senior topped the mark when he broke loose on a 95-yard run. Coupeville junior Hunter Smith was named WIAA’s 1A Athlete of the Week after scoring three touchdowns (one on a 76-yard kickoff return), intercepting two passes and piling up over 200 all-purpose yards in the Wolves’ 41-10 win over South Whidbey Sept. 2.

Borja was named NWAC’s Swimmer of the Year at the club’s awards banquet Sept. 17.

Coupeville’s Henry Wynn and Danny Conlisk formed a two-man cross country team for the Wolves, which hadn’t fielded a team in over a decade.

The Coupeville High School volleyball team defeated Klahowya 3-2 to snap the Eagles’ 14-match conference winning steak the stretched over three seasons.

Mia Littlejohn scored three goals in Coupeville’s 5-1 win over Mount Vernon Christian Sept. 19, giving her 12 for the fall and breaking the school’s single season scoring record of 10.


The Oak Harbor High School volleyball team posted a 3.801 grade point average, the second best among 3A schools in the state. Kelso led with a 3.84.

The Coupeville volleyball team, coached by Cory Whitmore, defeated Port Townsend 3-0 Oct. 20 to clinch its first league championship since 2004.

Wildcats United claimed first in the middle school league championship cross country meet Oct. 27.


The Oak Harbor High School football team, the sixth seed out of District 1, nearly upset Timberline, the top seed from District 3, losing 41-38 Nov. 4 in a winner-to-state game. Lollar ran for 229 yards and three touchdowns in his final game as a Wildcat. He rushed for 2,027 yards and 29 touchdowns this season and 3,986 yards and 57 touchdowns for his career, all Oak Harbor records.

Oak Harbor sophomore Alexis Smith placed 50th and her freshman sister Megan 80th at the girls state 3A cross country meet Nov. 5 in Pasco. Juniors Tyler Grehan and Michael Lym finished 109th and 115th in the boys race.

Oak Harbor juniors Olivia Tungate, Taliah Black and Jillian Pape and senior Molly Vagt set a new district and school record in the 200-yard medley relay (1:51.31) at the district meet Nov. 5 in Snohomish. Tungate also broke the school 100 backstroke record (58.71).

As a team, the Wildcats went on to place 10th in the state meet. Tungate was fourth in the 100 backstroke (with a new school record of 57.93) and ninth in the 100 free; Pape was sixth in the 50 free and 13th in the 100 butterfly; Vagt was 14th in the 200 free and 15th in the 500 free; and the trio and Black took sixth in the 200-medley relay and 14th in the 200 free relay.

Coupeville’s Smith set two new school single season records (touchdown receptions, 11; receiving yardage, 915) as the Wolves closed out their season Nov. 4.

First-team, all-Wesco honors went to D’Andre Bellamy, Sam Zook and Lollar in football; Caylie Etherington in soccer; Tungate, Vagt, Pape and Black in swimming; and Hailee Blau in volleyball.

For Coupeville, junior Katrina McGranahan was the Olympic League Most Valuable Player in volleyball and joined Valen Trujillo and Hope Lodell on first team, and Whitmore was named Coach of the Year. Trujillo finished her career with a school record 550 digs, and Lodell set school marks in season (110) and career (141) aces. Hunter Smith was a two-way, first-team selection in football. In soccer, Mia Littlejohn was the conference MVP and set a new Coupeville season scoring record with 27 goals. Other Wolves receiving first-team soccer honors were Lauren Grove, Sage Renninger and Lindsey Roberts.

The Oak Harbor senior team in youth football, coached by Nick Asinsin, went undefeated and won the league title with a 26-12 win over Mount Vernon Nov. 12.

Oak Harbor graduate Ian Kolste earned first-team, All-Northwest Conference honors as quarterback for Whitworth University. He was the league Co-Offensive MVP and national DIII leader in completions per game (35.1), passing yards (3,790) and passing yards per game (379). He also set eight school records.

Teammate and Oak Harbor grad Tyler Adamson was also a first-team selection at left tackle and a member of the District 8 all-academic team.

Senior Christina Wicker, an OHHS grad, helped the MIT women’s cross country team place fifth in the national Division III meet Nov. 19 in Kentucky. Individually, Wicker was 79th out of 280 runners.

Greenback’s Sherry Phay set three state records (squat, 110kgs; bench press, 71.3kgs; deadlift, 145kgs) at a powerlifting competition Nov. 19 in Kennewick.


Travis Connell, a 1991 graduate of Oak Harbor High School, coached the Western Washington University women’s soccer team to the national title. The Vikings defeated three-time champion Grand Valley State 3-2 Dec. 3 in Kansas City for the crown. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America named Connell and his coaches Staff of the Year Dec. 20. He also won his sixth (and fourth consecutive) GNAC Coach of the Year honor this season.

Sophomore Kayleigh Harper from Oak Harbor helped the Western Washington women’s volleyball team reach the DII West Regional Finals and 14th in the final national rankings. The middle blocker was an unanimous All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference first-team choice, a member of the NCAA DII West Regional All-Tournament team and an honorable mention choice for the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American team.

NWAC’s Lola Chargualaf, 10, set two club records (200 fly, 3:11.03; 200 backstroke, 3:03.35) in Victoria Dec. 3 and 4.

Oak Harbor’s Brad Nelson and Mario Rivas won titles in their divisions in the Washington State Bicycle Association Cyclocross Championships at Fort Nugent Park Dec. 11.

Smith was named the WIAA Male 1A Athlete of the Week after helping Coupeville win its first game basketball game Dec. 13. Smith had 25 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals as the Wolves topped Klahowya.

Coupeville’s Mia Littlejohn set a school single season soccer scoring record this fall and was named the Olympic League’s Most Valuable Player. (Photo by John Fisken)

Coupeville’s Mia Littlejohn set a school single season soccer scoring record this fall and was named the Olympic League’s Most Valuable Player. (Photo by John Fisken)