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Foxes win titles – Girls golf wins tourney, girls tennis finishes undefeated

James Day

The Silverton High girls golf team has claimed its first Mid-Willamette Conference championship since 1980.

The Foxes used a strong second-day showing to win by 29 strokes in the two-day event May 2-3 at Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis.

“We only had a 7-stroke lead going into day number two so to win by 29 was a great reward for the girls,” coach Hank Ulven told Our Town. “Really proud of them all turning in great rounds and proud that a lot of coaches always told me their kids enjoyed golfing with my kids. They’re all great golfers and phenomenal people, I’m glad in golf you get an opportunity to show both.”

Mercedes Marriott of Crescent Valley was the runaway medalist at 139, but Silverton’s Anfisa Samoilov (173), Ellie Traeger (175) and Akelina Cheremnov (181) took 2nd, 4th and 5th, respectively. Paige Traeger (207) was 16th and Kalyssa Efimov (216) was 23rd for the Foxes.

All five Silverton golfers improved on the 2nd day, with Efimov bettering her first-day score by 12 strokes.

Andrea Khieu, left, Silverton’s top singles player, and the doubles team of Paige Davisson, center, and Lindsey Gardner, helped lead the Foxes to an undefeated dual meet season.

Both Traegers, Samoilov and Cheremnov were honored on the all-league team for the Foxes, who will participate in the OSAA state championships May 16-17 at Emerald Valley in Creswell.

The Foxes’ boys squad, meanwhile, had three individuals – Jordan McCarty, Matthew Kuenzi and Neil Efimov – alive in regional competition at Pine Ridge in Springfield at Our Town’s presstime. The boys state tournament also is  May 16-17, at Trysting Tree in Corvallis.

Tennis: The Silverton girls squad finished the league season undefeated, although they did so by the slimmest of margins. In a May 6 showdown match against Crescent Valley the two squads each won four matches. The first tiebreaker was sets won, but the two squads tied there as well at 10-10. The next tiebreaker was games won, with the Foxes claiming victory there, 96-95.

And it took a gutsy finish by the Foxes’ No. 4 doubles team of Olivia Rosborough and Heather Pool to make it happen. The Foxes duo was trailing 4-3 in the third set.

Head coach Shawn Pool told them that they needed to win the next three games to ensure victory.

“They rose to the occasion,” coach Pool said, “winning all three games and earning us the team win.”

It’s been a magical ride for the Foxes, said Pool, now in his 14th season.

“I’ve never had such depth before,” he said, while also praising the squad for the way the players dealt with COVID-19.

“This team kept working together during the pandemic,” he said. “Once the courts were reopened the girls were out hitting with each other. We kept playing through the winter last year, even when it was below freezing out on the courts because they wanted something to do. This really is a reflection of how hard the team has worked. It’s been great watching them.”

Top singles players for the Foxes are Andrea Khieu, Millie Leikem, Audrey Gardner and Kaitlyn Gehring. In addition to Rosborough and Pool, the key doubles teams are Lindsey Gardner and Paige Davisson, Marissa Johnnston and Anna Muller and Melia Taylor and Leialoha Taylor.

Pool said the district tournament, played after Our Town’s presstime at Timber Hill in Corvallis likely will come down to the Foxes and Crescent Valley as well as perhaps the Class 5A state meet on May 20-21 in Beaverton and Portland.

The Silverton boys team, which finished 6-7-1 in dual meets, also is headed to districts, led by top singles player Spencer Chase and the doubles team of Barrett Teeney and Brandon Metzger.

Alumni watch: Former Foxes standout baseball player Colton Meyer, finishing his senior year at Linfield College, was named pitcher of the year in the Northwest Conference. Meyer, a 6-0 left-hander, made the transition from starter to the Wildcats’ closer this season. He was 4-0 this spring, had seven saves and an earned run average of 1.63 while striking out 53 batters in his 38 ⅔ innings. Linfield and Pacific shared the NWC title with 14-10 league records. The Wildcats were
20-20 overall.

Gymnastics: Silverton Gymnastics Academy brought home ten gold medals and a slew of silvers and bronzes from the USA Gymnastics Region 2 meet April 29-May 1 in Monroe, Washington. 

The meet brought together athletes from 81 clubs in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska and Hawaii.

“I am blown away this year by how they did,” said Celia Storey, coach of the Silverton squad. “Overall, between state and regionals we will add 52 champion banners to the walls of the gym.”

Ella Storey won the all-around, floor and beam in the diamond division, a feat matched by teammate Jenica Gerasimenko in the platinum division. Also taking first in their events in the gold division were Saydee Kuenzi (floor), Aubrey Vaschenko (floor), Ellie Hudson (beam) and Sadie Brown Maxwell (bars).

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