Sadie speeds to title

Gebbers installed in Hall of Fame

Sadie Bjornsen of Mazama wrapped up her cross country ski season in a big way last week.

Bjornsen,24, won the women’s 30K classic national title Friday at the U.S. National Champ-ionships in Anchorage, Alaska.

This was her fourth individual national championship and fifth overall title.

“Ever since being a young junior, I was often steered in the sprinting direction,” Bjornsen said in her blog Sunday. “Since joining Anchorage Pacific University, I have started trying to train more for distance racing. But I would have never guessed I would ever do well in a 30K.”

Bjornsen said the 18.6-mile race requires a skier to “go out hard” and see how long he or she can hold on.

“I think it is fun to test your body, see how deep you can dig into the pain cave,” she said.

One by one skiers dropped off the pace until it was just Bjornsen and fellow Olympian Liz Stephen, 26, of East Montpelier, Vt., working together and against each other the final 5K.

Stephen attempted to drop Bjornsen on a steep ascent.

Bjornsen hung close before pulling away on the final two less severe climbs.

“The whole 30 kilometers I was smiling inside,” Bjornsen said. “I was having so much fun.”

Bjornsen also won a 4x5K relay national title March 25, joining with her brother, Erik, and Reese Hanneman and Randall.

The team had three of the four fastest legs to finish 46 seconds ahead of second place.

Cass Gebbers, 49, of Brewster, was inducted into the Community Colleges of Spokane Athletic Hall of Fame on March 15.

Gebbers, who played for SFCC in 1983-85 after graduating from Wenatchee High School, was one of 10 former basketball players inducted. The players played for the school from 1980-93.

Also induced was Dale Haaland of Leavenworth.

Gebbers and Haaland, along with two others inducted, helped lead CCS to an unbeaten Eastern Regional championship and third place in the conference tournament in 1984. Gebbers, a 6-0 guard, was co-MVP at the regionals.

“That was a lot of fun,” Gebbers said of the induction. “I got to see a lot of my old teammates and especially the coaches, we’ve kept in touch over the years.”

Assistant coaches included Luke Ritenour’s dad, Rob, and Mike Roth, now the athletic director at Gonzaga.

The coach was Sam Brasch, who has “pretty much retired,” Gebbers said.

Roth’s son and Gebbers’ sons, Clay and Wade Gebbers, later helped guide Whitworth University to six straight national tournaments.

“It kind of spoils you,” Cass Gebbers said of going to the tournaments. “I would be sitting with my old coach (Roth) and watching our sons. It was a wonderful experience.”

Gebbers graduated from Wenatchee in 1983, where he’s in the school’s hall of fame.

He wrapped up his final two years in college playing for Gonzaga.

“This was before Gonzaga was good,” Gebbers said. “We were happy to be .500.”

Gebbers said he learned a lot of valuable lessons playing basketball, which he’s put into practice at Gebbers Farms.

“To this day I draw on lessons I learned as a late teenager playing for those coaches,” he said. “They were good men. As I look back and reflect now and I look at our own business today, any one of those men would be welcomed in my business. They were that quality of people.”

Nespelem and Omak played in the 59th annual Yakama Nation basketball tournament last week in Toppenish.

Omak held off Nespelem, 80-73, on Friday.

Omak (80) – Jamie Breshears 8, Martin Abrahamson 18, Jordan George 3, Charlie Thomas 22, Matt June 9, Swede Albert 20.

Nespelem (73) – Coby Dick 26, Brandon Kohler 19, Ronald Falas 5, Tisen Fryberg 19, Ben Covington 4.

The Yakama Bucks, seeded No. 2 and last year’s runner-up, topped Omak, 119-91, on Thursday.

Omak (91) – Jamie Brashears 1, Ed Wolf Jr. 8, Charlie Thomas 8, Sherman Covington 3, Quinton Oliver 24, Matt Jane 2, Swede Albert 9, Jordan George 36.

Swede Albert scored 24 to lead over Pendleton, Ore., 101-89, on the first day of the tournament, last Wednesday.

Omak (101) – Jamie Brashears 6, Martin Abrahamson 14, Tyler Parks 14, Ed Wolf Sr. 11, Charlie Thomas 12, Thurman Covington 9, Quinton Oliver 6, Matt Jane 5, Swede Albert 24.

Shane Proctor, along with several other PRCA bull riders, will conduct the fifth annual Bull/Steer Riding School on April 8-9 at the Nespelem Rodeo Arena on Lower Columbia River Road.

Proctor, 29, the 2011 PRCA bull riding champion, will be joined by Colby Reilly, Ben Jones and Ryan Dirteater at the school for riders ages 12 to 18.

A potluck dinner is planned for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Nespelem Community Center, 4000 Lower Columbia River Road.

Those wishing to attend can contact Chick or Sindy Jackson at 509-634-422 or 509-634-4395; Lucky or Kathy Proctor at 509-633-2480; or Dorothy Palmer at 509-634-2770 or 509-634-4928.

Statistics on Justin Rivas, who was named by the Associated Press to the state 1A first team, did not arrive until this week.

The Chronicle ran a story on the state teams Sunday, which included senior Chandler Smith of Brewster being named the state 1A Player of the Year.

Lorie LeDoux, a junior at Pateros, was named to the state first team for 1B girls.

Easton Driessen, a senior at Brewster, and Jim Townsend, a junior at Okanogan, were 1A honorable mentions.

For his career, Rivas finished with 1,233 points, 390 assists and 305 steals, Okanogan coach Mike Carlquist said.

“But what is more important in his three years as our starting point guard we are 72-9 with three league championship trophies, two bi-district championships and two Top 4 finishes at state,” Carlquist said. It has been great watching Justin develop.”

Townsend’s stats are 1,103 points, 335 points behind the school’s all-time scorer, more than 500 rebounds. He scored 487 points as a sophomore and 552 points as a junior.

The first Lem Elway state baseball rankings arrived Monday, with Brewster (4-0) at No. 2, Okanogan (3-0) at No. 5 and Tonasket (4-0) at No. 8.

Al Camp is the sports editor for The Chronicle. Email him at


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