High School Sports

Athletes of the Week for January 5, 2012

The Mid-Columbia Athletes of the Week for January 5, 2012.

Boys

Mark McKeown, Senior, Chiawana

A year ago, the Riverhawks wrestling team came home from the Pac Coast Championships with a 12th place finish, and McKeown went 1-2 and didn’t get a sniff at placing.

What a difference a season makes.

McKeown continued his strong senior campaign with a second-place finish at the prestigious tournament in Vancouver, sparking Chiawana to a fourth-place team showing.

“Five-and-one vs. 1-2 ...” McKeown said. “It’s definitely nice to see the improvement from all the work I’ve put in.”

His only loss in the 126-pound bracket was 7-3 to Churchill’s Housten Ezell, ranked No. 2 in Oregon 5A wrestling.

“He went to four camps this summer, wrestled every freestyle practice this spring, went to every tournament,” Chiawana coach Jack Anderson said. “He was a three-year JV guy, and he was determined to do some great things.”

Great things like place top three at state, and help the Riverhawks to a team trophy along the way.

“Last year, I would have been ecstatic going to state,” he said. “This year, I’m a senior, it’s my last chance, and I’m not settling for less than a top-three finish.”

Q'n'A

Favorite food: Anything that I can’t have in wrestling season

Favorite nonsport activity: Spending time with family

Favorite athlete: Max Askren, national champion Missouri wrestler

Most like to meet (living or dead): Abraham Lincoln

Favorite class: Physics or computer-aided design

Favorite movie: Shawshank Redemption

Favorite TV show: Hawaii Five-0

Last book read: Inside Delta Force

Best song on your iPod: Till I Collapse by Eminem

Career plans: Engineering or education

Dream vacation: Hawaii or European tour

Favorite place: San Diego

Million dollars: Invest





Girls

Britney Pringle, Junior, Richland

Returning point guards tend to find themselves cast in the leadership role, but that went double for Pringle.

She went from being a sophomore cog in a senior-dominated team to the floor general responsible not just for getting her teammates going, but picking up her own scoring as well.

“I’ve never been depended on for scoring, so that was the biggest adjustment this year,” said Pringle, who worked extensively in the offseason on her shooting and one-on-one skills.

It’s working so far. She has added a consistent scoring touch to a team that starts two sophomores and a freshman and has more youth coming off the bench.

Pringle is coming off a terrific holiday run in which she averaged 18.3 points as Richland won three of four games — the only loss against top-ranked Central Valley.

“She’s doing a really good job for us,” Bombers coach Cindy McCoy said. “She’s really taken charge of being a very vocal leader, and a leader by example on the floor.

“You want your best player to be your hardest worker — that’s the best team leadership you can have, and she very much exemplifies that.”

Q'n'A

Favorite food: Spaghetti

Favorite nonsport activity: Reading

Favorite athlete: Leilani Mitchell

Most like to meet: Michael Jordan

Favorite class: AP Chemistry

Pregame ritual: Gum

Must-have on the road: Necklace — gift from a good friend

Favorite movie: Just Friends

Favorite TV show: Friends

Last book read: A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks

Best song on your iPod: The Motto by Drake

Career plans: Something in science

Favorite court: UW’s Alaska Airlines Arena

Dream vacation: Tour of Europe

Favorite place: New York City

Million dollars: Save for college and a red GT Mustang





Coaches nominations: Nominations should be sent to sports@tricityherald.com and must be received by noon Sunday.

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