If the U-5 Graham Trucking team can overcome the U-1 Oberto squad in the H1 Unlimited point standings this weekend in San Diego, it may just rank as one of the greatest comebacks in unlimited hydroplane history.
The U-1, driven by Jimmy Shane — who won the Gold Cup in the Tri-Cities in July — has the high points lead with 4,860 points. The U-5, driven by J. Michael Kelly, is in second with 4,234 points.
But the U-5 team has already had to scramble to get the boat ready for this weekend’s final H1 race of the season in the San Diego Bayfair, with qualifying today and racing both Saturday and Sunday.
For the U-5 Graham team, the boat was being hauled to San Diego from Indiana when the driver stopped to fuel up. While parked, an 18-wheeler clipped the rear end of the hydroplane and damaged the rear wings on the boat.
The team was busy these last two days trying to get the boat fixed. No news if Shane was driving that 18-wheeler.
Here’s something different
The Lumberjack Nationals for BMX riders are being held today through Sunday at the Columbia Basin BMX facility in Richland out on the Vantage Highway, next to the Horn Rapids softball complex.
Racing starts at 5 p.m. on Friday, but riders will be out on the course practicing starting at 1:30 p.m.
Racing on Saturday begins at 11:30 a.m., while Sunday’s racing starts at 8 a.m.
Congratulations to Southridge High School graduate Austin Brown, who turned down a few NCAA Division 3 schools’ offers to play collegiately this fall.
Instead, Brown opted to walk on at Washington State University and try out for the men’s golf team.
A few weeks ago, Brown went through the four-day tryout and played some of the best golf of his life, his father, Ryan Brown, said.
And because of that, he made the team. The Cougars now have three Mid-Columbians on the men’s team. Besides Brown, Southridge grad Nick Mandell and DeSales grad Ryan Baumgart also are playing for the Cougars.
The Indoor Football League just finished its owners meetings in Las Vegas on Thursday. A tentative schedule should come out of that. ... The league did add an expansion franchise in Mankato, Minn., which will be called the Minnesota Havoc. That gives the IFL 12 teams for the 2016 season. ... Former Fever head coach Adam Shackleford signed ex-Fever receiver Harry Peoples. But the bigger pickup may have been linebacker Tre Walker, who played last season for both the Colorado Ice and the Nebraska Danger. ... The Wichita Falls Nighthawks fired James Kerwin as its head coach a few weeks ago and is in the process of hiring a new one. Meanwhile, the Nighthawks made a trade, sending defensive back James Ackel to the Cedar Rapids Titans for kicker Rockne Belmonte.
▪ The College of the Redlands lost its college football opener on Sept. 12, to George Fox 39-35. But junior defensive back Jalen DeVine, a Hanford High grad, had a big game. DeVine led Redlands defensively with nine tackles, including one for an 8-yard loss. ... Former Pasco High standout Chad Bodnar has his Eastern Washington University women’s soccer team off to a fast start. Bodnar, in his second season as the head coach, has watched the Eagles go 6-1-1 with Big Sky Conference play beginning Sept. 25. Freshman Alexis Stephenson (Chiawana) has played in all eight matches. ... Kamiakin grad Amanda Miller leads the 9-1 Eastern Oregon University volleyball team with 109 kills this season. Teammate Sierra Linke (Pasco) has 40.
▪ NWAC news: Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton will be adding men’s and women’s soccer to the school’s athletic program. The BMCC Board of Education approved the add for women’s soccer for the 2016-17 season, and the men’s team will be added for the 2017-18 season. ... Walla Walla is ranked third and Columbia Basin is eighth in the first NWAC men’s soccer coaches poll. Highline is ranked No. 1. ... Peninsula is the top women’s soccer team in the first poll. ... Walla Walla is seventh in the first volleyball poll. Chemeketa is ranked No. 1.