Columns & Blogs

Who has been the Mid-Columbia's best female athlete?

Today we take a look at some of the area’s all-time best female athletes.

As a sort of disclaimer, I never saw Pasco’s Karen Murray or Kamiakin’s Tondi Redden play. But I know they were two of the best.

From whom I saw, Hanford’s Tori Baker was one of the first who dazzled me with her basketball skills. Her between the legs dribble, snappy passes and incredible long-distance shooting were a joy to behold.

She had a teammate, Kristi Reichert, who did the dirty work (rebounding, blocking out) but would have been the star on any other team. She had incredible leaping ability.

Kamiakin standout Meotis Erickson dominated on the soccer pitch and was a pretty fair basketball player too. She played for the Boston Breakers of the WUSA and currently lives in the New England area.

I always felt Hope Solo was a great athlete at Richland, both in soccer and basketball. But in no way could I have ever forseen her becoming the world’s top women’s soccer goalie as she is now. In high school, remember, she was a goal-scoring machine.

Prosser’s Kelly Blair dominated in three sports -- volleyball, basketball and track. She led the Mustangs to a state basketball title, but it was track where she really shined. One year at the Pasco Invitational, I watched her finish second in the team points race. She competed in the Atlanta Olympics in the heptathlon.

Pasco’s Debbie Sporcich was a standout from her sophomore year on. She had a soft shooting touch, great passing ability and owned the boards. Back then coach John Shimek’s teams were a joy to watch, because they just tore their opponents apart, just by running the offense or defense.

Another basketball player, Kennewick’s Leilani Mitchell, was so good as a freshman on. It’s no wonder she’s in the WNBA now.

Two others come to mind -- Walla Walla’s Seville Broussard and Kamiakin’s Emily Autrey. Broussard was a great leaper in the high jump and excelled in the hurdles.

Autrey was a great basketball player, who played for Washington. But she was a state champion in the 100 meters too.

OK. Who did I miss?