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Inside Page: Age doesn’t stop tennis-playing women

From the slipped-through-the-cracks department, but definitely worth mentioning: Congrats to the women’s 65-and-over tennis team from Columbia Basin Racquet Club, which finished third at the USTA League Tennis Championships in March in Surprise, Ariz.

Team members are Karen Belzer, Pat Brulotte, Carla Denison, Jan Hanami, Lea Hawkins, Corrine Johnson, Vicki Rynd, Phyl Strickler, Lynne Washington, Nancy Watts and captain Judy Baston.

The women range in age from 65 to 72 years old, and they play tennis an average of 3-4 times a week.

Baston, who was part of a national championship team a few years back, says that among half of the team, there have been three knee replacements, three hip replacements, five rotator cuff shoulder surgeries, a heart surgery and one heart replacement.

But that doesn’t stop them.

“Regardless of the age or surgeries for these ladies, when actively preparing for any tournaments, the ‘team practice’ for the ladies consists of an hour lesson, then they continue to play matches for another 11/2 to 2 hours in the heat of the day to acclimate themselves to the conditions that they will play in at the tournament,” Baston said.

Baston says these women should not be overlooked when it comes to sports.

“I know 65 and over sounds like a bunch of old ladies, but believe me, we have a team of very good athletes who practice hard to participate in national tournaments,” Baston said.

The CBRC team won the local USTA tournament in the Tri-Cities, then won the Sectional Pacific Northwest tournament in Sunriver, Ore., competing against teams from the Seattle and Portland areas.

That gave it the Northwest’s berth to nationals in Arizona, where CBRC beat a Hawaii team 3-0, edged a San Antonio squad 2-1, then defeated a team from Hastings, N.Y., 2-1 to qualify for the playoffs.

That’s where the streak ended, as CBRC fell to a team from Surprise, Ariz., 3-0. But it bounced back to win 2-1 for third place.

Hockey notes

The Tri-City Outlaws will have a new coach when the Northern Pacific Hockey League resumes play this fall.

Geno McCue is replacing Anthony Oucharek, who becomes the team’s education coordinator.

McCue spent the last year in the Tri-City area coaching in the youth hockey ranks.

McCue spent a number of seasons coaching in Colorado, Nevada and Montana in a number of youth leagues. He also coached both of his sons. One of them, Beau McCue, plays for the Tri-City Americans.

In 2010, McCue and the Bantam AA Las Vegas Jr. Storm captured the USA Hockey Tier II National Championship.

The Outlaws struggled to a 4-37 record last season, finishing last in the six-team league.

Those teams — the Outlaws, Cheney Icehawks, Eugene Generals, Wenatchee Wolves, Bellingham Blazers and West Sound Warriors — all return for the 2015-16 season. They’ll be joined by one expansion team, the Seattle Ravens.

Prep notes

Congratulations to Phil Neill and Jim Castleberry, who were inducted into the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on July 23 in Richland. Neill was the head coach of the Richland boys varsity, leading the Bombers to a state championship in 1979. In 18 seasons, he had a 298-145 record for a .673 winning percentage. Castleberry was his longtime assistant. ... Northwest Prep Report is releasing the names of its All-Northwest Top 200 Prospects list. Richland offensive lineman Dontae Powell and linebacker Lakota Wills, Kamiakin offensive lineman Korbin Sorensen and quarterback Zach Borisch, Chiawana linebacker Caleb Weber and Walla Walla running back Brennan Barberich are on the list so far. NWPR is releasing 20 to 30 names at a time and will do so until Sept. 1. They are in no particular order.

Recent NWAC signings

Here’s a batch of athletes who turned letters of intent in to the NWAC (through July 19):

Baseball: Anthony Gosline (Gonzaga Prep) to Columbia Basin College; Will Lyle-Douville (Shadle Park) to Walla Walla CC.

Men’s basketball: Marquise Henderson (Auburn) to Walla Walla CC.

Women’s basketball: Kendall Sage (Ephrata) to CBC.

Cross country: Austin Cousineau (Mac-Hi) to Lane.

Men’s golf: Zak Courson (Gonzaga Prep) and Nick Dixon (University) to CBC.

Men’s soccer: Jesus Adame (East Valley), Hugo Martinez (Othello), Miguel Gonzalez (Othello), Jorge Marin (Highland), Hipolito Montes (Eisenhower), Jacob Quiroz (Othello), Max Ramos (Sunnyside), Humberto Serna (Sunnyside) and Alan Trevino (Pasco) to CBC.

Softball: Danielle Tolison (Southridge) and Erin Ware (Redmond, Ore.) to Walla Walla CC; Terin Wade (Kennewick) to CBC.

Men’s tennis: Alejandro Madrigal (Umatilla) to Treasure Valley.

Volleyball: Amanda Rhoads (Milton-Freewater) to CBC.

Pro baseball roundup

Former CBC pitcher Mac Acker has appeared in eight games for the Quebec Capitales of the independent CanAm League. Acker has one save and pitched 271/3 innings with a 2.63 ERA. He signed with the team July 4. ... Ex-CBC pitcher Steven Ames is with the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League, signing with them June 29. In 15 games, Ames has a 4.26 ERA. ... Former CBC outfielder Darrell Ceciliani was with the New York Mets from May 19-July 5 before being sent back to Triple-A Las Vegas. In 39 games with the Mets, Ceciliani hit .206 with one homer and three RBIs. In Las Vegas, Ceciliani is hitting .348 with five home runs and 22 RBIs. ... Former Kamiakin and CBC star Maxx Garrett is still catching for the Washington Wild Things of the independent Frontier League. ... Southridge grad Ty Jackson signed with the Tampa Bay Rays in mid-June. He was assigned to the advanced rookie-level Princeton Rays of the Appalachian League from the rookie-level Gulf Coast Rays on July 24.