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Intercollegiate

E. Garry Hill
Spring 2018

Running up the competition

If you want the facts about track and field records, ask a statistics junkie like E. Garry Hill ’69. But he might throw you with another fact, this one culled from long experience as editor of Track & Field News, announcer at the Olympics and World championships, and expert on the sport: Track and field as a spectator sport is struggling mightily.

Rows and rows of empty seats faced runners and field athletes competing at the Rio Olympics. And where can you watch big track events on TV? Hill calls it like he sees it, and he’s seen a lot since he competed for Washington … » More …

Mooberry Field
Spring 2018

WSU Track & Field favorites

I didn’t realize until I compiled this favorite-moments list just how much the dictum of “no cheering in the pressbox” has come to dominate how I watch/enjoy the sport. Unfortunately, I’ve done a good job—too good, in fact—of learning how to be dispassionate. It makes me a better journalist and broadcaster, but it saps some of the vitality out of being a fan. So as you’ll see, my list is very much front-loaded.

Chronologically, these self-centered moments stick with me (noting that I’ve restricted individuals to a single appearance apiece, or it would run the risk of being all Gerry Lindgren and Henry Rono):

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WSU golfer Alivia Brown
Fall 2017

The competitive world of WSU women’s golf

Playing in the most competitive collegiate conference for women’s golf has its challenges.

It also has its benefits.

“We get to play with some of the best golfers in the world,” says Kelli Kamimura, who is starting her ninth season as coach of Washington State’s women’s golf team. “The Pac-12 is tough. It’s definitely the powerhouse conference right now.”

Sixteen of the past 25 national championships have been won by Pac-12 schools, including current champ Arizona State, which in May set a Division I record with its eighth NCAA golf title. Two other Pac-12 teams also won trips to nationals last spring.

Washington … » More …

The most prolific scorJeanne (Eggart) Helfer. Photo Bruce Andre
Spring 2017

How you play the game

It took a while for the guys to start passing her the ball during pickup games at the gym.

Jeanne (Eggart) Helfer ’82 stuck with it, spending much of her free time back in 1977 simply running the length of the basketball court waiting for a chance to show she knew her way around the paint. It was her first semester at Washington State, a few months before she would start setting school records, and Helfer patiently waited for the guys to discover what her older brother and his friends already had learned back in Walla Walla.

That girl can shoot. And pass. And rebound.

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Winter 2016

Surreal Rio

By making it to the Olympics, there comes the realization that you are one of a special few.

 

It was at the Closing Ceremony, among thousands of her fellow athletes and cheering spectators inside Maracanã Stadium, when the realization of her achievement after years of rigorous practice hit Lisa Roman ’12.

“When you’re there with all the athletes, you realize, ‘Wow, I am an Olympian.’”

 

Roman, who rowed for Washington State from 2010 to 2012, was a member of Team Canada’s women’s eight boat that finished fifth at the Olympics in Rio.

Speaking from London, Ontario, the site of the Canadian National Training … » More …

Fall 2016

Cougs behind the Seahawks

Nearly two weeks before the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII, Cindy Kelley was arriving in New York to set up a temporary team headquarters that would become like a cross between a satellite office and a MASH unit.

Kelley ’81 and the rest of the advance crew scrambled to keep up with a schedule measured in hours, not days. Telephones, computers, office space, accommodations, meals, air and ground transportation, special events, family activities—all needing to be arranged immediately.

“The whole goal is to make sure there are no distractions for the players and coaches,” says Kelley, vice president for human resources for the » More …

Fall 2016

Staying a jump ahead

Long before he was elected to the New Zealand Parliament, served as immigration minister, and held other national cabinet positions, Tuariki “John” Delamere ’74 was a long jumper with an attention-grabbing technique.

Delamere, a fixture on Washington State’s track team in the early 1970s, didn’t invent The Flip. But he so excelled at the leaping mid-air forward somersault it sometimes seemed as if he had.

His style was so gravity-defyingly smooth that when Sports Illustrated wanted to learn more about The Flip, and the debate that would eventually lead to the technique’s prohibition, the magazine sent a crew to the 1974 national qualifiers to … » More …

Olympian and WSU Hall of Famer Lee Orr
Summer 2016

Racing into history

The Olympic moment of WSU Hall of Famer Lee Orr

As rain fell in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium in 1936, Lee Orr, a Washington State College student not yet 20 years old, didn’t realize the magnitude of the events surrounding him.

“I was pretty young and didn’t know what was going on,” he said.

It had been over seven decades since Orr raced against Jesse Owens at the ’36 Olympic Games when, in 2008, the soft-spoken Orr recalled his Olympic experience in Germany.

A year after the interview, Orr passed away; however, the story he told lives in sports lore.

Owens’s four gold medals and his … » More …

Chance for Glory book cover
Summer 2016

Chance for Glory

The Innovation and Triumph of the 1916 Washington State Rose Bowl Team

Chance for Glory book cover

Darin Watkins ’84

Aviva: 2015

“I have decided to put my fate in your hands,” said Washington State College football coach William “Lone Star” Dietz to his players, as they prepared to take on Brown University in the 1916 Rose Bowl after an astounding 1915 season. Dietz promised to return as coach if WSC won.

The team fought hard, using Dietz’s … » More …

No white flags
Spring 2016

No white flags

Steve Gleason made a name for himself on the football field but his most enduring contribution may be tackling ALS.

The statue built in his honor outside the New Orleans Superdome depicts Steve Gleason ’00 on the gridiron doing what he does best: pushing himself harder and, in turn, inspiring others.

That personal drive didn’t stop when Gleason left the National Football League in 2008. Nor when he was diagnosed in 2011 at the age of 34 with ALS, the terminal neuromuscular disease that has since left him immobile and reliant on eye-controlled technology to communicate.

Gleason, who helped take WSU to the Rose Bowl … » More …