Mitchell named Cascade male athlete of the year

Ryan Weaver/MSH VisualLewis-Clark State guard Damek Mitchell drives to the basket in the March 23 NAIA national championship game against Shawnee State at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. Mitchell was named the Cascade Conference’s male athlete of the year Thursday.


Lewis-Clark State men’s basketball player Damek Mitchell was named Thursday as the Cascade Conference’s male athlete of the year.

The award, which is sponsored by Embrace Health-Santiam Hospital, is one selected by the conference’s athletic directors.

A senior 5-foot-9, 180-pound point guard, Mitchell had 111 assists and 35 steals in leading the Warriors to a 22-2 record, a No. 4 ranking in the final NAIA coaches’ top 25 poll, and a berth in the national championship game against Shawnee State. The Bellingham, Wash., product averaged six rebounds per outing, also shooting 44.9 percent from the floor, including 40.1 percent from 3-point range, and 81.8 percent at the free-throw line.

He is the college’s all-time leader in assists (595) and 3-pointers made (206). Mitchell is second in free throws made (309) and wins (104), third in scoring (1,395), sixth in rebounds (546), eighth in steals (141) and ninth in 3-point field goal percentage (42.0).

Mitchell, the conference’s men’s basketball player of the year, also is a three-time NAIA All-American, including a first-team selection this year. He also made the NABC All-American team this past season.

“What an honor for Damek,” third-year LCSC coach Austin Johnson said in a statement. “In our first year in the Cascade, which is filled with tremendous student-athletes, it’s such an honor for him to win this award. He has been a winner and unbelievable teammate throughout his career and exemplifies what being a competitor is all about. I’m so happy for him and am thankful I had a front-row seat to witness him work.”

TRACK AND FIELDCho advances at NCAA meet

EUGENE, Ore. — Washington State’s Stephanie Cho is into the final of the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA outdoor track championships at Hayward Field.

Cho, a senior, placed fourth in the third heat of the semifinal round, clocking in at a time of 57.64 seconds, a personal record. It was good enough to earn her an at-large spot in the final race. She will enter with the ninth-best overall time.

“I knew I had to execute what we had been fine-tuning in practice and it was a perfect time to PR,” Cho said in a statement. “I am extremely excited to advance to the final.”

That race will take place just before 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Several WSU athletes will compete in final events today, including junior Mitch Jacobson (high jump), senior Paul Ryan (1,500) and junior Colton Johnsen (3,000 steeplechase).

LCSC signs 4 high schoolers

The Lewis-Clark State track and field team announced the signings of four athletes who will join the team in the fall.

Timberlake’s Jeana Craven, Mykiah Overton of Cove (Ore.) High School, Asotin’s Skye Mackintosh and Prairie of Cottonwood’s Ellea Uhlenkott all will be with the Warriors starting in September.

“We are very excited about this group of women joining the LC Warrior family,” assistant Cyrus Hall said in a statement.

Craven was a four-time district champion and won the 200 at State, Overton helped her team advance to the Class 1A state championship meet, Mackintosh finished in the top five in the triple jump at State as a freshman and sophomore, and Uhlenkott was a three-time state champion as a member of Prairie’s 800 relay.

WOMEN’S TENNISWSU coach resigns

Washington State announced women’s tennis coach Lisa Hart has resigned her position.

There was no reason given in a release by the school. Athletic director Pat Chun said a national search for her replacement would begin immediately.

Hart just completed her 18th season as the coach. She led the Cougars to NCAA appearances in 2008, 2012 and 2019. Hart also had four players — Eka Burduli, Elisabeth Fournier, Liudmila Vasilieva and Michaela Bayerlova — reach the NCAA singles championships.

She has a 291-243 career mark, including 246-207 at WSU.

NEWSUI makes staff changes

The University of Idaho made several changes within its athletic department leadership, it was announced.

“I am very excited and eager to put the pandemic behind us and continue our work on restructuring and evolving the department,” athletic director Terry Gawlik said in a statement.

Tim Mooney officially takes over as deputy athletic director/internal operations. Mooney will continue to assist in overseeing the football program and has added administrative duties with the swimming and diving team as well.

Matt Martin will move into the role of senior associate athletic director for external operations and will oversee the men’s and women’s tennis programs, marketing, the ticket office, athletic communications, digital content/streaming, and serve as the department liaison to Learfield Communications.

Mahmood Sheikh has been elevated to senior associate athletic director for development and Vandal Scholarship Fund executive director. Sheikh now is in the third year of his second stint overseeing athletic development and has led efforts to increased contributions in cash and pledges of more than 200 percent since his recent appointment.

Krista Gray officially becomes the associate athletic director for student-athlete support services and senior woman administrator.

Chris Walsh will be appointed to associate athletic director for student-athlete health and performance. Walsh is in his fourth year as head athletic trainer with the Vandals, working primarily with the football team.

Heath Senour, associate athletic director for compliance, will take on administrative duties with men’s and women’s golf.