Columbia River Rapids crush it on Championship Saturday 

The WIAA honored the Columbia River Rapids with this image on its social media, celebrating Columbia River’s state title in baseball. Image courtesy WIAA
The WIAA honored the Columbia River Rapids with this image on its social media, celebrating Columbia River’s state title in baseball. Image courtesy WIAA

Baseball rallies to win state title, girls tennis claims team title, and boys track and field ties for team championship

Paul Valencia

The Columbia River Rapids had themselves a Saturday to remember, all over the state of Washington.

The school from Vancouver won team titles in Bellingham, Seattle, and Tacoma as spring sports came to a conclusion for the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

This is called Championship Week, and Columbia River took that to heart.

The Columbia River baseball team rallied with two runs in the top of the seventh for a 3-2 victory over Enumclaw in the Class 2A state championship game in Bellingham.

About an hour before that game ended, the Columbia River boys track and field team won a co-team title in Tacoma, led by two individual championships from sprinter Revac Banfield.

And the Columbia River girls tennis team won the team title in Seattle when the Rapids had a doubles team finish second and two singles players place in the tourney.

In baseball, Columbia River won its first state title in baseball since 1989, according to WIAA records.

The Rapids did it in dramatic fashion.

Charlie Palmersheim scored the go-ahead run after executing a perfect head-first slide that eluded the tag of the Enumclaw catcher. It just might go down in Columbia River history as The Slide, because, well, quite honestly, Palmersheim looked like he was going to be thrown out by 5-10 feet.

Columbia River’s Zachary Ziebell started the winning rally with a lead-off walk in the top of the seventh. He moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt from Noah Larson. Palmersheim, who drove in River’s first run of the game in the third inning, reached base on a dropped third strike. Chris Parkin followed with a run-scoring single to tie the game.

That brought up Zayne Boyes, who got a base hit in the clutch. 

The Rapids, with the game already tied, put the pressure on the Enumclaw defense by sending Palmersheim home. Again, the throw was there on time, but Palmersheim was too smooth for the defense, taking a wide angle to the plate and diving under the tag while reaching to swipe home plate.

Noah Coakes, who was superb on the mound after Enumclaw scored two runs in the first inning, had no trouble with that one-run lead, getting the Hornets out in order in the bottom of the seventh to set off the Columbia River celebration.

The Rapids showcased their athletic talent in Tacoma, too, with a co-team title in the Class 2A boys track and field championships at Mount Tahoma High School.

Banfield won the 2A title in the 100-meter dash, crossing the line in 11.26 seconds. A little while later, he won the 200 title, clocking in at 21.97 seconds. 

Jacob McManus finished second in the 1,600 earlier in the week, and he finished second in the 3,200. The Columbia River 400-meter relay team finished third for important points, as well.

Every point mattered, too, because River tied Anacortes with 65 points. Each team can boast of a state title.

In girls tennis, Annie Morgan and Sydney Dreves fell just shy of the Class 2A doubles championship in a finals match that went three sets in Seattle. 

Meanwhile, teammates Jenny Serebriakova and Emma Lungwitz battled their way to the fourth-place match in Class 2A singles — where they faced each other. Serebriakova took fourth, and Lungwitz finished seventh. That gave the Rapids a lot of team points, as well. Columbia River beat Sammamish 25-22 in points.

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