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The Observer paper 04/29/16

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Friendship leads to a championship

DOUBLE TROUBLE: La Grande’s Kara Gerst (right) and Josi Lyman (left) celebrate after winning the Class 4A doubles championship. Submitted photo
The first La Grande tennis state title nearly never happened.

But the fairy tale ending that finished with a hard court title began under the florescent lights of the basketball court.

The story’s characters started as middle school basketball players.

Kara Gerst and Josi Lyman moved on to high school.

Huskies hold off Heppner

TAN THE MAN: Tanner Hallgarth knocked in a run. Observer photo/PAUL HARDER
ELGIN — Try getting five consecutive words out of Tanner Hallgarth and you’re going to leave frustrated.

If fact, that may be a personal record.

But Hallgarth let his bat do the talking during a 9-6 win against Heppner Tuesday.

Double Trouble: Elgin/Imbler defeats Reedsport, advances

Laser Vision: Megan Myers smacked a double. Observer photo/PAUL HARDER
ELGIN — After a 16-4 regular season record, the Elgin/Imbler softball team set out to show the Class 3A high schools it was for real.

An opening round game playoff game against Reedsport in the first round of the OSAA playoffs provided the perfect soapbox.

Elgin/Imbler won its fifth straight playoff game, the first in Class 3A, against the Braves 10-2.

Never say never: Tigers rally, advance

EUPHORIC STATE: Richie Carmichael celebrates his seventh-inning, game-tying, three-run homer. Observer photo/BRUCE MASON
They were down to this final inning. To this final at-bat. To the seven, eight and nine hitters who carried the burden of beginning this rally, hoping to tie this game.

The Tigers were being shutout. At home. Versus Scappoose. Trailing by three with their season and OSAA title defense hopes hanging in balance, hanging on this prayer of a late comeback.

Athletes perform well in Monmouth heat

FLYING EAGLE: Joseph senior Megan Yost was a part of the third place 4 x 400-meter relay team and fourth place 4 x 100-meter relay. File photo
MONMOUTH — Hot. Steamy. Ninety-seven degrees outside. One hundred and fifteen degrees on the track.

Not a good day for an OSAA 1A/2A Track & Field Championship at Western Oregon University.

Yet, despite the sauna-like conditions, Old Oregon League and Blue Mountain athletes represented their schools and the Eastern Oregon region well.

Tiger time? La Grande to host Scappoose

READY TO REPEAT: Richie Carmichael will open the Class 4A State playoffs on the mound for the Tigers at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Observer file photo
Up into the air it went, traveling downward in a tailspin of destiny.  I’ve got to catch this, Anthony Nice said to himself.  It was the seventh inning. His team lead Newport by one run. And there he was, watching this hardball drop from the Keizer sky, zeroing toward his mitt, before finally smacking his hand. Out. Game over. Tigers win!

Anthony picked up his brother, Zach Nice. Jordan Lanman rushed toward them from behind the plate, tackling his teammates. A pile up ensued. The crowd roared. And right then and there, on that second day of June, La Grande had its first Class 4A Baseball State Championship.

How special. 

Tigers maul field for fifth year

HUSTLING HURDLER: La Grande runner Nur Sofe won the 300-meter hurdle event at the Greater Oregon League Meet Saturday. Observer photo/PAUL HARDER
How long will the run last?

The La Grande boys track and field team secured its fifth straight Greater Oregon League Title Saturday.

But again, the real question is how many more will follow?

“We’ve got a chance of at least three to four,” Tigers head coach Duane Smiley said. “There are a lot of young medalists in this group.”

Eagles extinct: Joseph KOd

SOARING EAGLE: Senior Corby Makin was 3-for-4 (two doubles). The Observer/BRUCE MASON
JOSEPH — Was this a mirage?

Were those hardballs, mitts and caps? Or were those footballs, shoulder pads and facemasks?

The scoreboard read, 14-0. The playing surface was mostly grass. Were those touchdowns? Extra points?

Tiger duo reaches semifinals

FOREHAND BLAST: La Grande seniors Josi Lyman (above) and Kara Gerst advanced to the semifinals at the 4A State Tennis Tournament. Observer file photo
EUGENE — Kara Gerst and Josi Lyman are out to shock the 4A State Tennis Tournament.

After a relatively simple match Thursday — a 7-6 (5), 6-3 win against La Salle — the Tiger duo pulled off the big upset.

Defending state champions Morgan Enberg and Gwynneth Johnson of Oregon Episcopal School entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed.

La Grande swimmers open summer season

BAKER CITY — The La Grande swim club competed at the Baker City Invitational on the opening weekend of May. 

Twenty-nine swimmers attended the meet, with 5-year-old Callum Ebel, 8-year-old Caitlyn Conrad and 9-year-old Hannah Roberts competing for the first time.

Swimming coach Susie Evans said many swimmers showed substantial improvement.

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