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Soccer fans get a chance Saturday to see professionals play a friendly at Lampson Stadium

While winter sports in the region are wrapping up with their indoor contests, area soccer fans have the chance to get outside this weekend to watch some high-level soccer.

The Spokane Velocity is playing Tacoma Defiance in a preseason friendly at 4 p.m. Saturday at Lampson Stadium in Kennewick.

Gates will open at 3 p.m., and players will be available for autographs and pictures after the game.

The Velocity will compete in its inaugural season of USL League One play this year.

The Spokane squad has some players with plenty of professional experience, including:

Luis Gil, with 167 Major League Soccer appearances with Real Salt Lake, Colorado Rapids, Orlando City and the Houston Dynamo; as well as two years with Queretaro in the Liga MX, and two appearances with the US Men’s National Team;

Collin Fernandez, who has played with the Chicago Fire in the MLS;

Pierre Reedy, with Real Salt Lake and Dundee in the Scottish Premier League;

Kimarni Smith with DC United in the MLS;

And Romain Metanire, with the Minnesota United of MLS.

Meanwhile, the Tacoma Defiance is the reserve/development team for the Seattle Sounders.

Of the 28 current members of the Seattle Sounders, 16 have spent time with the Defiance.

Playing this weekend for the Defiance is Christopher Aquino, a Pasco native and former 3 Rivers Soccer Club player.

Aquino played for 3 Rivers before joining the Sounders Academy. He then signed his first professional contract in December of 2022, at the age of 16.

Tickets for this friendly are $10 for ages 13 through adult; $5 for ages 5-12; and kids ages 4 and under are admitted free.

The 3 Rivers Soccer Club receives 25 percent of each ticket sold.

The link for tickets is https://www.spokanevelocityfc.com/tickets/single-match-tickets/

Please contact the Velocity box office at tickets@uslspokane or call 509-202-0096.

Boys swimming

Hanford senior Herky Wright ended his prep career a few weekends ago with an individual state championship at the WIAA boys state high school swimming and diving championships in Federal Way.

Wright outclassed the 4A boys 200 IM field, pulling ahead in the second 50 yards and never trailing after that.

Wright finished in 1 minute, 52.07 seconds.

Hanford coach Jesse Grow said Wright had a strategy in the event.

“We wanted him to start the first 50 yards in a long, smooth butterfly,” said Grow. “The second 50 in the backstroke we wanted him to speed up.”

He had the lead by then. In the third 50, the breaststroke, Grow just needed to hold the lead he created. And then he needed to let it fly in the final 50 yards of freestyle swimming.

Charles Lee, a senior from Skyline, placed second in 1:53.11.

Wright’s second 50 yards was 27.54 seconds — exceptionally faster than anyone else.

His finals time was well ahead of what he swam in the Friday preliminaries at 1:53.73.

“He was phenomenal,” said Grow.

Wright also had a third-place finish in the 100 backstroke, clocking in at 50.97 seconds.

Issaquah freshman Owen Stauffer won in 50.59 seconds.

Wright also swam the anchor leg for the Falcons’ 400 freestyle relay squad that placed sixth in the finals.

The other Hanford swimmers in the relay were senior Jaddley Jeppson, junior Colin Shen, and junior Luke Nielson.

The Falcons clocked in at 3:18.19.

Richland junior Cody Cowin had two good performances on Saturday, placing fifth in both the 50 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. Cowin finished the 50 free in 21.59 seconds, and he clocked in at 51.08 seconds in the 100 back.

Skyline ended up winning the team title with 285 points. Newport of Bellevue was second at 276, while Issaquah was third at 173. Hanford placed 10th with 108 points.

“Any time that we can finish in the top 10 in the standings, I’m happy,” said Grow.

CLASS 3A BOYS: Walla Walla had three swimmers place in the finals in the 3A meet.

Senior Jesse Snyder finished fifth in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 57.69 seconds, while sophomore Noah Stillman was fifth in the 100 freestyle finals with a time of 47.94 seconds.

Sophomore Eli Bona finished seventh in the 500 freestyle final with a time of 4:51.90.

Lakeside of Seattle took the team title with 254 points, while O’Dea was second with 170, and Bainbridge Island placed third with 169 points.

Notes

Last Friday night’s scholarship fundraiser at Columbia Basin College — which included the inductions of Frank Lolich, Reneé Finke, and the 1990 men’s basketball team — raised a record $61,185. That beats the previous high of $55,000, which was raised in 2023. … Those bracelets that were sold in late January to show basketball referee Tony Wise how much he meant to the community? Laura Mayovsky says totaled $12,812 and change. Wise is suffering from esophageal cancer.

Othello product Andre Garza is a redshirt freshman infielder this spring at Wenatchee Valley College. But next spring, he’ll be at Central Washington University after signing a letter of intent a few months ago.

Sophomore Keely Maves (WWCC) is the second-leading scorer this season for the Spokane Community College women’s basketball team, averaging 13.0 points for the 9-13 squad.

Maves also is second on the team with 5.7 rebounds.

Kennewick High grad Geraldin Correa was named Cascade Collegiate Conference women’s indoor track athlete of the week for Feb. 5-11.

Correa, competing for Lewis-Clark State College, ran the fastest 800 meters time among all NAIA competitors in the nation (2:12.84) at the Whitworth Invite in Spokane.

Her time also set a school record in the event.

Kamiakin’s Gavin McCallum signed a letter of intent earlier this month to play next fall for the Central Washington University football team.

McCallum is a 6-4, 280-pound offensive lineman who was named first-team All-Mid-Columbia Conference in football.

Jeff Morrow is former sports editor for the Herald.