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HIGH SCHOOLS/GOLF

Thursday May 20, 2010 • B3

Olympia pair advances to state
PREP TENNIS: John

Stormans, Katelyn Orchard qualify for respective tourneys, other remain alive
The Olympian

Olympia’s John Stormans and Katelyn Orchard each qualified for the Class 4A boys and girls state tennis
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tournaments after winning their two district matches Wednesday. Stormans and Orchard were the only Olympia tennis players to qualify for state during Wednesday’s play, and will play for seeding Friday. Stormans, a freshman, won matches over Thomas Jefferson’s Branden Muraki, 6-1, 6-2, and Todd Beamer’s Joseph de la Cruz, 6-0, 6-3.

HIGH SCHOOLS BLOG
Follow South Sound high school sports at www.theolympian.com/ prepsportsblog. “He absolutely put on a clinic (in the second match),” Olympia boys coach Denny Bailey said. Orchard, a sophomore, defeated Federal Way’s Haley

Ward, 6-1, 6-1, and Auburn’s Sandi Mihaylova, 6-3, 6-1. Orchard played her first match at Bally Total Fitness in Lacey and her second at Sprinker Recreation Center in Spanaway. “She had such solid groundstrokes and her serve was really on,” Olympia girls coach Margie Reed said. Hunter Wood and Alli Bautista split their matches

Wednesday and will try for a state berth Friday in the consolation bracket when the tournament resumes. Wood lost his first match, 6-3, 6-4, to Paul Yi of Kentridge, and Bautista lost her first match to Averi Kitsch of Thomas Jefferson in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6. She’ll face Gig Harbor’s Bronte Hopkins on Friday. Bautista defeated Hopkins in the Narrows

League tournament last week. Olympia’s No. 1 girls doubles team of Bailey Kilmer and Sara Sui were rained out. The boys No. 1 doubles team – Reuben Talukdar/Alexei Calambokidis – were eliminated after dropping both of their matches. The boys and girls tournaments resume Friday at Sprinker.

ROBELLO
From page B1

ter coach Clay Hill said. Robello knows the battle isn’t over yet. Her April 30 checkup was clean, and there will be more checkups in the future. If her August appointment goes well, there’ll be another in six to nine months. She’ll need to have no signs of a recurrence for five years before she’ll be considered cancer-free. “It’s been a hard experience,” she said. “It’s been a maturing and learning process. ... (My faith) is the only thing that has gotten me through this.” A SUDDEN PAIN The plan was for Robello and her friend, Mallori Warren, to watch the Tumwater boys and girls basketball teams at the Class 2A state tournament in Yakima on March 10. Instead of going to the SunDome, Robello wound up at Yakima Regional Hospital. Robello got to the hotel after the three-hour drive but began having a sharp pain in her right side. A trip to the emergency room resulted in a diagnosis of cramps and some pain medication. Over the next four hours, the pain worsened. Robello went back to the hospital, and this time a CT scan revealed she needed an appendectomy. Robello left Yakima on March 12 with a new scar and thinking the worst was over. Her ordeal was just beginning, however. Two weeks later, the routine pathology test showed her appendix had a 2.5 centimeter malignant tumor on it. Because of the size of the tumor, doctors expected there were more cancer cells that hadn’t been removed, meaning a second surgery would be required. Because Robello is 18, the hospital called her first to break the news. She was sitting in the Tumwater High library when she received the call from Dr. Jason Cundiff, who performed the appendectomy. Her mind was on playing her first fastpitch game since her surgery. Now she needed more surgery. And she had cancer. “I was a mess,” Robello said. “All I was thinking about was fastpitch.” Robello’s mother, Vickie, was on the phone with Dr. Cundiff while her daughter was trying to call her. She rushed to the school to find her daughter crying and shaken. “(She) was a basket case,”
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Photos by STEVE BLOOM/Staff photographer

Returning to fastpitch after five hours of surgery on April 13, Alicia Robello, second from left, rallies with her Tumwater teammates before a May 11 game vs. Elma.

“(My faith) is the only thing that has gotten me through this.”
ALICIA ROBELLO, who was diagnosed with carcinoid cancer in March

Vickie Robello said, remembering her daughter asking her if she was going to die. “It was a crazy day.” Doctors told Robello she had carcinoid cancer, a rare slow-growing cancer that developed on her appendix and spread to parts of her gastrointestinal tract. It is estimated that roughly one out of every 100,000 people get carcinoid tumors. How long the tumor had been on Robello’s appendix is unknown. Without the appendectomy, it could have gone undetected. MORE SURGERY AND RECOVERY Robello prepared for more surgery after seeing Dr. David Row, an oncology specialist at the University of Washington Medical Center. A five-hour operation April 13 removed 18 inches of Robello’s colon, a part of her small intestine where cancer cells had spread, and some lymph nodes. The lymph Morning weather was calm, and Coston started off with back-to-back birdies to quickly move to 10-under and grab a three-stroke lead. But Benzel, playing in the group ahead of Coston, chipped in for birdie at the par-3 sixth, and then twoputted from 80 feet for another one at the par-5 seventh to tie for the lead. Coston nearly drove the green on the 285-yard, par-4 eighth to get to 11-under, then hit a nifty wedge close on the next hole for his final birdie, and he was 12-under. As the golfers walked from the ninth green through the tunnel to the 10th tee, the sky darkened. The wind picked up. And rain fell heavily. Both golfers fell back with two back-nine bogeys, but Benzel’s miscue on the 16th tee essentially cost him the tournament. His driver slipped out of his hand, and his ball hooked into a water hazard, costing him a penalty stroke – and eventually leading to a bogey. Coston’s winnings were $15,000 – or $500 less than he took home for winning his first Washington Open Invitational title in 1996.
After doctors found a tumor on her appendix, Alicia Robello says she received support from her faith and her mother, Vickie, right. “It does take parents to their knees,” Vickie Robello says.

After her April 30 checkup was clean, Alicia Robello was determined to play again. She got five hits in two games last week.

nodes were free of cancer cells, a good sign. Had there been cancer cells in the lymph nodes, Robello would need radiation and chemotherapy. “It does take parents to

their knees,” Vickie Robello said. “Nothing else in the world matters at that point. I wish it would’ve been me.” Robello spent seven days at UW and another week at

home recovering. Word got around and getwell wishes from other schools in the area poured in. Doctors gave Robello a three- to six-week timetable for recovery. And playing fastpitch? That was unlikely, but Robello had other ideas. She couldn’t play initially, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t go to practices or attend games. Any way to remain with the team, and anything she could do to help out, she did. Being young and athletic helped her to recover quicker than even the doctors had hoped. And her attitude – the one that had earned her a

varsity spot last year after she originally made the junior varsity – was crucial, too. Robello’s return has been more than just ceremonial. She plays second base and hits second in the lineup, and is a good situational hitter, Hill said. In Tumwater’s win over Elma on May 11, she went 2for-4 with an RBI. The next day, senior day, Robello went 3-for-5 and drove in two runs against Black Hills. “She hasn’t missed a beat,” Hill said.
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 mwochnick@theolympian.com www.theolympian.com/ prepsportsblog

OPEN
From page B1

UW’s indoor facility helps level playing field
HUSKIES GOLF: With

Coston closed with a 2under-par 69 – one of the eight rounds posted in the 60s Wednesday in a driving afternoon rainstorm – to finish at 10-under 203, beating Seattle’s Ryan Benzel (70) by two strokes. Spokane’s Corey Prugh (68) was in third at 206, and host professional Scott Williams (72) placed fourth at 2009. The day belonged to Coston, who took home his fourth Washington Open Invitational title to tie Tacoma’s Todd Erwin, Spokane’s Al Mengert and Seattle’s Emery Zimmerman for second in all-time tournament wins behind Chuck Congdon’s five. The win also marked Coston’s 18th career major championship in the PGA Pacific Northwest Section, moving him past Portland’s Bob Duden (17 wins) for most in the region. “That’s important to me – very important to me,” Coston said. “Money is always good, but it’s not as important as this.”

team set to host NCAA regional, rain not a practice problem
BY TIM BOOTH The Associated Press
SEATTLE – If Chris Williams had picked UNLV to play college golf, the idea of ever being forced to play on soggy greens or hit balls with his hands shivering from the cold wouldn’t even be a consideration. Instead, Williams decided to play at Washington. And thanks to a new indoor practice facility, the Huskies now have their own way to counteract the weather that sometimes forces the rising Washington program off the course. “We’ll have putting contests, contests ... (on) who can hit the longest drives,” Williams said. “I don’t think there is one specific thing I like the most about it, it’s just a sweet place. We do yoga in here.” Tucked along what used to be empty space inside Wash-

ington’s basketball arena, the state-of-the-art practice facility for the men’s and women’s golf teams finally gives the Huskies an answer when everyone wonders how to golf in such a wet environment. With the players and results the Huskies’ two programs have produced in the last decade, many of the misconceptions about being successful in the Pacific Northwest have been put to rest. Washington’s new facility gives an extra nudge. “It helps maybe more than anything the perception of our program, that when I bring a recruit in here they think golf is a big deal at Washington,” UW men’s coach Matt Thurmond said. “And it is.” The Huskies will be one of six No. 1 seeds for NCAA championship regionals, hosting the West Regional that begins today on the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain Golf Club near Bremerton. One round is scheduled per day with tee times starting at 8 a.m. today and Friday, and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Led by Nick Taylor, the No. 1-ranked amateur player in the world by some publications, the Huskies enter the NCAAs with the expectation of getting back to the national championships and making up for a disappointing finish last year. While the Huskies were on the rise before their new indoor facility opened last fall, it certainly has become an added benefit. “If there was this when I came here you would be in shock that this is your kind of home for a golfer,” Taylor said. “It’s your home, no one else can come in here, it’s your spot. For me to have something like this to come in, it would be another reason to come to UW.” The $1.7 million, 4,260square-foot facility was privately paid for through donations. The space features a large hitting area hooked up with the latest video equipment to analyze swings. A few steps away is a vast artificial putting green with a few contours built in.

Upstairs are lockers for both the men’s and women’s teams along with a lounge area that has become a second home for many of the players. “From a team standpoint we do so much in here as a team. We watched basketball games, football games, we watched the Pac-10 tournament for basketball, every game, in here,” said Williams, the Pac-10 freshman of the year. “I think that’s really helped our camaraderie as a team.” Thurmond doesn’t want his players living inside their practice center, often having to kick them off the video monitors late in the evening after playing a round during the day. But now in his ninth season as the men’s head coach, Thurmond is thankful to have a facility to shoo his players out of at the end of the day. “This is essentially our living room, our gathering place to do that,” Thurmond said. “So whether it’s bringing out the pingpong table ... it really is a place that encompasses all of the values that we have.”

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