Federal Way Mirror Sports Briefs | Oct. 22

J.R. Celski’s debut into the big-time short-track speedskating World Cup series went very well. The Federal way teenager finished in fifth place in the 1,500-meter final at the ISU Samsung World Cup Short Track event in Salt Lake City last weekend. Celski also received a silver medal for being part of the 5,000-meter relay team, along with Anthony Lobello, Jeff Simon and Apolo Anton Ahno.

In the 1,500 semifinal, Celski finished in second place in a photo finish to qualify for the final. The final included Ohno, three South Koreans and a Russian and Canadian. Celski, 18, hung on during the final and finished behind the three Koreans and Ohno in a personal-best time of 2:15.757. The time was almost three seconds better than his previous best time.

Ohno, who also grew up in Federal Way, made his customary late charge and finished third in the 1,500 final. Ohno was sealed off on the final two laps by the top two finishers, South Korea’s Lee Jung-su and runner-up Lee Ho-suk.

“There was room. I made a little bit of a slight hesitation, but it’s early,” said Ohno. “It’s the very first World Cup of the season. I positioned myself right, came back from the fall yesterday, and was able to get on the podium twice today. I think I’m right where I need to be — within striking distance.”

Ohno crashed Saturday night when he lost an edge in the 1,000-meter final.

Celski also advanced in the first round of the 1,000 meters, but a fall in the quarterfinals knocked him out before the final.

Celski’s next meet will be World Cup ll at The Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, B.C. this weekend. Friday is qualifying day and Saturday and Sunday will include finals. The coliseum is where the 2010 Winter Olympic Short Track events will be held. Tickets for World Cup ll are available at

Celski recently took an 18-month break from competitive speed skating after suffering a back injury at the 2006 Junior World Championships and returned home to Federal Way for his junior year of high school at Todd Beamer. Celski had been living in Southern California and training with heralded coach Wilma Boomstra in Long Beach.

He has since moved back to California to continue his training in pursuit of making the U.S. Olympic Team for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C.

• Thomas Jefferson grad Kenna Patrick is excelling on the best cross country team in the nation. The former individual state champion in 2006 is currently running for the No. 1-ranked University of Washington women’s cross country team.

Patrick transferred to UW after running as a freshman at the University of Puget Sound. She ran a full track season for the Huskies last spring, where she competed in the 5,000 meters at the Pac-10 Championships, placing 17th in 17:44.47.

During the cross country season, Patrick finished 11th overall at the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle and 16th at the Tiger Invitational in Auburn, Ala. She also won last weekend’s Cascade Conference Preview, hosted by Northwest University, at Lincoln Park in Seattle.

The Huskies began the season ranked No. 3, then moved up one spot following their season-opening win at the Sundodger Invitational and a team win at the Tiger Invite.

“Achieving the number-one ranking is a great statement on where our program has come and it’s a testament to the progress our student-athletes have made, but certainly it is not the ultimate goal,” said 12th-year head coach Greg Metcalf. “Right now the ranking doesn’t mean that much. Ultimately all that matters is what happens on Nov. 24 in Terre Haute, Indiana (at the NCAA Championships).”

While at UPS, Patrick lead the Loggers to 23rd place at the NCAA Division-III Championships, placing 51st overall. She was an All-Northwest Conference first-teamer.

• The Tacoma-Pierce County Volleyball Officials Board is in need of individuals who are interested in officiating middle school, junior high,

senior high, college, and recreation department volleyball matches throughout Pierce County. A comprehensive training program, starting October 24th, is offered for all new officials and the opportunities to advance in the organization are extensive.

For students, retirees, or former athletes looking to re-connect with a sport, officiating high school and middle school sports is also an excellent way to earn some extra income and provide a great service to the teams. Registration is due no later than October 23rd so please contact us immediately.

For additional information on becoming a volleyball official, visit or contact Marc Blau at (253) 848-1360 or or John Wohn at 253-272-8543 or

• Apple Physical Therapy will honor one boy and one girl student athlete for both the Fall and Winter sport seasons with a $1,000 Athlete of the Quarter Scholarship.

Eligible student athletes must be high school seniors enrolled in a Western Washington high school, participating in a varsity sport and be in good-standing academically. The scholarship criteria include athlete performance, community service/involvement and other compelling personal circumstances.

Nomination forms are available to download at Apple Physical Therapy’s Web site,, and can be turned in to any Apple Physical Therapy clinic location or other participating private practice location. A complete list of locations is on Apple Physical Therapy’s Web site. Nomination forms are due December 1 for fall, 2008 and March 1 for Winter, 2009 applications.

Scholarship winners will be announced at the conclusion of the Fall, 2008 and Winter, 2009 seasons on the High School GameTime television program on King 5 and Kong 6/16.

Apple Physical Therapy is also the official athletic training partner for the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) and oversees young athletes at the state football, basketball and softball tournaments each year.

• NW Krush is seeking players for a new 14U fastpitch program in the Auburn/Puyallup area. Call Mark at (206) 793-2449 or email for more information or to arrange a tryout.

• The Federal Way School District sign program is entering its second year. Advertising banners may be placed at Federal Way Memorial Field or in secondary schools. Each banner costs $500. For more information, contact Greg Flynn at gflynn@fwps or call (253) 945-5575.

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