Locally: Gonzaga baseball standout Brett Harris a candidate for 2021 Senior CLASS Award

The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.
·5 min read

Apr. 11—From staff reports

Brett Harris, a senior third baseman at Gonzaga, has been selected as one of 30 baseball players nationwide as a candidate for the 2021 Senior CLASS Award.

To be eligible, a student-athlete must be classified by the NCAA as a Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. Harris is in his third year of eligibility due to the cancellation of the 2020 season by the COVID-19 pandemic but qualifies as a senior academically.

Through 28 games, Harris leads the Bulldogs in hits (38), RBIs (24), batting average (.349) and on-base percentage (.471). He also leads the team in being hit by a pitch with 13, a mark that also leads the WCC and ranks third in the nation. He has a .988 fielding percentage.

Working toward a degree in special education, he has a 3.51 cumulative GPA, and has spent more than 50 hours volunteering in the Spokane community.

An acronym for Celebration Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists in May and the winner will be announced during the 2021 College World Series in June.

College scene

—Gonzaga junior right-handed pitcher Alek Jacob from North Central HS was selected West Coast Conference baseball pitcher of the week on April 5.

After spending the Bulldogs' first two WCC series as a reliever, Jacob pitched eight-innings of a three-hit GU shutout in his return to a starting role. He had a season-high-tying 11 strikeouts — five of them looking — to cement GU's third shutout, facing an average of 3.38 batters per inning.

Jacob is the third pitcher, and fourth Zag, to earn a weekly WCC honor this season).

—Western Oregon senior Mike Peterson from Pullman picked up a couple of honors from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference early this month.

He was named baseball pitcher of the week on April 5 for throwing eight one-hit, shutout innings in a 4-0 win over Saint Martin's, after being named to the GNAC All-Academic team with a 3.28 GPA. He struck out nine, didn't issue a walk and faced just two batters over the minimum to improve to 3-0. Of his 101 pitches, 70 were strikes.

—Morgan Fossen keeps going higher in the pole vault. For her latest climb, the Eastern Washington senior was named Big Sky Conference women's field athlete of the week on April 5.

Fossen has had a nearly two-foot improvement since she started the season at 11 feet, 10 3/4 inches, moving into second in school history with a vault of 13-8 1/2 on April 3 at the Whitworth H.I.R. Invitational. That ranks 16th in NCAA Division I and seventh in the West Region.

—A couple of PRs on April 2, in the 110m hurdles and triple jump, earned Whitworth freshman Kolby Blackler from Oroville, Washington, the Northwest Conference men's track and field athlete of the week.

Blackler timed 15.02 seconds in placing second in the 110 hurdles and jumped 43 feet, 1/2 inch in finishing third in the triple jump at the Whitworth H.I.R. Invite, marks that rank him second in both in the NWC this year. He was also part of the winning 4x400 relay team.

—Whitworth announced that beginning April 10 it will allow the equivalent of 25% capacity for home fans only (per NWC guidelines) to attend baseball, softball and lacrosse. That equates to 48 for baseball, 42 for softball and 40 for lacrosse.

No spectators will be allowed inside the venues for track and field and tennis.

Fans must wear masks at all times, provide confirmation of being symptom-free (LiveSafe mobile app) of coronavirus, have their temperature checked upon arrival, be on a pre-approved list provided by the home school and honor preselected seating arrangements.

Letters of intent

Gonzaga volleyball: Freshmen: Avery Lowe, OH/opposite, Plano, Texas; Zahria Parker, S, Austin, Texas; Transfers: Viktoriya Ivavona, Libero/DS, Sofia, Bulgaria/Florida Southwestern State; Cara McKenzie, MB/opposite, Belchertown, Mass./Adelphi University, will be seniors.

Gonzaga men's tennis: Transfer: Thomas Hann, Perth, Australia/University of Portland, will be a senior.

Corban University men's soccer: Transfer: Jairo Aguirre, D, Woodburn, Ore./North Idaho College, will be a junior.


Jim Spooner, a native of St. Maries, Idaho, and 2001 graduate of Boise State, has been hired by Washington State as its head football athletic trainer.

Spooner, who most recently was in Boise working as a consultant with businesses in the health care industry, has a résumé that includes seven years at his alma mater, two years at New Mexico State and stints at Penn State, the University of Nevada and with teams in the Arena Football League, NFL Europe and the East Coast Hockey League.

—Pat Chun, athletic director at Washington State University since January 2018, became the third vice president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics following its 2021 convention the first weekend of April.

NACDA, in its 56th year, is the professional and educational association for more than 22,000 college athletics administrators at more than 2,200 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.