Sports briefs

Island rower competes with U.S. team in France

Lake Union Crew rower and Island resident Michael Wales recently competed with the U.S. Junior National Team on Aug. 5-8 at the 2009 World Rowing Junior Championships in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France.

The men’s quadruple sculls crew of Michael Wales (Mercer Island), Mason Leasure (Jacksonville, Fla.), Gabriel Fort (Miami Beach, Fla.) and Will Dannemann (New Canaan, Conn.) finished fifth in the consolation group final and placing 17th overall out of 27 crews in their event.

The crew was unable to advance to the winner’s bracket after falling in a quarterfinal race with a fifth-place finish and a time of 6:20.51. But Wales’ crew redeemed itself by finishing second in the next round with its fastest competition time at 6:09.20.

In the consolation final, all six boats were within three seconds of each other as they entered the final 500 meters, with the United States sitting in sixth place. Wales and company were able to make a late charge in the final 250 meters and pass Austria, crossing the line in 6:14.05 to finish 0.3 seconds behind Estonia. Croatia won the race in 6:10.02, finishing 0.21 seconds ahead of Switzerland and 0.53 seconds ahead of Belarus.

Tate races at Junior Olympics

West Mercer Elementary fifth-grader Jaelin Tate recently competed at the National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championship on July 28-Aug. 2 in Greensboro, N.C. He competed at the Bantam Boys level at the national event in his first year of competitive track racing.

Tate, 10, finished 15th overall in the 200-meter dash (29.21), 12th overall in the 400-meter dash (1:05.83), and he helped his track club Wings of Eagles finish 17th in the 4x400-meter relay (5:01.38).

Local high school athletics goes ‘prime time’ with new show

High school sports in the Puget Sound will get a big boost this fall when AAA Washington Varsity News premiers in primetime on cable channel Fox Sports Network (FSN).

Beginning on Wednesday, Sept. 2, and showing every Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. on FSN, the program offers comprehensive TV coverage of Washington state high school athletics and celebrates the unique stories of the games, area schools and athletes.

AAA Washington Varsity News is produced by Seattle-based Gametapes and sponsored by AAA Washington, the local American Automobile Association affiliate.

The program will also be available the following day on Comcast On Demand. In addition, the show’s Web site,, will offer viewers the chance to interact with the show by uploading their own video and sharing their stories.

Hosted by high school sports commentators Gabriel Meyers and FSN’s Jen Mueller, the AAA Washington Varsity News promises to be a fast-moving, half-hour highlights show featuring clips from the best games, behind-the-scenes features, game-day experiences and more.

According to Meyers, the TV show is just a part of what The Varsity News will offer to high school athletes and sports fans. “Our Web site,, will feature lots of great video action we can’t fit into the show; fans can upload their own video, post their views and interact with the show through Twitter, Facebook and their mobile phones.”

The program will cover all three sports seasons of boys and girls high school athletics in Washington.

AAA Washington Varsity News can be viewed on FSN and FSN HD, and on Comcast On Demand, Ch.1 for Comcast cable customers, under Local Sports from the main On Demand menu.

Additional video and interactive features can be found at, on Twitter at TheVarsityNews, and on Facebook, search AAAWashingtonVarsityNews.

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