• Sports update: Spring schedule kicks into gear

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    Wilson senior Alex Slenning won the state cross country title in the fall.

    With Grant putting an exclamation point on winter by winning a state title in boys basketball, it’s time to turn the page on sports seasons. Competition in high school spring sports started last week. Here’s a quick overview of the Portland Interscholastic League:

    Track and field: Lincoln senior Sawyer Christopher won the Class 6A state title in the boys javelin last year and will look to repeat. Wilson senior Alex Slenning, who won the state cross country championship in the fall, will try to win his first state titles in track. Slenning finished fifth in the 3,000 meters and sixth in the 1,500 last year.

    Grant senior Judith Baxter Game will look to cap her high school career with a second consecutive title in the girls long jump. She won last season after finishing runner-up in 2016. Baxter Game could also add a title in the triple jump after finishing fourth last year.

    Softball: Franklin will try to win a third consecutive PIL title after back-to-back seasons in which it finished 16-1 in league. The Quakers are led by junior Samantha Brauckmiller, who won the league’s Pitcher of the Year award last season. Franklin also returns junior infielder Emma Foster, who was a first-team All-State pick, along with sophomore catcher Maggie Brauckmiller and junior outfield Bailey Nguyen, who were first-team all-league picks.

    Other returning first-team all-league picks are Roosevelt junior pitcher Grace Ferres, Cleveland senior infielder Marci Roberti, Grant senior outfielder Aliya Ewell, Wilson senior outfielder Saioa Lostra and Madison junior outfielder Ally Shuell.

    Baseball: Lincoln will try to win its fourth consecutive league title after tying with Grant for first place at 15-2 in league last year. The Cardinals won both their games against Grant, giving them the league’s top playoff spot.

    Grant figures to give Lincoln all it can handle, with three returning players who earned All-State honors, led by junior Kenji Lamdin, a first-team pick as a utility. Senior infielder Sammy Willman and senior outfielder Jack Fletcher were second-team All-State selections for the Generals.

    Golf: Lincoln junior Nate Stember figures to again be the golfer to watch. Stember tied for ninth at last year’s Class 6A boys state tournament, played in hard rain and wind, after finishing third as a freshman. Stember’s resume goes well beyond high school golf, having qualified for several national events, including the U.S. Junior Amateur. He already has committed to play for the University of Oregon.

    Lincoln junior Sophia Zhang, who was the top girls golfer in the PIL for much of last season, will look to climb the state ladder after tying 30th to finish as the top PIL finisher in the weather-battered state tournament.

    Tennis: Lincoln sophomore Julia Rees returns after winning a girls state doubles title with her sister, Emily, who now plays at Nebraska. It was the second time two Rees sisters won the doubles title – in 2015, Emily teamed with older sister Lindsay to win.

    In boys tennis, Lincoln will look to build on its runner-up state finish that was powered by qualifying four doubles teams. Senior Guido Rahr, sophomore James Chen and junior Danny Luo are back from those teams for Lincoln, as is junior Allen Song, an individual qualifier.

     -Mike Tokito