Checking in with some locals abroad

Locals from Yamhill County have been in the news quite a bit lately in the sports universe. From wrestling to ultra-running to track and basketball or baseball, it’s time we brought readers up to speed on some of the special things people are doing who used to call Yamhill County home.

Charlie Sitton

Charlie Sitton has rarely gone under the radar in basketball. In high school, Sitton led McMinnville to a state championship in 1979. In college, he was a two-time All-American at Oregon State and played for the Beavers on three NCAA Tournament teams. He then played one season in the NBA for the Dallas Mavericks.

On Saturday, Sitton earned another accolade to add to his already overstuffed trophy case. Sitton was inducted into the Pac-12 Conference Hall of Honor for his accomplishments at Oregon State.

Sitton was a four-year letterman for Oregon State from 1981-84 when the Beavers racked up a record of 93-25. The Beavers started 1981 26-0 and were the No. 1-ranked team in the nation, and Sitton was on three Pac-10 championship teams.

In his four years at OSU, Sitton averaged 6.4 points a game as a freshman, 12.9 points as a sophomore, 18.8 his junior year and 14.9 his senior season. He was an All-American both his junior and senior seasons, and played in an NCAA regional championship game in 1982.

On OSU’s career leaderboard, Sitton is fifth all-time in scoring and fourth in field goal percentage.

Sage Canaday

Newberg graduate Sage Canaday has had quite a run recently. Canaday, whose family still lives near Sheridan, won the Tarawera 100-Kilometer race in New Zealand on March 16. It’s his third win at the ultra-marathon level since July.

Oh yeah, and Canaday has only been racing ultras since last spring.

Canaday finished Tarawera in 8 hours, 53 minutes, 34 seconds, giving new meaning to putting in a full day’s work. Canaday, an accomplished writer, blogged about his experience in the exotic trails Down Under:

“This race really solidified in my mind that I have a lot to learn in the sport of ultra-running and there are things that I have to tweak in my training to be able to finish strong, race downhills, and run more technical trails.”

Canaday had a big lead on second place but hit the wall hard in the last hour of the race and ended up winning by three minutes. Canaday wrote about still being new to ultra-long distance running and how to approach races, but his speed going up hills and on flat ground makes up for his lack of experience.

Tarawera was just the latest in a string of impressive runs for Canaday. In January, he won the Bandera 100km in Texas that was also the USA 100km National Trail Running Championship, setting a course record in the process. In his first attempt at 100km, Canaday was second in September to Max King of Bend at a race in Virginia. Canaday also won a 50-mile race in July.

Canaday is a two-time qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, and he switched to running ultras to better his training. Look for him to make some waves in 2016 at the U.S. Trials again.

Chad Hanke

Moving to the mat, Chad Hanke is competing this weekend at the NCAA wrestling championships in Iowa for the Oregon State Beavers. Hanke won the Pac-12 championship March 2, beating J.T. Felix of Boise State 3-2 in the finals.

Hanke, who took an Olympic redshirt last year to train for the 2012 Olympic Trials, came back to Oregon State heavier and moved up from 197 pounds to heavyweight. He has reeled off 19 straight wins for the Beavers dating back to December, including winning his first match at the NCAA championships Thursday morning. Hanke (33-3) is a No. 4 seed and pinned Kevin Innis in the first period to advance to Thursday night’s second round.

Quarterfinals and semifinals are today and if he wins those matches, he will wrestle in the finals Saturday night. You can watch Friday’s sessions on ESPN3 (online) or ESPNU. Saturday’s finals will be broadcast on ESPN.

Alyssa Hasslen

Alyssa Hasslen, a 2009 graduate of McMinnville, finished fourth two weeks ago at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field national championships in the shot put. She threw 57-03, six feet behind Oklahoma’s Tia Brooks.

Hasslen continues to be just on the verge. She was the Pac-12 runner up in the shot put and the discus at the outdoor championships last spring. Hasslen had been working all of last season to put over 60 feet, and she did so at the Mt. SAC Relays when she had a career mark of 60-2.5 feet. It was the second-best mark in the country last spring. At the 2012 Olympic Trials, Hasslen finished sixth in the shot put.

Joe Paterson

It is still iffy whether or not McMinnville graduate Joe Paterson will make the opening day roster of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but one thing is for certain: he’s back to his 2011 form.

Paterson was chosen by the Diamondbacks in the Rule 5 Draft in 2011 and pitched the entire 2011 season in the Major Leagues for Arizona. He started 2012 in the MLB as well but a tough stretch of six games where he had an ERA of 37.12 was enough for him to be demoted to Triple A Reno. In 48 appearances with Reno, Paterson had a 4.15 ERA.

So far this spring Paterson has been one of Arizona’s best left-handed relievers. He has thrown 7 2/3 innings and has an ERA of 1.17. Arizona manager Kirk Gibson gave Paterson a vote of confidence last week, saying he liked the way he was throwing, but with many of the roster spots already set, it’ll be a late decision to see whether or not Paterson goes back to Phoenix or heads to Reno.

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