The United State’s Kaitlin Hawayek (right) and Jean-Luc Baker perform during the ice dance free dance at the ISU figure skating Grand Prix Espoo 2022 competition on Nov. 26 in Espoo, Finland. (Mikko Stig/Lehtikuva via AP)

The United State’s Kaitlin Hawayek (right) and Jean-Luc Baker perform during the ice dance free dance at the ISU figure skating Grand Prix Espoo 2022 competition on Nov. 26 in Espoo, Finland. (Mikko Stig/Lehtikuva via AP)

Community roundup: Baker qualifies for Grand Prix Final

Plus, Meadowdale grad Rover Stewart is named the NWAC Athlete of the Year, Aussie football is coming to Lake Stevens and more.

Jean-Luc Baker is headed back to the Grand Prix Final.

The Kamiak High School graduate and his partner Kaitlin Hawayek were one of six ice dancing duos to qualify for the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, which takes place Thursday through Sunday in Turin, Italy.

Hawayek and Baker earned their spot in the Final by winning the silver medal at Grand Prix Espoo, held Nov. 25-27 in Finland. Hawayek and Baker finished with a score of 202.46, which was a new personal best. They placed second behind the Canadian duo of Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, who scored 219.49.

The second-place finish in Espoo, combined with their second-place finish at Skate America in October, gave Hawayek and Baker enough points to qualify for the Final. It is the second time Hawayek and Baker have qualified for the Final, as they placed sixth after qualifying for the event in 2018.

The rhythm dance takes place at 10:50 a.m. (Pacific Time) Friday and the free dance is at 10:40 a.m. Saturday. Both are being televised live on Peacock.

Hansen, Morin place at beach volleyball championships

Everett native and King’s High School graduate Allison Hansen and Lake Stevens High School graduate Samaya Morin, who are now members of the Grand Canyon University beach volleyball team, each earned top-10 finishes at the American Volleyball Coaches Association Fall Collegiate Beach Championships, held Nov. 4-6 in Huntsville, Alabama.

Hansen, a junior, teamed with Abbie Hughes to place third out of 64 pairs. Hansen and Hughes went 3-0 in pool play, then beat teams from Florida International, UCLA and Florida State in the championship bracket before falling to a team from LSU in the semifinals. They rebounded to beat a pair from Washington to take third.

Morin, a sophomore, paired with Dana Roskic to finish 10th. Morin and Roskic also went 3-0 in pool play, then went 3-2 in knockout bracket matches to place 10th.

The spring season opens in February. Last season Hansen was 28-4 playing on Court 2 for the Lopes, while Morin was 23-9 playing on Court 3.

McEachern competes at cross country nationals

Kamiak High School graduate Cullen McEachern, now a senior on the Gonzaga University men’s cross country team, competed for the Bulldogs at the NCAA National Championship held Nov. 19 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

McEachern finished the 10-kilometer race in a time of 30 minutes, 26.7 seconds to place 128th. He finished fourth among Gonzaga runners, and his 128th-place finish was his best in three trips to nationals.

McEachern helped the Bulldogs place 13th in the team standings, which was the best team finish in school history.

Stewart named NWAC Athlete of the Year

Meadowdale High School graduate River Stewart, who just completed his sophomore season as a forward on the Everett Community College men’s soccer team, was named the Northwest Athletic Conference Baden Athlete of the Year for men’s soccer.

Stewart had one of the most prolific seasons in NWAC history, scoring 30 goals as he led the Trojans to a 13-4-4 record and a spot in the semifinals of the NWAC Championship. Six of his goals were game winners, and he also tacked on six assists.

Aussie football coming to Lake Stevens

Lake Stevens Community Park will be the setting for the U.S. Australian Football League’s 2023 Western Regionals, which take place on July 15. The Western Regionals will bring 15 USAFL teams from California, Oregon and Washington to compete for titles in the Men’s First Division, Men’s Second Division and Women’s First Division. It is the first time Western Regionals will take place in Snohomish County.

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