Turf replacement solves Monroe’s drainage problems

No more puddles.

That’s the goal at Monroe High School, where everyone hopes standing water on the synthetic turf field is a thing of the past.

Monroe opened a $3.3 million, 2,500-seat stadium in October 2005. Major drainage problems on the athletic field became an ongoing annoyance. The issue is being addressed, but repairs have forced some of Monroe’s spring sports teams to adjust.

The Bearcats boys soccer team has been playing home games on the grass field at Memorial Stadium near downtown. Monroe’s boys and girls track squads aren’t able to host home meets.

“The coaches have been understanding,” Monroe athletic director Brett Wille said.

To fix the drainage trouble at the new stadium, workers starting in early March spent a month removing and replacing materials under the turf that were incorrectly installed in 2005, said Rosemary O’Neil, a Monroe School District spokeswoman. New artificial turf — the original surface can’t be reused — is set to be ready by May 1, O’Neil said.

The repair cost is $784,000 plus tax, said O’Neil. Through an agreement reached in January, the people responsible for the drainage issue will pay $500,000, she said.

Inconvenient timing for the repairs was unavoidable, O’Neil said. Construction workers had to complete the job this spring because they had already scheduled summer projects.

Jones scores 13 in Washington’s win

Eryn Jones, a senior guard from Meadowdale, scored 13 points and tallied a team-high four assists Sunday in the Northwest Shootout all-star girls basketball game in Portland. Jones, a Portland State University recruit, made four of six field goals and was 4-for-4 on free throws, helping Washington beat Oregon 100-77.

Prairie’s Ashley Corral (21 points, three assists, two steals) was Washington’s leading scorer and was named most valuable player.

All-state volleyball series

Seven players from local schools have been picked to play in the Washington State Coaches Association All-State Volleyball Series July 19 at Fife High. They are: Class 3A/4A — Erin Lauber of Edmonds-Woodway, Jordan Keller (Kamiak) and Devin Larson (Kamiak); 1A/2A — Michaela Dudder (Granite Falls), Megan Robinson (Archbishop Murphy) and Patti Reeves (Archbishop Murphy); 1B/2B — Elyse Bunger (North Sound Christian). For complete rosters check out Double Team, The Herald’s prep sports blog, at www.heraldnet.com/doubleteam.

Last duel for star pitchers

This week two of the area’s best softball pitchers, Cory Mattson and Jordan Birch, will battle for the final time in their prolific prep careers. Mattson is scheduled to lead 3A Everett (5-1 Western Conference North Division, 7-1 overall through last week) against Birch and 4A Monroe (4-1, 5-1) 6 p.m. Friday at Lincoln Field. It will be the second of two regular-season clashes between the teams, which will play in separate district tournaments, assuming they both qualify. Birch and Mattson combined to strike out 25 batters March 18 when Monroe beat Everett 2-0.

Defensive bright spots

Mountlake Terrace had three costly errors April 1 in its 3-0 softball loss against Jackson. But Terrace also made a few spectacular defensive plays. In the fifth inning right fielder Megan Runkel sprinted in and made a diving catch for the Hawks, stealing a hit from Jackson No. 8 hitter Miya Kumangai.

An inning later, Terrace second baseman Stephanie McLauchlan showed excellent concentration in the field. Jackson’s Dani Jackman drilled a ball that hit the foot of Terrace first baseman Amanda Kristjanson. The ball bounced high in the air to Kristjanson’s right, but McLauchlan kept her eye on it, caught the ball and beat Jackman to first base for an unusual out.

Mike Cane, Herald Writer

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