2016 Central Oregon sports headliners

• Bend snowboarder Ben Ferguson in January won the silver medal in the men’s superpipe competition at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

• The NFL’s Super Bowl High School Honor Roll program, part of the league’s celebration of Super Bowl 50, presented to Bend High two gold-colored footballs in the names of alumni Rick Gervais and Ryan Longwell, who played in Super Bowls XVI (with San Francisco) and XXXII (with Green Bay), respectively.

• Bend for the first time hosted the U.S. cross-country running championships, staged in February on a 10K course at River’s Edge golf club. Craig Lutz, 23 and of Flagstaff, Arizona, and former University of Oregon runner Mattie Suver, 28 and of Colorado Springs, Colorado, were the men’s and women’s winners, respectively.

• Bend’s Emma Maaranen in February won the women’s pro division of the USA Cycling Fat Bike Nationals at Powder Mountain Resort in Utah. She finished the 18-mile course in 1 hour, 38 minutes, 27 seconds.

• Jacoby Ellsbury, the Madras High standout who went on to star as an outfielder at Oregon State, in April was named to the Pac-12 All-Century Baseball Team. Ellsbury, who plays for the New York Yankees, starred for the Beavers from 2003 to 2005. He led OSU to the College World Series in 2005, when he was the conference’s player of the year.

• Max King, of Bend, was the overall winner in the marathon portion of the second annual Bend Marathon and Half in April. King, 36, was first among 241 finishers with a time of 2 hours, 41 minutes flat. Beth Meadows, 30 and of Nashville, Tennessee, was the first woman finisher in 3:16:07.

• Bend’s Jesse Thomas in April won the Wildflower long-course triathlon in Bradley, California, for the sixth year in a row. Thomas, 36, covered the course (1.2-mile swim, 2.2-mile run, 56-mile road bike ride, 10.9-mile run) in 4 hours, 5 minutes, 32 seconds. In May, Thomas continued a successful season with a victory in the Lanzarote Ironman in the Canary Islands.

• The inaugural Bend Beatdown, a long-distance skateboard racing event, was staged in May at Pine Nursery Park. Winners included Colby Cummings, 22 and of Portland, in the men’s 5K; Eric Palmer, 25 and of Maryland, in the men’s 10K; and Neena Schueller, 21 and of Florida, in the women’s 5K and 10K races.

• Serena Bishop Gordon, of Bend, won a couple of big, local mountain-bike races in 2016. In May, she placed first among the elite women in the Cascade Chainbreaker. In July, Bishop Gordon won the women’s division of the High Cascades 100. The 37-year-old won despite a crash 50 miles into the race that cracked her helmet.

• Justin Kadin, a caddie at Tetherow in Bend, was one of seven golfers who advanced to the sectional round from local qualifying for the U.S. Open staged in May at Bend’s Pronghorn Club. The 26-year-old amateur did not advance from the sectional qualifier in Vancouver, Washington, in June, but later that month he was the low amateur and tied for second overall at the Oregon Open.

• Matthew Maton, a University of Oregon distance runner from Bend, in May was named Pac-12 men’s track and field freshman of the year. Maton finished second in the finals of the 1,500 meters at the conference championships, helping the Ducks win their 10th straight men’s conference title. In July, Maton reached the semifinals in the 1,500 at the Olympic trials, and in November he earned all-America status for strong performances as a UO sophomore at the NCAA regional (second place overall) and national (29th) cross-country championships.

• Bend athletes Andrew Boone and Zoe Roy won the men’s and women’s elite divisions, respectively, at the 40th annual Pole Pedal Paddle multisport race from Mount Bachelor to Bend. It was the second PPP win for Boone, 35, and the first for Roy, 28, who became the race’s first second-generation winner. Upward of 2,500 participants weathered unseasonably wintry conditions for the mid-May event.

• Jack Mahler, 23 and of Bend, in May became the first unicyclist ever to finish the Arizona Trail Race. He covered the 750-mile route from the Arizona-Mexico border to the Arizona-Utah border, which included nearly 90,000 feet of elevation gain along steep and rocky terrain, in just over 23 days.

• On June 4, Bend Elks pitchers Kris Jackson and Logan Hatley combined on a no-hitter in a 6-0 win over the Corvallis Knights in what might have been the high point of the summer for the defending West Coast League champions, who finished 21-33 and out of the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

• Bend’s Madison Odiorne had a memorable June on the golf course, starting with a victory in the 51st Bend Ladies Invitational at Bend Golf and Country Club during which she tied the course record with a 5-under-par 67 for the second and final round. Later, she tied for medalist in the stroke-play portion of the Oregon Amateur at Black Butte Ranch.

• The Wells brothers, Todd, 40, and Troy, 31, both of Durango, Colorado, finished 1-2 in the seventh annual Blitz mountain bike race, staged on an 18-mile route from Wanoga Sno-park to Bend. Despite driving rain during the race, hundreds of spectators were on hand to see the finish. Kelli Emmett, 39 and of Colorado Springs, Colorado, won the women’s division for the third time.

• Matt Lieto, 38 and of Bend, won the men’s elite division of USA Triathlon’s national duathlon championships, staged at Summit High School in Bend. Lieto’s time for the 10K run, 40K bike ride and 5K run was 1 hour, 58 minutes, 47.5 seconds. The women’s elite winner was Alycia Hill, 28 and of Salt Lake City, in 2:13:48.3. Bend is scheduled to host the event again in 2017.

• A week after reaching the quarterfinals of the Oregon Amateur, Bend golfer Jeff Ward won the 63rd Mirror Pond Invitational at Bend Golf and Country Club. Ward, 43, shot a 5-under-par 139 to tie the tournament record.

• In addition to decathlete Ashton Eaton, five Bend athletes qualified for 2016 Olympic trials: swimmers Elli Ferrin and Tommy Brewer, women’s steeplechase runners and sisters Mel and Collier Lawrence, and distance runner Matthew Maton. Of the five, only Mel Lawrence reached the final, where the 26-year-old finished eighth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a personal-best 9 minutes, 36.35 seconds.

• Redmond cowboy Steven Peebles, recovered from a back injury suffered in an ATV accident in March, won the bareback competition at the Calgary Stampede in July. The win was worth $111,500 to the 26-year-old rider.

• Oregon City’s Megan Jordan and her warmblood Top Shelf in July won both $25,000 Grand Prix events at the 27th annual High Desert Classics hunter/jumper horse show at J Bar J Boys Ranch in Bend.

• Bend’s Adrien Costa emerged in 2016 as one of the world’s best young cyclists. The 19-year-old’s list of highlights included winning the Tour de Bretagne in France and finishing third at the Redlands Bicycle Classic in California, both in the spring, and in August taking second overall at the prestigious Tour of Utah.

• Valerie Jenkins, 30 and of Bend, in August won the Professional Disc Golf Association world championship in Emporia, Kansas. It was her fourth world title.

• Bend ultrarunner Ian Sharman in August won the Leadville 100 trail run for the second year in a row. It was the third Leadville victory overall for the 35-year-old Sharman, who finished the 100-mile route through the Colorado Rockies in 16 hours, 22 minutes, 39 seconds.

• Shane Erickson won the all-around title at the 106th Pendleton Round-Up, highlighting a successful September for the 36-year-old Terrebonne cowboy. A week after taking top honors at the prestigious Round-Up, Erickson won the tie-down roping, team roping and cow milking championships at the Northwest Professional Rodeo Association Finals in Prineville.

• A new uphill race challenged area runners in September. Mike Scalfone, 31 and of Bend, won the inaugural Hoodoo Challenge: Run to the Top half marathon with a time of 1 hour, 29 minutes, 20.1 seconds; Bryn Singleton, 38 and of Sisters, was the women’s winner in 1:58:36.0.

• Another vertical race in September, the longstanding Pilot Butte Challenge in Bend, for the first time was staged on a Friday evening instead of Saturday morning. Renee Metivier, 34 and of Bend, was the women’s winner and set the female record for the 1-mile race with a time of 7 minutes, 50.1 seconds. Mario Mendoza, 30 and also of Bend, was the men’s winner for the second time in three years, setting an age-group record in 7:06.0.

• Bend’s Matt Palilla won the Portland Marathon in October, but he did not walk away with the winner’s trophy. Confusion at the finish of the race led to a different runner being awarded the trophy, and weeks later Palilla, 34, still had not received his prize. Palilla, whose winning time was 2 hours, 36 minutes, 25 seconds, has since confirmed that he did get the trophy.

• Bruce Wattenburger, whose name had been synonymous with Redmond’s Juniper Golf Course and with golf across Central Oregon, announced in October that he would retire at age 64 after nearly 34 years as head golf professional at Juniper.

• Bend’s Carson Storch in October placed third at the Red Bull Rampage in Utah. In one of free-ride mountain biking’s most high-profile and death-defying events, staged on steep cliffs and jumps near Zion National Park, the 23-year-old also won the award for best trick during the competition among 21 riders from around the world.

• Terrebonne cowboy Russell Cardoza capped a lucrative pro rodeo season in December, when he and Montana’s Dustin Bird finished sixth overall in team roping at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Cardoza, 30, finished sixth in the PRCA season standings for heelers with earnings of $193,441. He also was fifth in the all-around standings with $204,720.

• In early November, Matt Dahlen, a walk-on from Redmond who had parted ways with the Oregon State men’s basketball team after two seasons, accepted an invitation to return to the Beavers. So far this season, the junior forward and former Redmond High standout has played in all 13 games for OSU, averaging 2.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.

• Elijah Elder, an 8-year-old from Bend, in December won the junior novice division at the Quarter Midgets of America Winter Nationals, a competition for midget cars staged in Las Vegas.

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