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Sports calendar: Feb. 16 – 25, 2024

Upcoming recreation opportunities and professional, college and prep sports

Wrestlers warm up before the start of Mat Classic XXXIV.
Wrestlers warm up before the start of Mat Classic XXXIV on Feb. 17, 2023, at the Tacoma Dome. (Photo by Josh Hart)
By Connor J. Benintendi Sports Editor

CONNOR’S PICKS

Wrestling: Mat Classic XXXV state wrestling tournament
9 a.m., Feb. 16–17, Tacoma Dome

Revered as one of the most chaotic events in Washington prep sports, the Mat Classic is nearly upon us.

Last year, Mount Baker’s Elijah Washburn was Whatcom County’s sole state champion. Five local wrestlers reached state title matches a season ago, but only one was able to bring home a championship.

The good news: Championships aside, 18 wrestlers finished eighth or higher in their respective weight classes. This year’s class of athletes has the potential to improve on that number, with a high likelihood of more than one title winner.

The player fields are more favorable for many of the county’s top wrestlers, and more locals are headed to the tournament. Last season, 48 athletes advanced to state, whereas 54 are headed to Tacoma this weekend.

That should make for an exciting second day of the event on Saturday, Feb. 17, when the semifinals and finals are wrestled.

WWU: Men’s basketball vs. Northwest Nazarene and Central Washington
7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, Carver Gym

It was impossible to choose which one of these games is more vital to the Vikings’ Great Northwest Athletic Conference playoff hopes, so I am picking both of them.

These two games will likely make or break the Western Washington University men’s basketball team’s season, depending on how their two-game road trip in Alaska goes Feb. 15–17.

As of Tuesday, Feb. 13, Western (14-10, 6-7 GNAC) is in fifth place in the league standings, with only a half-game cushion between its current placement and seventh — the first spot left out of the postseason.

That means if the Vikings lose even one game to Alaska Anchorage or Alaska Fairbanks on the road, they run the risk of falling out of the playoff picture with just three games remaining in the regular season.


Regardless of those results, third-place Northwest Nazarene (13-8, 9-4 GNAC) and fourth-place Central Washington (15-7, 8-5 GNAC) will not be easy tasks. It will be difficult to pass either of those teams in the standings, win or lose, but Western needs to beat them to ensure they get to keep playing into March.

Western Washington University’s Will Wilson and Isaac Morrow reach for the rebound Thursday, Feb. 8 during a home game against Seattle Pacific. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)
Recreation: Bellingham Bay Outrigger Paddlers Winter Race Series No. 4
10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 24, Marine Park

Whether you’re entrenched in the local paddling community or not, these races feature some of the top athletes that Whatcom County and its neighboring areas have to offer.

Beginning at Marine Park in Fairhaven, paddlers head south along the shoreline, around Clark’s Point and into Mud Bay before looping back to the starting line. It’s a 6-mile round-trip course that may be altered slightly depending on wind and water conditions the day of the race, according to the event’s website.

Boat classes permitted include both single and double outriggers, surfskis, stand-up paddleboards and V1 (or rudderless) boats.

Pre-registration is required, with a maximum cost of $30. Safety boats will be on the course, but participants must “be capable of self-rescue,” according to the website.

Outrigger canoers get their paddles going at the start of the Mixed/Women’s races at The Bellingham Bay Classic held on Aug. 12 at Boulevard Park in Bellingham.
Outrigger canoeists get their paddles going at the start of the Mixed/Women’s races at The Bellingham Bay Classic Aug. 12, 2023, at Boulevard Park in Bellingham. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)

FULL CALENDAR

Friday, Feb. 16

Boys basketball

1A District 1 consolation final: Meridian vs. Nooksack Valley, 5:30 p.m., Lynden High School

Girls basketball

1A District 1 consolation final: Meridian vs. Lynden Christian, 7:15 p.m., Lynden High School

Boys and girls wrestling

Mat Classic XXXV, all day, Tacoma Dome

Boys swim and dive

State championships, all day, King County Aquatic Center

Recreation

Therapeutic Movement and Meditation, 6 p.m., Bloedel Donovan Park’s Community Building

Saturday, Feb. 17

Boys basketball

2A District 1 winner-to-state game, 7:15 p.m., Mount Vernon High School

Girls basketball

2A District 1 winner-to-state game, 5:30 p.m., Mount Vernon High School

Boys and girls wrestling

Mat Classic XXXV, all day, Tacoma Dome

Boys swim and dive

State championships, all day, King County Aquatic Center

WWU

Softball vs. British Columbia, 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Viking Field

Men’s basketball at Alaska Anchorage, 5:15 p.m.

Women’s basketball vs. Saint Martin’s, 7 p.m., Carver Gym

WCC

Women’s basketball vs. Bellevue, 2 p.m., Whatcom Pavilion

Men’s basketball vs. Bellevue, 4 p.m., Whatcom Pavilion

Recreation

Fragrance Lake 10k/Half/50k, 6 a.m., Larrabee State Park

Spacewolf Trail Day, 9 a.m., Spacewolf Mountain Biking Trail

Woolley Trail Runs, 9 a.m., Sedro-Woolley

Bushcraft Crash Course: Survival Basics, 10 a.m., Deming

Sunday, Feb. 18

Recreation

Ski Shuttle to Mount Baker, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Convergence Zone Recreation Center

Maple Creek Park Photography Walk, 11 a.m., 7842 Silver Lake Road, Maple Falls

Monday, Feb. 19

WWU

Track and field at GNAC Indoor Track & Field Championships, 9 a.m., The Podium (Spokane)

NHL

Detroit Red Wings at Seattle Kraken, 12:30 p.m.

Recreation

SPIN Dance, 6 p.m., Bloedel Gymnasium/Multipurpose Room

Tuesday, Feb. 20

WWU

Track and field at GNAC Indoor Track & Field Championships, 9 a.m., The Podium (Spokane)

Wednesday, Feb. 21

WCC

Women’s basketball at Edmonds Community College, 5 p.m.

Men’s basketball at Edmonds Community College, 7 p.m.

Recreation

Badminton at Bloedel, 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Bloedel Donovan Multipurpose Room

Thursday, Feb. 22

WWU

Men’s basketball vs. Northwest Nazarene, 7 p.m., Carver Gym

Women’s basketball vs. MSU Billings, 7 p.m.

NHL

Vancouver Canucks at Seattle Kraken, 7 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 23

Boys basketball

1A regionals, time, teams and location TBD

2A regionals, time, teams and location TBD

Girls basketball

1A regionals, time, teams and location TBD

2A regionals, time, teams and location TBD

WWU

Track and field at Ken Shannon Last Chance Invite, 12 p.m., Dempsey Indoor (Seattle)

Softball at Saint Martin’s, 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 24

Boys basketball

1A regionals, time, teams and location TBD

2A regionals, time, teams and location TBD

Girls basketball

1A regionals, time, teams and location TBD

2A regionals, time, teams and location TBD

WWU

Track and field at Ken Shannon Last Chance Invite, 10 a.m., Dempsey Indoor (Seattle)

Softball vs. Western Oregon, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., at Saint Martin’s University

Women’s basketball vs. Seattle Pacific, 4:15 p.m.

Men’s basketball vs. Central Washington, 7 p.m., Carver Gym

WCC

Women’s basketball at Skagit Valley, 2 p.m.

Men’s basketball at Skagit Valley, 4 p.m.

NHL

Minnesota Wild at Seattle Kraken, 7 p.m.

Recreation

Bellingham Bay Outrigger Paddlers Winter Series Race #4, 10 a.m., Marine Park

Lord Hill Trail Runs, 8 a.m., Lord Hill Regional Park

Fort Ebey Kettles Trail Run, 9 a.m., Fort Eby State Park

Native Plant Restoration, 9 a.m., Galbraith Mountain and Padden Trails Parking Lot

Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition Oriental Express Trail Day, 9:30 a.m.

Sunday, Feb. 25

Recreation

Walking Soccer, 6 p.m., Bellingham Sportsplex

CDN’s sports calendar is published online Thursdays and in print Fridays. To submit an event for consideration, email connorbenintendi@cascadiadaily.com. News Producer Eric Trent compiled the featured listings.

Connor J. Benintendi is CDN’s sports editor; reach him at connorbenintendi@cascadiadaily.com; 360-922-3090 ext. 104.

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