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Local gymnast captures state title

Forrest Kollar, 12, of Ashland captured the Oregon floor exercise level 5 state championship to help the Medford-based America's Best Kids gymnastics team finish fourth at the Oregon State Gymnastics Meet at Beaverton on March 19.

With the high finish, Kollar qualified for the regional meet, to be held in Boise, Idaho later this month.

Kollar, who earned a 51.7 all-around score, including a 9.0 in the floor exercise, is coached by ABK's Anjel Craner.

Men's Basketball

Southern Oregon University athletics has another 2006-07 Daktronics-NAIA All-American Scholar Athlete: men's basketball player Matt Espinoza.

Espinoza, SOU's sixth Daktronics all-star, was chosen as one of over 150 NAIA Division I and II men's basketball players to be named to the team after having a successful senior season of basketball and earning a GPA of 4.0 last term and a cumulative GPA of 3.67.

During his senior season of basketball, Espinoza led the team in 3-point field goal percentage (.505), 3-pointers made (49) and 3s made per game (2.1). He also set a new Raider record in 3-point percentage in a season, surpassing the former mark of .462 set by Jerome Wright (1986-87). Espinoza's hot shooting from beyond the arc also ranked No. 2 in NAIA Division II.

Espinoza joins a select list that also includes fellow Raiders Victoria Cotta (soccer), Molly Grossmann (volleyball), Trevor Palmer (men's cross country), Whitney Riehl (volleyball) and Chelsey Zimmerman (women's basketball). Each athlete must be nominated by their coach, have achieved junior level status academically and must have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA.

Soccer

Boys and girls interested in playing youth soccer are invited to join the Ashland Soccer Club.

The club is looking for a few more third and fourth grade boys and girls to play in the U10 recreational league. Teams practice twice a week and play all their games Saturday mornings in Ashland. All players receive a uniform and participate in games with equal playing time.

Beginning and experienced players are encouraged to contact the club to register.

Youth soccer gives children an opportunity to become physically fit and enjoy the experience of being on a team. Please contact the club at 488-3406 or visit the web site at ashlandsoccer.com for more information.

Sports editor Joe Zavala can be reached at 482-3456 x 224 or joe.