UM Sports Trivia | Week of April 14

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

In the spring of 2001 Venus Williams and Justine Henin were the top players in the world of women’s tennis and the Hornets of Sacramento State lost a match to a fellow Big Sky Conference member. Ashley MacKay was 8 years old when the Hornets last lost a League match. On Friday Mackey was front and center recording the clinching singles win as Montana put an end to the longest active conference match winning streak in Division I. It was fitting that the winning match lasted 4 hours because only a mammoth effort could end a streak like the one the Hornets had. It is also fitting that Mackey is in her fourth season with the Griz women and has been a big part of the rise in the program. Adding to the significance of the Montana win was its inclusion on ESPN’s Sportscenter “DA-DA-DA”DA” “DA” “DA” “DA.”

Twenty Years ago this week one of Missoula’s more unique sporting traditions came to an end amid some controversy and hard feelings. From 1957 to 1994 the “Ray Rocene” Banquet evolved from a one year testimonial dinner honoring the long-time Ray Rocene to a banquet to honor outstanding Missoula Sports supporter and athletes. The event brought attention and acknowledgement to some of the hundreds of people who developed programs for youth sports and the University (people like Bill and Kermit Schwanke, Bob O’Connor and Dale Clawson); the event grew criticism for many years for actively excluding women. Finally some supporting sponsors of the event broke their ties and the event was called off under the existing format. The banquet resumed with an emphasis on diversity of winners and attendees.

In 1964 the opening of a second high School in Missoula was a hot button issue. After dealing with some legal challenges the Missoula County High School Board of Trustees mandated that there would be two public High Schools in Missoula and authorized a new high school for students in the Selley-Swan area. Fifty years ago this week the MCHS Board announced that the two Missoula high schools would be called Sentinel (which would keep the Spartan nickname and colors) and Hellgate High School whose teams would be referred to as the “Knights”.

One intriguing aspect of the 2014 Masters Golf tournament was the age spread of the golfers that finished in the top 10 at the tournament. Bernard Langer won his first Masters in 1985 long before fellow contenders Jordan Speith and Rickie Fowler were born. As a matter of fact when Speith was born in the summer of 1993 Langer had won 2 Masters Titles.

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Chris Walterskirchen has been an observer of Montana sports for nearly half a century. A Kalispell native, Chris has worked in various capacities for professional and college sports organization of at various times: ranging from announcing and statistical work to the concessions and even a stint as a costumedmascot.

Chris has academic degrees in communications and elementary education. His style of sports trivia involves more than just who won and who lost, but also focuses on the obscure or human side of sports. In this blog you will learn things like the Grizzly football team has won 210 games over the 19 seasons since they have had Monte as their mascot or that UNLV is the only school that both the Griz and Lady Griz have both faced in the NCAA basketball tournament

When not following sports Chris enjoys taking care of animals of all kinds (a peacock rescue?) and reading to pre-schoolers.