With help from coaches, fans, media and local sports historians, Scorebook Live has put together its lists of the best athletes — male and female — to emerge from every county in the state of Washington. We looked back as far as the turn of the 20th century, and we examined the totality of each athletes’ career, not only what they did in high school.
As comprehensive as our lists are, we also want to hear your opinions. We have included polls where you can vote for the best male and female athletes by county. You can also leave your comments below or hit us up on Twitter @sblivewa.
From Chantelle Anderson to Tina Ellertson, Clark County has produced several world-class female athletes. Take a look at Scorebook Live’s list of the top female athletes to ever come out of Clark County and cast your vote in the poll.
(The list is in alphabetical order.)
BEST FEMALE ATHLETES IN CLARK COUNTY HISTORY
High School: Hudson’s Bay (class of 1999)
Sports: Basketball, volleyball
Notable Stats: A 6-foot-6 All-American center, Anderson is Vanderbilt’s all-time leading scorer with 2,604 points (2000-03). She also started all 137 games of her college career.
She was definitely the tallest hoopster to come out of Clark County girls basketball. And a strong case can be made she was also the best as well.
Anderson was a in-the-paint enforcer who had soft touch as a shooter. But nobody at the state level ever got to see the 1999 USA Today and Gatorade state player of the year because it was always GSHL powerhouse Prairie who nabbed the league’s one spot to the postseason.
In college, Anderson established herself as one of Vanderbilt’s most decorated player. She was a three-time All-American (2001-03), and was selected as the SEC player of the year in 2002. Anderson was also named the university’s female athlete of the year three times, and was inducted into Vanderbilt’s first hall of fame class.
Sacramento selected Anderson with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2003 WNBA Draft, but she saw her career derailed by serious leg, Achilles and knee injuries, retiring in 2009.
High School: Camas (class of 2015)
Sport: Track and field
Notable Stats: Efraimson set two national records in her junior year of high school in 2014 – in the 1,600 meters (4:33.29 at the 4A meet) and the 3,000 meters (9:00.16 at the UW Invite).
If you could construct the perfect combination of strength, speed, stamina and will to win in a middle distance runner – you’d come pretty darn close with Efraimson, who is the best prep standout the state of Washington has ever seen.
Ever since she stepped on the trails or track, she’s dominated. She won back-to-back 4A cross country titles (2012, 2013 with state-record 17:01), and a national cross country championship in 2013.
In track, she won four WIAA state 4A titles, sweeping the 800 and 1,600 races her sophomore and junior years. She holds the all-time best marks in Washington in the 800 (2:03.26 in winning national Brooks PR Invitational), 1,600 (4:32.15) and 3,200 (9:55.92).
After her junior season, Efraimson turned professional and signed with Nike. In 2016, she placed sixth in the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 1,500 meters – in 4:07.34.
(Alexa Efraimson feature photo by jenaragon94)
TINA (FRIMPONG) ELLERTSON
High School: Hudson’s Bay (class of 2000)
Notable Stats: Ellertson owns or shares nine women’s soccer records at the University of Washington, including career points (99) and goals (43).
She was the zig-zagging soccer whiz who could break you down as a goal-scorer, or had enough versatility in her game to stop opposing goal-scorers as a defender.
Originally a Santa Clara signee, Ellertson went on to the UW, and established herself as one of the program’s all-time greats at forward. She was a two-time Pacific-10 Conference player of the year, and twice was an All-American.
From 2005-08, she made 34 appearances with the U.S. women’s national team, and scored her only goal in her final match – a game-winner in a 1-0 victory over China.
Ellertson played in three different American professional leagues, including with Portland for one season in the kickoff of the NWSL (2013). She retired to jump into coaching, and is now an assistant with the Huskies.
KARA (PATTERSON) WINGER
High School: Skyview (class of 2004)
Sports: Track and field, basketball, swimming
Notable Stats: Since 2008, Winger has posted a top-three finish in the women’s javelin at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships 12 times, including eight titles (2008-11; 2014-15; 2017-18).
The first time Winger ever threw a javelin in competition was on her 15th birthday. She won the junior varsity meet at Skyview – and it has stuck with her ever since.
Winger was a good – not all-time great – thrower in high school, even though she became the school’s first three-time 4A javelin winner (2002-04).
But it was after she went off to Purdue, and became an All-American that her career took off on an international stage. She made the first of three U.S. Olympic squads just weeks after graduating in 2008.
She is an eight-time USA Track and Field champion in the javelin, and set the American record in 2010 with a throw of 218 feet, 8 3/4 inches. That mark still stands today.
Britni Atwell, Heritage (gymnastics) – Only one in state history to win four consecutive WIAA individual titles in two events (floor exercise, vault).
Brenda Bessner, State Deaf (track and field) – State’s only four-time javelin champion was two-time Deaflympics runner-up (javelin, shot put).
Ashley Corral, Prairie (basketball, soccer) – McDonald’s All-American became one of Pac-12’s premier 3-point shooters – and scorers – at USC.
Sammi Hampton, Skyview (tennis) – Went undefeated and was only second 4A four-time state champion; top-100 singles player at ASU.
Camara Jones, Mountain View (track and field, soccer) – Top sprinter won world title in 4×400 relay with Team USA; has No. 5 400 time at Oregon.
Laurie Merlino, Fort Vancouver (basketball, track and field) – Not only a great scorer with UW basketball, but she also won three 4A javelin titles.
Staci (Wallenborn) Sprauer, Mountain View (basketball, volleyball) – Dynamic guard was top-15 scorer all-time and Oregon’s team MVP in 1992
Diane (Flick) Williams, Mountain View (volleyball, basketball, softball) – Carried UW volleyball in early 1990s; now longtime WWU coach.