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 Ashley Andrews to Patsy (Walker) Pointer, Thurston 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 Thurston County and cast your vote in the poll.
Editor’s note: U.S. rugby star Kelsi Stockert was added to the honorable mention list June 1 after she reached out to Scorebook Live. This list had already been published for a couple of weeks.
(The list is in alphabetical order.)
BEST FEMALE ATHLETES IN THURSTON COUNTY HISTORY
High School: Tumwater (class of 2008)
Sports: Softball, basketball
Notable Stats: Andrews was a four-year starter at shortstop and catcher at Tennessee, and her 1,249 career putouts (2009-12) stand as the No. 2 mark all-time in program history.
Everybody who saw her bragged about them – Andrews’ feet. They were a big reason why she was so dominant in two sports.
She was the dashing point guard who led Tumwater to the Class 2A girls basketball title game. She was the Evergreen Conference’s player of the year. In softball, she was an All-American shortstop who guided the Thunderbirds to the 2006 state title (and 26-1 record). Twice, she was selected to the all-state team.
Heck, she even won two Northwest titles in the NFL’s “Punt, Pass and Kick” competition.
Once she stepped foot on the Tennessee campus, she immediately became a defensive whiz at shortstop – which later evolved into a starting role behind the plate. Either way, she left as one of the program’s all-time defensive greats.
After coaching stints at Tennessee and Washington, Andrews returned to coach her alma mater’s high school softball program in 2018.
High School: River Ridge/Timberline (class of 1995)
Sports: Track and field
Notable Stats: A 10-time state prep champion, Christopher is one of just two athletes to ever jump longer than 41 feet in the triple jump at a state meet (Curtis’ Alexis Ellis is the other).
Christopher, a six-time AAU gold medalist, was one to never talk about herself, or create a stir – until she started her stride on the jumping runway.
She was the first of only two athletes in state history to eclipse 20 feet in the long jump (20-8) and 42 feet in the triple jump (42-9).
Back in the mid-1990s, those stood as some of the top marks even posted nationally (she was Track and Field News female athlete of the year in 1995). In fact, the two-time All-American would have won major conference championships in college as a high school senior.
Although she never captured an NCAA Division I title at North Carolina, Christopher was a seven-time All-American – with personal-best marks of 21-7 1/4 in the long jump, and 44-4 1/2 in the triple jump.
PATSY (WALKER) POINTER
High School: Yelm (class of 1977)
Sports: Track and field
Notable Stats: Pointer is still the only athlete in Washington state history to win a high school track and field team title … by herself.
As the lone female Thurston County member of the WIAA’s athletic hall of fame, Pointer accomplished things across the board that others did not.
It started with handing Yelm its only 1A girls team track championship in 1977. She accounted for all 40 points by winning four events – the 200 meters, 80-yard hurdles (national-record 10.2 seconds), the high jump and long jump (all-time Washington best 19-9 3/4 at the time).
A few months later, Pointer captured the USA Juniors championship in the women’s pentathlon.
That led to a world-class career in the heptathlon – in college (UCLA, Houston) where she won the 1981 NCAA Division I title in both multi-event competitions, and against the world-wide stars of the sport. She was a member of the 1984 U.S. women’s track and field team.
High School: Timberline (class of 2012)
Sports: Basketball, track and field
Notable Stats: Weber was a 1,500-point scorer both in high school (school-record 1,503 points at Timberline) and at the NCAA Division I level (1,511 points at New Mexico State, No. 7 all-time). She is second in NMSU history by making 269 3-pointers.
Weber was athletic grace in perpetual motion – in any sport she played.
The 6-footer was a fantastic track and field competitor, winning the 3A high jump crown in 2010 (5-8). Her 130-10 javelin throw as a ninth grader ranked No. 2 all-time for that class.
But her best sport was basketball, and she led the Blazers to the 3A state tournament twice. As a senior, she was the 3A all-state MVP runner-up to Prairie’s Heather Corral in 2012.
In college, she was a two-time all-WAC selection, leading NMSU to its first NCAA Division I tournament bid in 27 years as the team’s leading scorer in 2015-16.
After a brief professional career overseas, Weber worked with the Golden State Warriors, and now is coaching at Grand Canyon University.
Alicia (Matthews) Blake, Yelm (softball, basketball) – All-state performer at catcher was UW’s defensive MVP in NCAA championship season in 2009.
Tonya (Larson) Charland, North Thurston (volleyball, softball) – Had jersey retired in both sports, and all-Conference USA in volleyball at UAB.
Jody Dutra, Timberline (soccer) – Boy or girl, nobody was more feared as a thunder-legged goal-scorer in Thurston County than her.
Brooke Feldmeier, Tumwater (track and field) – Six-time WIAA individual winner was five-time All-American in 800 at Ole Miss, Oregon.
Leslie (Erickson) Ellingson, North Thurston (track and field) – Three-time state javelin champion participated in 2000 Olympic Trials, helped USC to NCAA title in 2001.
Kathleen (Juergens) Penner, Olympia (soccer, basketball, track and field) – Bears’ top multi-sport star was twice the UW’s offensive MVP in women’s soccer (1991, 1994).
Jameka Stevens, River Ridge (volleyball, track and field) – Sister of NFL tight end Jerramy Stevens had dynamite in her hands as thumping outside hitter at Cal.
Kelsi Stockert, Tumwater (rugby) – Former cheerleader made first U.S. women’s national team at 17, played in World Cup Sevens at center, wing.
LeAnn (Sheets) Teeple, Tumwater (basketball) – School’s all-time scoring leader was bruising center for the Washington Huskies from 1997-2001.