Kirsten Kendrick

Morning Edition Host

Kirsten Kendrick has been hosting KPLU’s Morning Edition since 2006. She handles all aspects of the show - from news selection and writing to audio production. Kirsten has worked in radio for 20 years. She was born in Ohio, grew up in Indiana and attended high school and college in North Texas. In addition to being a jazz fan, Kirsten is an avid softball player and sports lover. Kirsten and her husband Troy live in Seattle with their son Delton and their dog Nancy with the Laughing Face.

Kirsten's most memorable moment at KPLU: Interviewing sports columnist Art Thiel about the demise of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Kirsten says, "Art's raw emotion in describing the newspaper's final day really impacted me."

Ways to Connect

LM Otero / AP Photo

The Mariners have been the busiest team in Major League Baseball this offseason, remaking their roster in a big way. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel likes what he sees.

Ryan Kang / AP Photo

The Washington State Cougars are the surprise team of the Pac-12 this season. They're already bowl bound while their rivals, the Washington Huskies, are still trying to get to that point.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel explains why both teams are where they are right now.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders will face No. 1 seed FC Dallas in the semifinal round of Major League Soccer’s Western Conference playoffs. The first match of the two-game series happens Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders play the final game of the regular season this weekend. They host Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says there's a lot a stake.

Can They Make It?

"This could be a very dramatic game for the Sounders," Thiel said. "They could miss the playoffs for the first time in their seven-year Major League Soccer history.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

A big college football rivalry plays out Saturday night in Seattle, when the Washington Huskies take on the Oregon Ducks at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. The Ducks are coming off an upset loss to Washington State last weekend.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that was just one of the big events that put the Pac-12 conference in the national spotlight this past week.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

There will be no football game Friday night for Evergreen High School in Seattle, following the death of one of their players after last week's game.

Kenny Bui's death was brought up at Seahawks practice this week, where cornerback Richard Sherman discussed the risks associated with football. It is also the topic this week for KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel.

Tragic But Rare

Despite Bui being the fourth high school football player to die from an on-field injury this season in the United States, Thiel said it's still a rare event in sports.

LM Otero / AP Photo

The Seattle Mariners play their final games of the season at home this weekend against the Oakland A’s. It’s the Mariners 14th year missing the playoffs - the longest drought in the majors.

Seattle’s front office is hoping newly-announced general manager Jerry Dipoto will help turn things around. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says "major changes" are in order.

John Froschauer / AP Photo

The Seahawks will have strong safety Kam Chancellor back for their home opener Sunday against the Chicago Bears. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it’s still not clear why Chancellor held out, or what brought him back.

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

In a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game, the Seahawks and Packers meet again this weekend in a Sunday Night Football battle at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Packers are filling a void as the Seahawks’ newest nemesis.

Stephen Brashear / AP Photo

The Seahawks begin their regular season Sunday against the Rams in St. Louis. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel expects great things from the team this season, just not right away.

Winslow Townson / AP Photo

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel is calling for the ouster of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, after a federal judge ruled he mishandled the Deflategate controversy.

The judge Thursday overturned Goodell’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady over deflated balls in the AFC championship game last season.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

It's not the ideal circumstance for University of Washington football players or head coach Chris Petersen. They open the 2015 season next Friday night, Sept. 4, against Petersen's very successful old team, Boise State, in Boise, on national television (ESPN).

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel said it's a challenging start to a tough season.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Mariners have had plenty of gold nuggets this season -- a no hitter, a player leading the league in home runs, a star pitcher on another great season -- but the team's overall fortunes have not reflected individual accomplishments, said KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. 

"The Mariners have had moments of individual stellar play but it hasn't worked as a group at all," Thiel said. "This is a pretty good baseball team but they haven't been consistent in the key elements of the game."

Stephen Brashear / AP Photo

The Seahawks may have started training camp, but there seems to be more activity going on in the front office than on the field. Team officials are busy negotiating contract extensions and dealing with a key holdout.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the NFL’s salary cap dictates how far they can go.

Ralph Radford / AP Photo

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell this week upheld a four-game suspension for Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady over the controversy surrounding the team’s deflated balls in the AFC title game.

Brady and the Patriots are fighting back. And sports commentator Art Thiel says, as a result, a man with strong ties to Seattle could become the new leader of the NFL.

Kirsten Kendrick

Friends and fans are remembering true-crime author Ann Rule as a prolific writer, a tireless advocate for victims and an expert about enforcement and crime investigation.

Rule died Sunday at the age of 83. KPLU’s Kirsten Kendrick interviewed Ann Rule three years ago about her life and career. Click on the link to hear the interview.

John Locher / AP Photo

Investment groups in Seattle, Bellevue and Tukwila did not apply for National Hockey League expansion before the deadline recently expired.

But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the prospect of professional hockey in our region is still alive.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders host the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field Saturday night.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel hopes they do better against the last-place team in the Western Conference than they did against the last place team in the Eastern Conference last weekend. He says the Sounders need to end their slide quickly.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Mariners are playing their final series before the All-Star break this weekend, hosting the Angels at Safeco Field.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Mariners need to get hot to get into the playoff hunt.

AP Images

There is tremendous local interest as the U.S. Women's National team plays Japan in the Women's World Cup soccer final on Sunday in Vancouver, B.C.

The U.S. women are going for their third World Cup title. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says their odds are pretty good.

Title IX Coming To Fruition

Thiel said the reason the U.S. women are so dominant has to do with something that happened more than 40 years ago.

"Starting in 1972, Title IX, which was a federally mandated order to equalize the opportunities for women athletes in major colleges, took effect. By 1978, everyone was in compliance," he said.

  "What we're seeing 40 years later is a wonderful collection of athletes and coaches to make the U.S. dominant.

"It's unlike anything else in the world," Thiel continued. "A lot of people don't realize this but, from 1921 to 1971, England banned women's soccer. Germany did not give opportunities for women players until 1970.

"So this has been, really, a U.S. phenomenon. Now, Japan is catching up. Germany is catching up. But they're not quite there yet because the U.S. has so many opportunities in high school and in college. And particularly for soccer."

Soccer Interest Keeps Rising

"There have been studies done about participation in the various sports: soccer, volleyball, baseball/softball and basketball," Thiel said. "Soccer participation has been going up, up, up, while the others have been flat lining or even declining. But soccer has been really soaring.

"We're seeing in this World Cup the fruition of Title IX in so many ways."

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The Mariners are in Anaheim this weekend to play the Angels after a 4-4 homestand that included the hiring of Mariners legend Edgar Martinez as the team’s new hitting coach.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel isn’t expecting anything magical.

Is Love Enough?

"Everybody loves Edgar," Thiel said. "That's, really, I guess, all the m

Ross D. Franklin / AP Photo

A surprising development in Glendale, Ariz., involving the Phoenix Coyotes has hockey fans in Seattle crossing their fingers about a possible relocation of the team.

But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says their wish isn’t likely to come true.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

As the Mariners host the Tampa Bay Rays this weekend at Safeco Field, there are two new faces in the dugout. This week, the Mariners traded four players to the Arizona Diamondbacks for power hitter Mark Trumbo and left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuño.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel said he's not impressed.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Investor Chris Hansen confirmed in interviews this week that he is looking for a new teammate in his Seattle arena project. Hansen's plan for a basketball and hockey arena in the SoDo district recently received a favorable Environmental Impact Statement.

But the process is far from over. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel said there are bigger hurdles ahead, including the question of which sport should come first.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Negotiations continue between the Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson over extending his contract. Wilson has led the team to three playoffs and two Super Bowls during his first three years in Seattle.

But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says giving Wilson what many fans feel he deserves is easier said than done.

Rick Scuteri / AP Photo

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady confirmed that he will appeal his punishment by the NFL in the so called “deflategate” controversy regarding the team’s doctored footballs in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts in January.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel explains how the Patriots have written a bizarre new chapter in the saga and how it could affect how the Seahawks are viewed.

"Just when think this story can't get more absurd, it takes a fresh turn," Thiel said.

He's referring to the Patriots' creation of a website to post a lengthy rebuttal to the allegations of cheating leveled by an independent investigator hired by the NFL.

Julio Cortez / AP Photo

The Seahawks are getting their first look at their newly-drafted players this weekend in a three-day camp. This, as one of those rookies continues to draw big scrutiny.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Seahawks' choice of Frank Clark sparked controversy and comparisons to troubled players they've selected in the past.

AP Photo

Baseball is back to normal this weekend after a very abnormal game this week in Baltimore. The sports world was captivated by the Orioles and White Sox playing a game in an empty Camden Yards, due to the riots in Baltimore.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says Major League Baseball missed the chance to make a bigger statement.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The NFL released its 2015 schedule this week, causing a major media circus. At the center of it all: the Seattle Seahawks.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the team has a lot of people talking.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Now that the 2015 Masters is in the books, the golf world’s focus is shifting to Pierce County. Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place will host the U.S. Open June 18-21.

It’s a first for the Pacific Northwest. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it’s a really big deal.