What is LEST?

It stands for the Lutheran Elementary Schools Tournament and it was hosted every February by Concordia University in Portland. The first LEST was held in 1962 with four Portland area schools participating in a boys basketball tournament. A few years later a volleyball competition was added for the girls. As word of the tournament spread, schools from out of the Portland area (Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) began traveling by train, plane, or bus to participate in LEST. Over the years, additional activities and competitions were added, with recent years including over 1000 students, 20 events and as many as 21 Lutheran elementary schools from various states. Due to the closure of Concordia University last spring, LEST 2020 was the final year in Portland.

What is the goal of LEST?

The primary goal of LEST is to provide an organized structure to promote fun, skill development, fair play, and fellowship among Lutheran elementary school youth through academic, athletic, and recreational activities.

Who can participate?

All of Hope’s fifth through eighth graders are encouraged to participate in LEST. Students may participate in one or more of the competitions. Most competitions have a certain number of participants that are allowed from each school, so just because a student signs up to participate in an event doesn’t mean that he/she will be chosen to be Hope’s LEST representative in that event. For most events teachers will either chose the participant(s) for a certain event or we will have in-school competitions to determine the students who will represent Hope at LEST.  Also, some events such as basketball and cheerleading are limited to certain grade levels.

LEST 2023:

We’re excited to participate in LEST in-person this year. The 2023 LEST will be held at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma February 16-18. General information and about the various competitions will be updated as it is released.

PLU LEST General Information

2023 Basketball Brackets

Basketball Master Schedule

Boys A Bracket

Boys AA Bracket

Girls A Bracket

Girls AA Bracket

LEST Hotel Information

Thank you to Hope parent Kimberly Frank for reserving a block of hotel rooms for LEST. For families who prefer to stay in the Tacoma area or who have early morning events (typically basketball and Knowledge Bowl), staying at a hotel can be very convenient.

Fairfield Inn & SuitesFairfield Inn & Suites Tacoma DuPont | Marriott Bonvoy

  • Address: 1515 Wilmington Drive, DuPont, WA  98327
  • Phone: (360) 334-3314
  • Use this booking link to book for our group:  Book your group rate for Hope Lutheran School
  • A block of (20) Double Queen rooms are held for our group under Hope Lutheran School.  You can adjust your room type to a single King if desired.
  • The rooms are blocked with the assumption of arrival on Wednesday, February 15th and check out Saturday, February 18th.  You can adjust your arrival and departure dates to suit your needs.
  • The last day to book is Wednesday, January 25th.  After that date, the rooms will be released.
  • Cost for the group rate is $169 per night + tax.
  • The hotel has an indoor pool, free breakfast and free parking.
  • The hotel is located approximately 20 minutes from Winners Gym and 15 minutes from Pacific Lutheran University.

The state wrestling tournament is going on the same weekend, so it is a busy time in the Tacoma area and families who are interested should book soon! 

Kristen Okabayashi, Principal & Tim Allen, LEST Coordinator