Eagles sink Wolves

December 22, 2009

By Christopher Huber

Issaquah High School swim and dive coach Laura Halter leaned down to the edge of the pool as freshman Willy Matsuda touched the wall first in the 500-yard freestyle race.She excitedly congratulated him, because her gamble paid off. Matsuda usually swims sprint events, she said.

“You take a risk when you put a kid like that, who’s a sprinter, in a distance event,” Halter said. “So, it was good.”

Issaquah came out on top with a 111-74 win against Eastlake High School Dec. 17 at the Julius Boehm Pool.

“You win some, you lose some,” said Eastlake coach Andy Hay after the meet.

The two teams tied last year, but the Wolves gave the Eagles a run for their money this time.

“I was actually a little worried,” Halter said. “The boys figured a little more how to step up and make it happen.”

Eastlake came up with first-place finishes in the 200-yard medley relay and individual medley, the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard breaststroke. Sophomore Zach Alleva won the individual medley in 2 minutes, 10.16 seconds, a district-qualifying time. That’s just .68 seconds faster than Matsuda, who also qualified for districts.

“I wanted to help my team win the meet, because we tied these guys last year,” Alleva said after that race.

He also won the breaststroke in a 4A state-qualifying time of 1:03.28.

Issaquah won where it counted most — in the relays. Eastlake opened the meet with a win in the medley relay in 1:49.30. But Ben Halter, Austin Melody, Spencer McCulloh and Brian Ruggles led the Eagles to win the 200-yard freestyle relay, coming in at 1:38.97, less than a second ahead of Eastlake (Alleva, Jay Bennett, Steven King and Henry O’Neil). Issaquah’s 400-yard freestyle relay A team (Skyler Kersten, Matsuda, Jack Taylor and Ruggles) won that race in 3:36.28.

As anchor in the later two relays, Ruggles was the difference-maker for Issaquah.

“I win the race on the flip turn,” he said. “At the end, you just go.”

Eastlake’s Ryker Oldenburg also had a good day. The junior swam to a win in the 100-fly and qualified for the district meet in 59.34 seconds. Issaquah’s Taylor came in just .3 seconds behind him.

Christopher Huber: 392-6434, ext. 242, or chuber@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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