Issaquah swimmers dominate Skyline

January 19, 2010

By Bob Taylor

Brian Ruggles, of Issaquah, swims to his 200-yard freestyle victory Jan. 14. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah High School boys swimming coach Laura Halter, playing against her team’s usual strengths, altered her lineup for the Eagles’ Jan. 14 meet with rival Skyline at the Julius Boehm Pool.

The changes didn’t matter as the Eagles swam away with a 106-77 KingCo Conference victory.

Halter wanted to give some of her swimmers a chance to compete in different events. For instance, Skyler Kersten, who usually competes in distance events, competed in the 100-yard butterfly and 100 backstroke.

Kersten did well in both events. He placed second to teammate Jack Taylor in the 100 butterfly and took first place in the 100 backstroke.

Taylor won the 100 butterfly in 1:00.46 and Kersten was second in 1:04.34. Kersten captured the 100 backstroke in 1:01.25.

Halter said having her swimmers compete in other events also gave them a chance at qualifying for district in a variety of events.“It increases their chances of qualifying for district and also for earning all-league recognition,” she said.

Freshman Austin Melody, of Issaquah, had a big meet. Melody, one of the Eagles’ promising newcomers this season, had two first places. He won the 200 individual medley in 2 minutes, 10.09 seconds, with teammate Willy Matsuda close behind in 2:10.87.

Melody also easily won the 100 breaststroke, finishing in 1:06.71. He also swam as a member of Issaquah’s winning 200 medley relay team, which took first place in 1:49.43. Taylor, Matsuda and Ben Halter were other members of the relay team.

Issaquah took first place in the other two relays, too. The Eagles won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:39.50. Halter, Taylor, Spencer McCulloh and Brian Ruggles made up the relay team. Kersten, Taylor, Matsuda and Ruggles composed the winning 400 freestyle relay team, which took first in 3:37.12.

Other Issaquah first places came from McCulloh, Brandon Pomeroy, Matsuda and Ruggles.

McCulloh and Skyline’s Alex Carey finished in a tie for the 50 freestyle, both swimming the event in 24.53. Pomeroy won the diving with 167.95 points. Matsuda won the 500 freestyle in 5:25.68, and Ruggles cruised to first place in the 200 freestyle in 1:57.50.

“Austin Melody, Brian Ruggles, Willy Matsuda, Jack Taylor all did well. Actually, the whole team did pretty well,” Laura Halter said.

Skyline’s lone first-place finish came from David Jett, who edged Ruggles in the 100 freestyle. Jett took first place in 51.84 and Ruggles was second in 51.87.

The Issaquah-Skyline meet usually creates a lot of intensity.

“This is a big rivalry meet. You never like to lose to Skyline when you are going to Issaquah,” Halter said.

The Issaquah team is young this season, but has been competitive in all of its meets.

“I’ve been pleased with the effort,” Halter said. “What we have to do now is find a way to get some swimmers qualified for state.”

Bob Taylor: 392-6434, ext. 236, or bobtaylor@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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