Issaquah swimmers soak Skyline, Bothell

December 21, 2010

By Bob Taylor

Willy Matsuda, Issaquah High School sophomore, swims the 100-yard butterfly against Skyline and Bothell Dec. 16 in a state-qualifying time of 54.85 seconds. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah High School boys swimming coach Laura Halter doesn’t want her swimmers to get bored racing the same event meet after meet, especially early in the season. So, Halter mixed up the lineup a bit Dec. 16 and as a result, the Eagles beat two teams at the Julius Boehm Pool.

Issaquah defeated rival Skyline 103-74 and Bothell 135-39 in the 4A KingCo Conference meet.

Issaquah and Skyline were scheduled to compete against each other earlier this month, but the meet was postponed because neither team was prepared since the snowstorm in late November had wiped out a week of practices.

Issaquah already had Bothell, which has a small squad this year, on the schedule and invited Skyline to make it a three-team event.

Issaquah swimmers were ready for a big meet.

“When it’s Skyline, everyone wants to step up,” Halter said. “The team really did.”

Halter made a few alterations in the lineup.

“Early in the season, I want to make sure our swimmers, especially the more experienced ones, swim a variety of events,” Halter said. “I wanted to mix it up a little bit. It worked out pretty well. What was fun was all our boys swam so well.”

Willy Matsuda, Skyler Kersten and Brian Ruggles each won two individual events for Issaquah. All competed in last year’s 4A state meet.

Matsuda, a sophomore, won the 100-yard butterfly with a state-qualifying time of 54.85 seconds. He finished 14th at state last year in the event. Matsuda also captured the 200 freestyle in 1:54.33 and swam as a member of Issaquah’s winning 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams.

Kersten, a senior, captured the 200 individual medley in 2:11.06 and won the 500 freestyle in 5:25.86. The Eagles dominated both races by taking the top three places. Senior Gentry Gevers was second and freshman Ben Nussbaum came in third in the 200 individual medley. Jonathan Williams, a transfer from Spokane, and freshman Keith Nussbaum were second and third, respectively, in the 500 freestyle.

Kersten, Ruggles and Austin Melody joined Matsuda on the 400 freestyle relay team. Ruggles, Kersten and Matsuda all were members of Issaquah’s 400 relay team at state last year.

Ruggles, a junior, won the 50 freestyle in 23.62 and took the 100 freestyle in 51.80. He also swam as a member of the 200 freestyle relay team with Ben Halter, Gevers and Matsuda.

Ben Nussbaum accounted for Issaquah’s other first place by winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.23.

Melody, who swam the 100 breaststroke at state last year, was switched to some other events.

“We kind of sacrificed him, but we put him in some events to give us depth, so we could get a second or a third,” Halter said.

For Skyline, Ryan Collins won the 100 backstroke in 57.72. Collins also swam as a member of Skyline’s winning 200 medley relay team. Alex Marber, Paul Jett and David Jett were other members of the relay team.

“I was really expecting a closer meet, but our boys just came out and really swam so well,” Halter said. “I was really pleased with our relays. I mixed them up so we would have three solid relays. They did well. All our relays are looking good, they are not that far from getting state times.”

The Eagles have a good nucleus of returning swimmers to go with new additions in Williams and the Nussbaums, who are twins.

“With Williams and the Nussbaums, who can swim just about anything, we have a stronger dual meet team this year,” Halter said. “We have a nice combination of swimmers from all four classes. Hopefully, we will put it all together for a solid season.”

Liberty swimmers sprint by LW

Logan Briggs and Kevin Hays each won two individual races and swam on two winning relays as the Patriots cruised by Lake Washington 130-49 Dec. 14 in a 3A/2A KingCo meet at the Julius Boehm Pool.

Briggs captured the 100-yard butterfly in 56.68 seconds and took the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.83. He swam as a member of the Patriots’ winning 200 medley relay team and the 200 freestyle relay team.

Hays won the 200 freestyle in 2:03.51 and the 500 freestyle in 5:38.30. He also swam as a member of the Patriots’ winning 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay teams.

Connor Biehl, of Liberty, won the 200 individual medley. He also swam as a member of all three winning relay teams.

Raymond Ha and Luke Duschl won individual events and swam as members of winning relay teams, too.

Ha captured the 100 backstroke and swam as a member of the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams. Duschl took the 100 freestyle and anchored the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams.

Skyline swims by Woodinville

Alec Raines won two events and swam as a member of a winning relay Dec. 14 to spark Skyline to a 108-77 victory against Woodinville in a 4A KingCo meet.

Raines won the 200 individual medley in 2:13.09 and took the 500 freestyle in 5:11.29. He swam as a member of the 400 freestyle relay team with Paul Jett, Ashton Powell and Collins.

Powell won the 200 freestyle and also swam as a member of the Spartans’ winning 200 freestyle relay team.

Paul Jett won the 100 butterfly and swam as a member of the winning 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams.

David Jett captured the 50 freestyle and swam as a member of the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams.

Bob Taylor: 392-6434, ext. 236, or Comment at

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