Brian Ruggles leads Eagles to win swimming meet versus Wolves
January 17, 2012
By Christopher Huber
It was Brian Ruggles’ day to be in the water.
Despite having to swim against Ed Kim, Eastlake High School’s phenom sophomore, in the relays, the Issaquah senior dropped time from his 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke performances Jan. 10 to help the Eagles beat the Wolves, 109-76, in a KingCo Conference 4A meet at the Julius Boehm Pool.
Ruggles, who also helped Issaquah win the 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard free relay, improved his state time in the 50 free when he finished in 22.57 seconds. And in the 100 backstroke, he cut 2.5 seconds from his previous district-qualifying time, finishing in 57.79 seconds.
“I felt really strong in the water,” Ruggles said after the meet. “I’m strong off the start. I love working on starts. I haven’t dropped time in that since sophomore year.”
Kim, however, had quite a meet for himself. Aiming to qualify for state in all eight individual events, he added two more to his list. He had previously qualified for the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle, the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly.
Against Issaquah, he cruised to victory — adding state-qualifying times — in the 200 individual medley (1:48.25) and the 500 freestyle (4:45.28).
And with four meets left, Kim has plenty of time to work on his time in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Kim walked into the Issaquah meet with no recorded time this season in either of the two events he won. His time in the 500 free was more than 15 seconds faster than the state-qualifying standard and about 32 seconds faster than the meet’s second-place finisher, Ben Nussbaum, of Issaquah.
“Racing Ed … it’s really fun to keep up with him,” said Ruggles, a longtime teammate at the Bellevue Club.
Issaquah saw a strong performance from another state-bound swimmer. Gabe Florsheim won the 100-yard butterfly event in 54.36 seconds, a second faster than his state qualifying time earlier this season. He also contributed to the Eagles’ 200-yard medley relay win, sending the relay team to state with a finish of 1:42.73. Eastlake’s relay team took second in 1:49.94. Florsheim also helped Issaquah win the 200 freestyle relay (Dave Nam, Henry Pratt and Nussbaum) in 1:38.18.
Ruggles also helped the Eagles close out the meet with a win in the 400 free relay. He, Nam, Willy Matsuda and Austin Melody swam the relay in 3:28.97, about 12 seconds ahead of Eastlake’s relay team of Kim, Zach Alleva, Jackson Berman and Henry O’Neil.
Eastlake’s state-meet veteran Alleva took it easy at the dual meet so he could rest for a meet in Austin, Texas, Jan. 14-15. Although already state-bound in the 100 breaststroke, Alleva won the event in 1:05.51. He had qualified for state with a previous time of 1:02.64.
“That was more of a cruise for me,” Alleva said after the race.
Melody won the 200 individual medley in 2:05.37, good enough for a sure spot at the district meet. He also improved on his district-qualifying 100 freestyle time when he won it in 52.27 seconds.
Eagles swim to two victories
Issaquah picked up two victories Jan. 12 when the Eagles defeated Skyline, 115-68, and downed Bothell, 148-32, in a KingCo Conference 4A meet at the Julius Boehm Pool.
Matsuda won two races and swam as a member of two winning relays for Issaquah. He captured the 100 backstroke in a state-qualifying time of 56.81. He won the 50 freestyle in 23.21.
Matsuda led off the 200 freestyle relay for Issaquah, which posted a state-qualifying time of 1:32.34. Florsheim, Nam and Ruggles were other members of the relay team. Matsuda, Melody, Florsheim and Ruggles made up the Eagles’ winning 200-medley relay team, which posted a winning time of 1:46.09.
Ruggles won the 200 freestyle in a state-qualifying time of 1:48.84.
Skyline defeated Bothell, 143-32.5. Paul Jett won the 200 individual medley in a state-qualifying time of 2:02.18. Teammate Alec Raines won the 500 freestyle in a state-qualifying time of 4:58.87.
Jett and Raines also swam as members of Skyline’s winning 400 freestyle relay team, which had a winning time of 3:32.46. Matt Haynie and Ashton Powell were other members of the relay team.
Liberty swimmers sprint by Juanita
Connor Biehl won two events Jan. 10 to help the Liberty boys swimming team race by Juanita, 109-76, in a KingCo Conference 3A/2A meet.
Biehl captured the 200 freestyle in 1:58.21 and took the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.03. Teammate Logan Briggs won the 100 backstroke in a state-qualifying time of 56.08. Briggs also anchored Liberty’s winning 400 freestyle relay team, which posted a state-qualifying time of 3:23.94. Luke Duschl, Nick Klatt and Kevin Hays were other members of the relay team.
Hays, Briggs, Duschl and Ray Ha made up Liberty’s winning 200-medley relay team, which finished in 1:49.12.
Christopher Huber: 392-6434, ext. 242, or email@example.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.