Liberty cross-country sweeps Lake Washington, Sammamish

October 14, 2014

Patriots, Eagles do well at invitational

The Liberty High School cross-country team swept the competition, defeating both Lake Washington and Sammamish in an Oct. 8 meet at Bellevue’s Robinswood Park.

By Greg Farrar Liberty High School athletes (from left) Sarah Bliesner, Tyra Christopherson, Kelsey Takeuchi and Carlyn Schmidgall run in the girls cross-country race Oct. 8 at Robinswood Park against Sammamish and Lake Washington as coach Mike Smith cheers them on.

By Greg Farrar
Liberty High School athletes (from left) Sarah Bliesner, Tyra Christopherson, Kelsey Takeuchi and Carlyn Schmidgall run in the girls cross-country race Oct. 8 at Robinswood Park against Sammamish and Lake Washington as coach Mike Smith cheers them on.

The Patriots’ boys and girls squads each scored 22 points on the way to the win. Senior Trevor Sytsma was the top finisher for the boys, navigating the 3.1-mile course in 17 minutes, 54 seconds. Teammate Andrew Cooper was right behind him, finishing second with a time of 18:14.

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Cross country capers

September 30, 2014

By Greg Farrar The Issaquah High School boys cross country team sets out at the start of the 5-kilometer race Sept. 24 against Inglemoor and Bothell at St. Edward State Park in Kenmore.

Photos by Greg Farrar
The Issaquah High School boys cross country team sets out at the start of the 5-kilometer race Sept. 24 against Inglemoor and Bothell at St. Edward State Park in Kenmore.

Luke George (right), Issaquah High School freshman, kicks to the finish line just ahead of junior teammate Jacob Brueckman, as they finish third and fourth in the Sept. 24 cross country meet against Bothell and Inglemoor.

Luke George (right), Issaquah High School freshman, kicks to the finish line just ahead of junior teammate Jacob Brueckman, as they finish third and fourth in the Sept. 24 cross country meet against Bothell and Inglemoor.

Cayla Seligman (left), Issaquah High School senior, freshman Kenna Clawson and her sister, senior Ellie Clawson, cheer the Issaquah boys during their cross country race Sept. 24 against Bothell and Inglemoor. Seligman had just won the girls 5-kilometer race in a time of 18 minutes, 40 seconds, while Kenna and Ellie finished fourth and fifth. Their teammate Sami Corman had also finished third, helping the girls win the meet with 22 points and an undefeated season so far.

Cayla Seligman (left), Issaquah High School senior, freshman Kenna Clawson and her sister, senior Ellie Clawson, cheer the Issaquah boys during their cross country race Sept. 24 against Bothell and Inglemoor. Seligman had just won the girls 5-kilometer race in a time of 18 minutes, 40 seconds, while Kenna and Ellie finished fourth and fifth. Their teammate Sami Corman had also finished third, helping the girls win the meet with 22 points and an undefeated season so far.

Skyline duo leads Spartans to KingCo cross country victories

September 23, 2014

It has been three years since the Skyline High School boys cross country program sent a team to the state championships, and senior Blake Hallauer is hoping to do something about it.

By Neil Pierson   Skyline High School junior Kosay Hartmann sprints toward the finish line of a Sept. 17 cross country race at Klahanie Park for a fifth place finish in 17 minutes, 29 seconds.

By Neil Pierson
Skyline High School junior Kosay Hartmann sprints toward the finish line of a Sept. 17 cross country race at Klahanie Park for a fifth place finish in 17 minutes, 29 seconds.

“I think it would mean a lot,” Hallauer said of reaching state. “That’s always been our goal, and we felt like we were robbed last year just because of a few bad runs at the district meet.”

No one on this year’s Skyline squad was part of the 2011 lineup that finished 12th at the Class 4A meet in Pasco — the seniors were freshmen then — but Hallauer is the most experienced returning runner for a group that is hungry to achieve something big.

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Freshmen phenoms

January 7, 2014

Liberty’s fall sports underclassmen take the stage

By Greg Farrar Liberty High School freshmen varsity athletes, swimmer Sydney Hartford, cross country twin sisters Brigette and Kelsey Takeuchi and football player Noah Pritchett, stand by a poster in the Liberty High School commons proclaiming ‘We Are One,’ the motto of Patriot athletes and their student body fans.

By Greg Farrar
Liberty High School freshmen varsity athletes, swimmer Sydney Hartford, cross country twin sisters Brigette and Kelsey Takeuchi and football player Noah Pritchett, stand by a poster in the Liberty High School commons proclaiming ‘We Are One,’ the motto of Patriot athletes and their student body fans.

Less than a year ago, Brigette and Kelsey Takeuchi, Sydney Hartford and Noah Pritchett roamed the halls at Maywood Middle School.

Fast forward to their first year at Liberty High School. Three of them have competed among the top athletes in the state, while the fourth has found a place on a varsity squad that rarely makes room for freshmen.

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Patriot runners finish in top 10 at state

November 12, 2013

Brigette Takeuchi places fourth overall

It says something about the strength of a program when its athletes and coaches are disappointed, even after a weekend in which the team posted its best performance ever at the state competition.

That’s what it means to be a Liberty High School cross-country participant, where the expectations are high, but certainly attainable, Patriots coach Mike Smith said.

By Mike Smith Brigette Takeuchi, Liberty High School freshman, runs her the way to a fourth place finish in her first state championship Nov. 9.

By Mike Smith
Brigette Takeuchi, Liberty High School freshman, runs her the way to a fourth place finish in her first state championship Nov. 9.

The Liberty girls cross-country team was determined to finish in the top four at the 2013 state competition in Pasco Nov. 9. The Patriots had a good chance, too, given they were ranked third in the state coming into the meet.

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Skyline girls place eighth in state cross country

November 12, 2013

The Skyline High School girls cross country team capped its 2013 season with a 10th-place finish Nov. 9 at the Class 4A state championships.

Skyline’s girls were making their first state appearance in eight seasons. They scored 245 to place 10th out of 16 teams in attendance. Bellarmine Prep was the 4A girls champion, followed by Camas, Tahoma and Central Valley.

By Neil Pierson Maizy Brewer, Skyline High School sophomore, nears the finish line at the Nov. 4 bi-district championships. Brewer finished fourth overall as the Skyline girls qualified for state for the first time in eight seasons.

By Neil Pierson
Maizy Brewer, Skyline High School sophomore, nears the finish line at the Nov. 4 bi-district championships. Brewer finished fourth overall as the Skyline girls qualified for state for the first time in eight seasons.

Skyline sophomore Maizy Brewer paced her team with a medal-winning time of 18 minutes, 27.9 seconds, good for 11th place among individuals. Senior teammate Alex Daugherty, who hadn’t competed in cross country prior to the season, finished 27th in 19:03.71.

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Liberty’s boys cross-country team makes history

November 5, 2013

Heading into the 2013 Sea-King District meet Oct. 31, the Liberty boys cross-country team knew it would take the perfect race to qualify for state.

They knew they had the talent, Liberty coach Mike Smith said, but nothing is ever a given in the competitive Sea-King District.

Photos by Greg Farrar Above, the chanting in a rally huddle deafens as the Liberty High School boys’ varsity cross country team prepares to race, and the girls’ varsity joins in for support after their finish minutes before, as both teams made state together for the first time in school history Oct. 24 during the SeaKing District 2 championship at Lake Sammamish State Park. At right, senior Aaron Bowe heads up the backstretch of the final lap to a second-place finish.

Photos by Greg Farrar
The chanting in a rally huddle deafens as the Liberty High School boys’ varsity cross country team prepares to race, and the girls’ varsity joins in for support after their finish minutes before, as both teams made state together for the first time in school history Oct. 24 during the SeaKing District 2 championship at Lake Sammamish State Park.

“As a team, that was their goal, they wanted to go to state and they knew with the senior group we had this year, it was probably the best chance we’ve had in a long time,” he said.

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Schrag, Clawson solidify status as Eagles’ top runners

October 22, 2013

Their teams haven’t had the type of season they were hoping for, but Issaquah High School runners Kennan Schrag and Ellie Clawson aren’t being deterred from their individual goals.

Schrag, a sophomore, topped the boys field, and Clawson, a junior, won the girls race when Issaquah squared off with Skyline and Newport in an Oct. 16 KingCo Conference cross country race at Bellevue’s Kelsey Creek Park.

In the boys race, Issaquah fell short of rival Skyline, which captured the team win with 34 points. However, the Eagles (48 points) won a tiebreaker and defeated Newport for their second win of the season.

By Neil Pierson Ellie Clawson, Issaquah High School junior, breaks away from the pack early on, winning in 19 minutes, 59 seconds at an Oct. 16 KingCo cross country race against Newport and Skyline.

By Neil Pierson
Ellie Clawson, Issaquah High School junior, breaks away from the pack early on, winning in 19 minutes, 59 seconds at an Oct. 16 KingCo cross country race against Newport and Skyline.

Issaquah’s top three runners set the pace for the first half of the 3.1-mile race. Schrag, fellow sophomore Jacob Brueckman, and senior Caleb Walin got out quickly and formed their own pack.

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Skyline speeds past Roosevelt

April 9, 2013

The rain and wind didn’t let up April 4, and neither did the Skyline High School track and field team as it bested Roosevelt in both girls and boys events.

By Greg Farrar Nicole Cox (right), Skyline High School freshman, dashes to the 100-meter finish line for the win during the Spartans’ track meet April 4 against Roosevelt. Teammate and fellow freshman Stephanie Lunde (left) races close behind.

By Greg Farrar
Nicole Cox (right), Skyline High School freshman, dashes to the 100-meter finish line for the win during the Spartans’ track meet April 4 against Roosevelt. Teammate and fellow freshman Stephanie Lunde (left) races close behind.

The girls 800-meter relay team, composed of Alexis Daugherty, Dorie Dalzell, Kaylie Greninger and Brandy Hughes, started the Skyline Spartans with a win by edging out Roosevelt by a 2-second victory.

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Issaquah cross country coach is inducted into hall of fame

March 5, 2013

Gwen Robertson

Gwen Robertson

Longtime Issaquah High School Coach Gwen Robertson might just get used to plaudits in winter.

First, her husband was inducted in December 2011 into the USA Track and Field officials’ hall of fame. Then, in January of this year, Robertson received her own hall call.

The state’s cross country coaches association inducted Robertson, who has been involved with IHS teams since Ronald Reagan was a first-term president.

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