Seniors Stephanie Muñoz, Yui Umezawa pace Skyline

October 8, 2013

Stephanie Muñoz and Yui Umezawa have accomplished a lot during their swimming careers, but their ambitions have grown even larger at the start of their senior seasons at Skyline High School.

Muñoz and Umezawa were major factors in Skyline’s 122-63 victory against district rival Liberty on Oct. 1 at the Julius Boehm Pool, and the results they’ve posted in the Spartans’ first four meets have them on pace for an outstanding finish at the Class 4A state championships in November.

By Greg Farrar Yui Umezawa, Skyline High School senior, braces herself at the pool edge waiting for the starting horn in her 100-yard backstroke race Oct. 1 against Liberty at the Julius Boehm Pool.

By Greg Farrar
Yui Umezawa, Skyline High School senior, braces herself at the pool edge waiting for the starting horn in her 100-yard backstroke race Oct. 1 against Liberty at the Julius Boehm Pool.

Against Liberty, Umezawa captured first place in the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 18.31 seconds) and 100 backstroke (1:01.40) Her times were slower than her season-best marks, but she’s already turned in a state-qualifying mark of 1:00.34 in the backstroke and is within a second of qualifying in the 200 individual medley.

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Employees swim across Lake Washington for charity

September 24, 2013

Employees of Issaquah-based Gevers Wealth Management recently completed the Puget Sound Blood Center Swim for Life, a swim across Lake Washington.

The team included owner Willy Gevers, and employees Jake Walin and Caleb Walin.

“It was a long swim, and I was really looking forward to a big breakfast by the end,” Jake said.

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Fast friends

February 26, 2013

Swim coaches form bond at the pool

By Greg Farrar Laura Halter (left), Issaquah High School swim coach, and Kris Daughters, her counterpart at Liberty High School, greet each other with a hug as the boys swim meet between the Eagles and Patriots gets underway Jan. 24 at Julius Boehm Pool.

By Greg Farrar
Laura Halter (left), Issaquah High School swim coach, and Kris Daughters, her counterpart at Liberty High School, greet each other with a hug as the boys swim meet between the Eagles and Patriots gets underway Jan. 24 at Julius Boehm Pool.

Issaquah and Liberty high school swim coaches Laura Halter and Kris Daughters know firsthand what it is like traversing through the state’s most competitive league year in and year out.

The Eagles’ Halter guides her teams, boys and girls, through the KingCo 4A league, while the Patriots’ Daughters manages in the KingCo 2A/3A league.

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Final Statement

February 19, 2013

All area high school swimmers win team, individual state titles

By Greg Farrar Raymond Ha, Liberty High School senior, steps up out of the pool after repeating as 3A state champion in the 100-yard butterfly Feb. 16 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

By Greg Farrar
Raymond Ha, Liberty High School senior, steps up out of the pool after repeating as 3A state champion in the 100-yard butterfly Feb. 16 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

At the 2013 4A Boys State Swim and Dive Championships, Issaquah High School coach Laura Halter wore a T-shirt with an illustration of purple-and-gold eagle wings on the back. Each feather included the name of one of her swimmers.

It proved to be an appropriate symbol, as it took each swimmer working together to help the Eagles take flight toward a fourth-place finish at state.

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Diver Max Levy makes a splash before state championship

January 29, 2013

Max Levy stretches his body straight as he enters the water Jan. 9 during diving practice with his teammates at Julius Boehm Pool. By Greg Farrar

Max Levy stretches his body straight as he enters the water Jan. 9 during diving practice with his teammates at Julius Boehm Pool. By Greg Farrar

The end of the diving board at Julius Bohem Pool flutters under Max Levy, who bounces more intently every time until finally he lifts off, the line from his pointed toes to his up-stretched hands forming an arrow.

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Skyline swimmers fall to Redmond, Eastlake in season opener

December 11, 2012

Skyline junior Matt Haynie wins the 500-yard freestyle race Dec. 4 at Redmond Pool with a time of 5 minutes, 35.54 seconds. By Greg Farrar

With more than a dozen of its 63 competitors missing, the Skyline High School boys swim team took to the pool Dec. 4 for its season opener dual meet, eventually losing 96-87 to Redmond and 101-84.5 to Eastlake.

“The boys still did really, really well. We are really pleased with them,” Skyline coach Susan Simpkins said. Athletes must have at least 10 practices before they can compete. “I think when we get all our kids qualified to swim, after the 10-practice thing, we will have a well-rounded team.”

This year, she added, the team’s leadership in terms of experience comes from a strong group of juniors: Paul Jett, Matt Haynie and Nick D’Alo.

Those three, along with several others, helped the Skyline Spartans grab several victories.

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Maria Volodkevich, eight-time swim champ, strives to serve country

November 27, 2012

Andi Scarcello, Maria Volodkevich, Kristaley Umezawa and Stephanie Muñoz (from left) enjoy their moment on the podium as the Skyline High School 200-yard medley relay team celebrates their state 4A championship title Nov. 10 in Federal Way. By Greg Farrar

Maria Volodkevich has always been a team player.

It was teammates who motivated her, at age 6, to dive headfirst into competitive swimming. Seven of her eight state titles were for team relay events, and it’s the aspiration of being a part of something greater than herself that motivates the Skyline High School senior to pursue a military career.

“I prefer winning in a team atmosphere,” Volodkevich said. “I’d rather come out of the pool winning with three other girls because that is more exciting than winning by yourself. It’s all of our work coming together to pay off instead of just one person.”

It was the group of girls that she started swimming with as a child, she said, that kept her in the sport. And looking back over her nearly 12-year career in the pool, that’s a good thing.

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Spartans relay swimming prowess into state title

November 13, 2012

Kristaley Umezawa (left), Skyline High School junior, and Issaquah High School senior Stacy Maier start side by side for the 200-yard medley relay final during the state 4A swim championship Nov. 10 in Federal Way. By Greg Farrar

Skyline, Issaquah, Liberty rank among state’s top 10 finishers

When Skyline High School’s Maria Volodkevich marched out to the poolside for the state championships Nov. 10 the words “just race” were scrawled across her palm.

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Issaquah Eagles prove superiority in pool against Liberty Patriots

October 16, 2012

Seniors on the Issaquah High School swim team celebrate the end of their regular season Oct. 11. By Greg Farrar

It was senior night for the Issaquah High School girls swim team and seniors Kayla Flaten and Stacy Maier continued their strong seasons as the two led the Eagles to a 117-68 win against Liberty on Oct. 11.

The team held a reception for the seniors after the meet and each Issaquah senior received a bouquet of flowers.

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Mercer Island High School swimmers sink Skyline, 112-74

October 16, 2012

Andi Scarcello, Skyline High School senior, pushes off the bulkhead at the final turn of her winning 100-yard breaststroke race Oct. 9 against Mercer Island in a state-qualifying time of 1 minute, 9.9 seconds. By Greg Farrar

The water at the Julius Boehm Pool bubbled and convulsed Oct. 9 when defending 4A state high school champions, the Skyline Spartans, took on defending 3A state champions, the Mercer Island Islanders. In the end, the Islanders came out on top, defeating the Spartans, 112-74.

“We had a pretty good idea coming into the meet that we had a big chance of losing, but it is such a great time to push ourselves, and it’s good practice,” Skyline senior co-captain Andi Scarcello said. “We knew they have a lot of depth on their team, a lot of fast swimmers … We lost some of our depth last year, too, so we are fighting hard.”

The 100-yard breaststroke started out as a fight for Scarcello as she and the two Mercer Island swimmers on either side of her emerged for their first breath in a three-way tie. By the second turn, she had began building a thin lead, inch by inch ahead of the Islanders. With more than her body length between them, Scarcello finished the race with a two-second lead to take first place.

Her time of 1 minute, 9.9 seconds was faster than the state championship qualifying time, but half a second slower than her season best of 1:09.44, which already secured her a spot at the state tournament.

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