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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Liberty High School swimmers fall to Hazen team

September 18, 2012

Mackenna Briggs, Liberty High School sophomore, swims way ahead of the field Sept. 13 to win the 500 freestyle against Hazen in a time of 5 minutes, 27.69 seconds. By Greg Farrar

The Liberty High School girls swim team lost to Hazen, 99-86, Sept. 13 in a nonconference meet.

Liberty sophomore Mackenna Briggs won the 200 individual medley in 2 minutes, 12.76 seconds and the 500 freestyle in 5:27.69.

Sophomore Cecilia Nelson won the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:09.62.

Freshman Ellie Hohensinner captured the 100 butterfly in 1:06.02.

Sophomore Christina Sargent took first place in the 1-meter diving competition with a score of 147.

The Liberty girls also took first place in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:55.49. The team featured Briggs, Nelson, Hohensinner and freshman Lauryn Hepp.

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Issaquah High School swimmer crosses Lake Washington for charity

September 4, 2012

Gabrielle Gevers, of Issaquah, recently completed the PSBC Swim for Life, a swim across Lake Washington.

The annual event attracts adventure athletes who are daring and fit enough to brave a 2 ½-mile paddle through the icy, dark waters of Lake Washington, and who are also raising money to help in the fight against leukemia and other life threatening diseases that require blood donations. The Swim for Life is a fundraiser for the Puget Sound Blood Center.

“It was the longest distance I have ever swum,” Gevers said. “I am a sprinter, so 2 ½ miles is really something for me. My dad and I swam it together, and my mom and brother Gentry kayaked with us as my support team.

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Spartans to represent Northwest at Olympic swimming trials

June 26, 2012

Andie Taylor

For a school that opened a mere 15 years ago, the fact that Skyline High School has produced two potential Olympic athletes is nothing short of phenomenal. In fact, Katie Kinnear and Andie Taylor’s former coach was at a loss words.

“It’s just kind of unbelievable,” Skyline girls swimming coach   Susan Simpkins said. “The Olympics are the pinnacle of swimming. When you swim, you want to swim at the Olympics.”

Taylor graduated from Skyline in 2010 and just finished her sophomore year at Stanford University. At Skyline, she was a seven-time individual state champion and led Skyline to the state title her senior year. The success continued at Stanford, where she earned All-American honors in both of her first two years.

Kinnear also was a seven-time individual state champion and she took Skyline to its second and third consecutive state championships. Kinnear just graduated and is planning to attend UCLA in the fall. Read more

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