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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Issaquah swimmers dunk Liberty at meet

January 29, 2013

By Greg Farrar Caleb Walin, Issaquah High School junior, swims to a victory in the 200-yard freestyle race with a time of 2 minutes, 4.40 seconds Jan. 24 against Liberty at Julius Boehm Pool.

Caleb Walin, Issaquah High School junior, swims to a victory in the 200-yard freestyle race with a time of 2 minutes, 4.40 seconds Jan. 24 against Liberty at Julius Boehm Pool. By Greg Farrar

Coaches are notorious planners, especially in individual sports, such as golf, tennis, wrestling and swimming.

These amazing aquatic mentors can usually anticipate what may or may not transpire down to the tenth of a digit. At the annual swim meet between the Issaquah Eagles and the Liberty Patriots held at Julius Boehm Pool on Jan. 24, what unfolded in front of the unsuspecting audience was not only in the realm of the uncharted, but was entirely unexpected with the element of surprise and was outrageously humorous.

With Issaquah owning a commanding advantage heading into the final event of the afternoon, the 400-yard freestyle relay, swimmers from both squads manned the starting blocks, displaying their best stern and stoic game faces, but a funny thing happened on the way down to the water. When the horn sounded to initiate the proceedings, the participants began to churn the water with every imaginable myriad of swim stroke possible in rather comical fashion.

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Former Issaquah swimmer excels at invitational

January 22, 2013

Gentry Gevers

Gentry Gevers

Former Issaquah High School swimming standout Gentry Gevers recently represented well in the prestigious University of Nevada, Las Vegas Invitational.

Gevers, engaging in one of his first events as part of the Concordia University squad, registered several personal best times in his collegiate debut and just missed several national qualifying times by hundredths of a second.

In his maiden voyage in collegiate competition, Gevers — a student at the Irvine, Calif., university — posted a time of 54.6 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly, and also recorded a strong showing in the 100-yard backstroke with 55.2 seconds.

Issaquah School District teams reflect on 2012 missions accomplished

December 25, 2012

Jubilant members of the Issaquah High School boys swim team and their coaches hoist their state 4A second place team trophy and give themselves a cheer Feb. 18 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. By Greg Farrar

The Issaquah School District high school sports teams have a strong tradition of excellence, and 2012 was no different.

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Condition of aging Julius Boehm Pool could shape park bond measure

September 18, 2012

Come summertime, about 1,000 people each day slip into the 84-degree water at Julius Boehm Pool, a fixture in downtown Issaquah for decades.

The crowd is diverse in age and activity — early-morning lap swimmers, senior citizens in water-exercise classes, children for swimming lessons and more. Summer is the busiest time of year for the pool.

The pool is 40 years old — 15 years older than designers intended for the facility — and visitors and employees often encounter signs of age.

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Issaquah High School senior is king of coasters

May 22, 2012

Brian Ruggles, 17, standing with one of seven K’NEX roller coaster models he has made, has won a worldwide competition for his creations. Contributed

The roller coaster train clicks up the steep chain-linked hill. Once it crests the top, the train is released and spirals through dizzying loops and frightening drops. From close up, this roller coaster train seems to be a new creation from roller coaster giants such as Intamin AG and S&S Worldwide.

It’s not. It’s a roller coaster model using K’NEX — a toy building system consisting of interconnecting plastic rods and connectors — created by Issaquah High School senior Brian Ruggles.

The 17-year-old has been making K’NEX roller coaster models since he was 8. The first set he received was called “Screamin’ Serpent.”

“Although it was recommended for ages 10 and up, he spent the next three days building it in his room by himself,” said Sandy Ruggles, his mother. “He asked for help once or twice, but basically assembled all 1,280 parts and completed the 2-foot-by-3-foot-by-5-foot project by the end of the third day.”

He recreated the set four more times before K’NEX released its next set.

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Issaquah boys swimmers celebrate second place in state

February 21, 2012

Issaquah’s boys end with best finish ever

Jubilant members of the Issaquah High School boys swim team and their coaches hoist their state 4A second place team trophy and give themselves a cheer Feb. 18 at the King County Aquatic Center. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah High School coach Laura Halter hoisted the second place trophy high above her head and smiled ear to ear. Halter’s team had surpassed even her expectations when it finished second in the Class 4A boys state swimming and diving championships Feb. 18 in Federal Way’s King County Aquatic Center.

“This is just a surprise,” Halter said. “Any one of the top five teams could have won this meet. I’m really, really proud of the boys.”

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Eagles win first SeaKing district swimming title

February 14, 2012

 Brian Ruggles, Issaquah High School senior, leaps at the start of his 100-yard backstroke race Jan. 10 against Eastlake High School at the Julius Boehm Pool. By Christopher Huber

The Issaquah High School boys swim team had current coaches, former coaches and swimmers searching the program’s records last weekend.

That’s because the Eagles just might have established a first for the program. On Feb. 11, Issaquah finished in first place at the Sea-King District 4A Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Washington. The Eagles, sparked by two first-place relays, compiled 233 points to top KingCo Conference rival Newport by 2.5 points.

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Women having success coaching high-school boys teams

February 14, 2012

NEW — 12:15 p.m. Feb. 14, 2012

When the state swimming championships begin on Friday morning with the Class 3A preliminary heats, Mercer Island coach Chauntelle Johnson will be seeking her fourth consecutive title.

A couple of hours later, when the 4A prelims kick off, Issaquah coach Laura Halter may have a contingent in place to make a run at her first championship.

What is so special about these teams?

It’s the boys state championships. And both title-hopeful teams are coached by women.

That’s not unusual anymore in swimming, especially in Washington high schools. Of the 18 KingCo Conference 4A and 3A boys swim team coaches, 12 are female. Nine of 18 WesCo coaches in the sport also are women.

That’s not unusual anymore in swimming, especially in Washington high schools. Of the 18 KingCo Conference 4A and 3A boys swim team coaches, 12 are female. Nine of 18 WesCo coaches in the sport also are women.

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