Sorting out Liberty’s 2A postseason

November 11, 2014

NEW — 11 a.m. Nov. 11, 2014

As the 2014 fall high-school postseason continues, most Liberty sports teams are finding that everything is just a little bit different this year.

The Patriots are now playing at the 2A level for at least the next two years. Liberty previously played at 3A, opting up a classification, despite the school’s size.

Liberty’s regular season remained unchanged. They still played a competitive schedule in the tough KingCo 3A/2A Conference.

But now that the school is in 2A, the road through the playoffs has a slightly different look to it. Read more

Liberty sports will move to 2A next season

January 14, 2014

Liberty High School sports teams will compete in the 2A classification for a two-year period beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association released enrollment numbers showing that Liberty, at 891.8, is the size of a 2A school. Schools with less than 990.8 students, but more than 472, are considered 2A.

In the recent past, the Patriots have opted up to the 3A level, despite its stature as one of the state’s smallest 3A schools, but this time around administrators have decided to test the 2A waters.

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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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Patriots cross-country squads finish undefeated in KingCo

October 22, 2013

By Greg Farrar Aaron Bowe (right), Liberty High School senior, and sophomore Collin Olson run with three Islanders in the lead pack Oct. 16 at their cross country meet. Bowe won in 15 minutes, 38 seconds and Olson took second in 15:59.

By Greg Farrar
Aaron Bowe (right), Liberty High School senior, and sophomore Collin Olson run with three Islanders in the lead pack Oct. 16 at their cross country meet. Bowe won in 15 minutes, 38 seconds and Olson took second in 15:59.

On the back of the Liberty cross-country team’s blue sweatshirts is an outline of Washington state. Superimposed across it are the words “We run this place.”

The 2013 Patriots are well on the way to living up to the phrase, having just completed an undefeated KingCo 3A/2A regular season.

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Liberty High School cross country girls race to No. 5 spot

November 6, 2012

Liberty High School runners Megan Chucka (left) and Allie Wood run in tandem at the state cross-country championships held at the Sun Willows Golf Course on Nov. 3. By Mike Smith

To call the Liberty High School girls cross-country season a success would be an understatement.

The team, led by coach Mike Smith, brought home plenty of hardware this year, winning the KingCo 3A title for the first time in school history and capturing its third consecutive Sea-King District title.

Heading into the state championships, the team was ranked fourth in the state, its highest ranking ever.

At the Nov. 3 championships in Pasco, the Patriots placed fifth in what was the team’s best state finish ever.

But it was a bittersweet moment for the close-knit team, after star runner Megan Chucka suffered an asthma reaction during the race, preventing her from finishing in the individual top 10, as she had hoped, Smith said.

Still, the resilient Chucka, a senior, finished the race and even ran her best time at state with a time of 19 minutes, 56 seconds.

“You know, things can happen, you can get the flu, you can have an asthma attack and you can’t predict that,” Smith said. “Still, this is the very beginning of what I think is going to be a very long career for Megan.”

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Liberty Patriots cross country team punches ticket to Pasco

October 30, 2012

After claiming the KingCo 3A and the Sea-King District cross country meets in the past two weeks, the Liberty High School girls cross country team has punched its ticket to the state tournament next weekend in Pasco for an unprecedented third year in a row.

Participating in the tough Sea-King District tournament on the 3.1-mile Lower Woodland Park course in Seattle on Oct. 25, the Patriots ended up on top of the heap with 65 points.

The admirable effort was spearheaded by a tandem of Liberty seniors in Megan Chucka, who crossed the finish line a mere 15 seconds off the pace to take second, with a time of 18 minutes, 45 seconds, and fellow upperclassman Allie Wood, who snapped the twine in seventh place with a time of 19:26.

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Liberty High School girls win KingCo 3A cross country title

October 23, 2012

Megan Chucka, Allie Wood and Sarah Bliesner (from left), Liberty High School runners, recover their breath after finishing second, fourth and eighth to help the Patriots win the school’s first-ever team girls KingCo 3A Cross Country Championship Oct. 19 at Lake Sammamish State Park.By Greg Farrar

When a key contributor from last year’s Liberty High School girls cross country team went down with an injury before the season, head coach Mike Smith was understandably crushed.

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Dispatchers demonstrate poise under pressure amid shootout

September 18, 2012

Dominique Hill, Felicia Moore and Janelle Knight (from left) were on duty as Issaquah Police Department communications specialists when gunman Ronald W. Ficker set off across downtown Issaquah on Sept. 24, 2011. By Greg Farrar

The callers punching 911 into cellphones on Sept. 24, 2011, a bright Saturday darkened as a gunman stalked across downtown Issaquah, heard a calm voice amid the chaos.

In the hours after the gunman set across from a downtown intersection to Clark Elementary School, communications specialists at the Issaquah Police Department fielded a tsunami of calls.

In the tumult, a trio of dispatchers — including a recent addition to the team — attempted to assuage panicked citizens and advise the officers at the scene.

The voices citizens and officers heard on the line came from Dominique Hill, Janelle Knight and Felicia Moore.

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Jurors rule in favor of police officers involved in deadly shootout

May 29, 2012

Issaquah police officer Brian Horn indicates locations on a map for a King County inquest jury May 22, as District Court Judge David Steiner observes. By Greg Farrar

Jurors deliberated only 19 minutes before determining Issaquah police officers faced a life-threatening scenario and properly used lethal force to stop a rifle-toting man on the Clark Elementary School campus last year.

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Witnesses at police inquest describe chaotic scenes from school shootout

May 29, 2012

Just after 11 a.m. Sept. 24, as Ronald W. Ficker meandered from a downtown Issaquah intersection to Clark Elementary School, Leslie Olerich stared down the barrel of Ficker’s rifle.

“He looked right at us, looked down the barrel and he smiled,” Olerich said May 21 at a court hearing about the incident.

Issaquah police fatally shot Ficker, 51, after the rural Maple Valley man abandoned a rental car at a downtown intersection and, carrying rifles and ammunition, set off in the direction of school campuses and, along the way, brandished firearms to passers-by.

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