Kasen Williams leads parade of 2011 best efforts from individuals, teams

December 27, 2011

Peyton Pelluer (right), Skyline High School junior linebacker, and teammate Nic Sblendorio (9), junior defensive back, combine to throw Woodinville senior running back Devin McKee to the turf during the 4A state semifinal game Nov. 26. By Greg Farrar

It was a year of state titles for Skyline High School, and the end of a career for a Spartan who always seemed to be in championship form.

When he graduated last spring, Skyline’s Kasen Williams left a legacy that might never be duplicated in the Issaquah School District. He was definitely the most dominant figure in the local sports scene in 2011.

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Issaquah, Liberty runners place in top 10 at state

November 8, 2011

Sarah Bleisner (520), Liberty High School freshman, comes in just ahead of sophomore teammate Megan Larson, helping the Patriots to an eighth-place finish at the 3A state cross country championship Nov. 5 in Pasco. By Don Borin/www.donborin.con

Talented and young, the Issaquah and Liberty high school girls cross country teams showed great promise for the future when they finished among the top 10 teams at the state championships Nov. 5 in Pasco.

Issaquah, in the state meet for the first time in 13 years, finished 10th among the Class 4A teams.

Liberty, in the state meet for the second straight year, finished eighth among the Class 3A teams.

Issaquah, which had five freshmen on its team, finished the 4A meet with 274 points. The Eagles had the second-highest finish for a KingCo Conference 4A team. Redmond was third with 100 points. Tahoma won the state title with 88 points and Bellarmine Prep came in second with 99 points.

“We finished just about where I thought we should have been,” Issaquah coach Gwen Robertson said. “I was hoping for a top 10 finish and that’s where we were. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. The weather was perfect. The girls all performed very well.”

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Liberty cross country team dashes to district championship

November 1, 2011

Liberty High School's varsity girls cross country team (left) came in second to Mercer Island (right) Oct. 21 at KingCo, but paid back the Islanders Oct. 27 by winning to become Sea-King District 3A cross country champions. File

The girls from Liberty High School repeated as Sea-King District 3A cross country champions Oct. 27 at Lake Sammamish State Park.

The Patriots avenged a defeat to Mercer Island at the previous week’s KingCo Conference championship meet, beating the runner-up Islanders by six points.

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Liberty girls cross country team gallops away with district title

October 28, 2011

NEW — 11:45 a.m. Oct. 28, 2011

The Liberty High School girls cross country team showed that history does repeat itself.

The Patriots, with four runners cracking the 20-minute mark, captured the Sea-King District 3A championship for the second straight year Thursday at Lake Sammamish State Park.

Liberty finished with 69 points. Mercer Island, which won the KingCo Conference 3A title the previous week, and Lakeside, of the Metro League, were second with 75 points.

The previous week Liberty finished second at the KingCo championships. It was a repeat of last year when Mercer Island won the KingCo title and Liberty was second only to see the Patriots come back to win the district championship.

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Liberty girls lose tiebreaker, finish No. 2 in KingCo cross country

October 25, 2011


Sara Bliesner takes the top girls finish among Liberty runners with a fifth-place, 19-minute, 52.42-second race on the 3.1 mile course at Lake Sammamish State Park. By Greg Farrar

The Liberty High School Patriots had five girls place in the top 20 at the KingCo Conference 3A cross country championships Oct. 21 at Lake Sammamish State Park.

The performance was good enough to force a tie with powerhouse Mercer Island. Both teams had 49 points.

However, the tiebreaker was the sixth runner on each team. Mercer Island’s finished 19th, and Liberty’s finished 24th, earning the Islanders the team championship.

It’s the second consecutive runner-up finish at KingCo for the Patriots. Liberty coach Mike Smith predicted a close finish.

“I told the girls it would probably be within five points,” he said.

Nevertheless, nobody wept at Liberty’s misfortune, least of all the Patriots’ runners themselves. The top four teams advanced to the Sea-King District Championships, along with the top 20 runners. Liberty enters the district meet Oct. 27 at Lake Sammamish as defending champions.

Liberty’s Sara Bliesner finished fifth in the 3.1-mile race in 19 minutes, 52.42 seconds.

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Liberty High School girls soccer team nets conference title

October 21, 2011

NEW — 4 p.m. Oct. 21, 2011 

The Liberty High School girls soccer team, already bound for the Class 3A state playoffs, wrapped up the KingCo Conference 3A/2A title Thursday with a 5-3 victory against host Juanita.

The KingCo title is the second straight for the Patriots, who captured the league’s state 3A berth earlier this week. This is the first time Liberty has won back-to-back titles since 2001, when the Patriots won their third straight KingCo title.

Kaliana Johnson had a hat trick to lead Liberty in its victory against Juanita.

Liberty got a battle from Juanita, which has just one league victory this season. Juanita took the lead three times in the game but Liberty always answered with a tying goal.

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Cross country teams tune up for league championship meets

October 18, 2011

Issaquah School District teams wrapped up their regular seasons last week in a final tuneup for the Oct. 20 KingCo Conference Championship meets.

The Issaquah and Skyline high school teams will enter the KingCo 4A meet at Seattle’s Lincoln Park. The boys varsity race starts at 2:45 p.m. and the girls varsity race is set for 3:15 p.m. The top eight teams and 40 individuals advance to a bi-district meet Oct. 29 at Lincoln Park.

Liberty High School competes in the KingCo 3A meet at Lake Sammamish State Park. The girls varsity race begins at 2:45 p.m. and the boys varsity race starts at 3:15 p.m. The top four teams and 20 individuals advance to the Sea-King District 2 meet Oct. 27 at Lake Sammamish State Park.

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Liberty High School boys capture cross country finale

October 13, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. Oct. 13, 2011

Nick Knoblich and Aaron Bowe, finished first and second Wednesday, as they led the Liberty High School boys cross country team to victories against Mount Si and Liberty at Mount Si High School.

Liberty finished with 37 points to top Mount Si, which was second with 40 points. Mercer Island was third with 47 points.

Knoblich finished first in 17 minutes, 28 seconds. Bowe was second in 17:30. Mason Goodman, of Liberty, also cracked the top 10 by placing ninth in 18:06. Hiron Redman was 11th and Jason Murray 14th for the Patriots, who ended the regular season with a 6-3 record.

In the girls meet, Liberty finished second to Mercer Island. The Islanders had 27 points and Liberty had 39 points. Mount Si was third with 70. Allie Wood was Liberty’s top placer, taking third in 20:15. Amy Broska and Sarah Bliesner were sixth and seventh respectively for Liberty. Megan Larson placed 11th and Aimee Christensen 12th to round out Liberty’s top five runners.

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Liberty girls run past Bellevue, Lake Washington

October 6, 2011

NEW — 11:45 a.m. Oct. 6, 2011

The Liberty High School girls cross country team ran as a pack Wednesday and raced by Bellevue and Lake Washington in a KingCo Conference 3A/2A meet at Liberty.

Liberty finished with 21 points. Bellevue was second with 47 and Lake Washington took third with 64.

Although Liberty did not have the first-place runner, the Patriots took the next four places, and had six runners in all in the top 10. Sophomore Amy Broska was Liberty’s top runner, finishing second in 21 minutes, 10 seconds on the 3-mile course.

Megan Chucka, Sarah Bliesner and Allie Wood were third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Rachel Shaw took seventh and Megan Larson was 10th.

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Liberty High School cross country team encounters gunman, assists detectives

October 4, 2011

Liberty High School cross country runners set off for a late-morning practice from Clark Elementary School on a muggy morning late last month and, as the sun inched upward in the sky, slurped Otter Pops and chatted in the parking lot.

Then, as members rested after a run along Tiger Mountain trails, a bang echoed across the campus. Maybe a firecracker, runners said later.

Instead, the noise came from a shot fired on the nearby Issaquah Middle School campus as gunman Ronald W. Ficker headed across downtown on a fatal trip to Clark Elementary.

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