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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Eastlake girls glide to easy victory over Skyline

October 4, 2011

Keegan Symmes, Skyline High School junior, approaches the finish line in 15:41, well before the rest of the field Sept. 28 during the Spartans’ cross country meet against Eastlake at Klahanie Park. By Christopher Huber

Skyline High School junior cross country runner Keegan Symmes continued his dominance in the KingCo Conference 4A Sept. 28 at Klahanie Park.

Against Eastlake and Inglemoor, he finished in 15 minutes, 41 seconds. Symmes finished 46 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Michael Flindt, of Eastlake.

With Symmes leading the pack, Skyline eked out a win with 31 points to Eastlake’s 32. Inglemoor took third with 62.

“I just ran with the team,” Symmes said after the race.

Symmes and his coach, Brendan Hyland, said most runners took it a little easier at Klahanie, as both Eastlake and Skyline were preparing for the Oct. 1 Tomahawk Twilight Invitational in Marysville. Still, Symmes’ time was near the course record.

“It’s coming together,” he said. “The season hasn’t been as fast as I’d like, but hopefully I’ll get better later.”

Symmes ended up having a busy weekend. At the Tomahawk Twilight Invitational, on the Cedarcrest Golf Course, he finished first in the 3.1-mile race in 15:54. Then, on Oct. 2, Symmes finished second in the 10K race at the Issaquah Rotary Run. He completed the race in 33:27.

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Issaquah cross country team races by Ballard

September 29, 2011

NEW — 12:30 p.m. Sept. 29, 2011

The Issaquah High School girls cross country team remained unbeaten Wednesday when the Eagles flew by visiting Ballard 17-44 in a KingCo Conference 4A meet.

Issaquah, 5-0, captured five of the top six places and put eight runners into the top 10.

Freshman Ellie Hendrickson paced the Eagles by finishing first in the 3-mile race in 19 minutes, 24 seconds. It was her first varsity win. Issaquah’s Ellie Clawson and Rachel Osgood tied for second, each finishing in 19:27. Abby Wilson and Emily Winterstein, of Issaquah, were fifth and sixth. Amanda Chalfant, Nikita Sirohi and Abby Irwin went eighth, ninth and 10th respectively for Issaquah.

In the boys meet, Ballard defeated Issaquah 18-41. Tom Howe was Issaquah’s top runner, finishing third in 16:40.

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Issaquah police encountered gunman in days, hours before shooting

September 28, 2011

King County Chief Deputy Steve Strachan points to a picture of the ditch on the east side of Clark Elementary from where Ronald W. Ficker fired at Issaquah police officers Sept. 24. By Greg Farrar

UPDATED — 5:15 p.m. Sept. 28, 2011

Issaquah police officers contacted the Sept. 24 gunman in the days and hours before the lethal shootout at Clark Elementary School, but did not have reason to detain Ronald W. Ficker before the incident.

In the days before the shootout, Ficker told people he had been “communicating with the devil” and said, “Something big is going to happen.”

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Liberty cross country teams still unbeaten

September 27, 2011

The Liberty High School boys and girls cross country teams remained unbeaten Sept. 21 after both won their KingCo Conference 3A/2A meet at St. Edwards State Park.

The Liberty boys had 26 points to beat out Mercer Island, which was second with 44, and Lake Washington, which was third with 46. Tyler Westenbroek was Liberty’s top runner, placing second in 17 minutes, 30 seconds on the 5,000-meter course. Nick Knoblich, Aaron Bowe and Hiron Redmon went four, five and six, respectively, for Liberty.

In the girls race, Liberty placed eight runners in the top 10 places to easily beat Mercer Island and Lake Washington. The Patriots had 19 points with Mercer Island second with 48 and Lake Washington third with 76.

Liberty’s Amy Broska was first in 21 minutes. Megan Chucka, Sarah Bliesner, Allie Wood, Rachel Shaw, Megan Larson and Michaela Chucka, went three, four, five, six, seven and eight for Liberty. Aimee Christensen also took 10th place for the Patriots.

Both Liberty teams are 4-0.

 

‘It was like being in a war zone’ amid shootout

September 27, 2011

Guardian One, the King County Sheriff's Office helicopter (above), takes off from the Issaquah Community Center lawn as law enforcement agencies respond to a gunman in downtown Issaquah. By Christina Lords

Investigation continues after police kill gunman at Issaquah school

Issaquah police stopped a gunman in a fusillade of gunfire Sept. 24, after he led officers on a circuitous chase through downtown Issaquah, prompting residents to scramble for cover inside homes, and athletes and spectators at a youth football game to duck beneath bleachers for protection.

Officers fatally shot the 51-year-old Maple Valley man on the Clark Elementary School campus, not far from a youth football game on nearby Issaquah High School fields.

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Gunman dies in shootout near Issaquah High School

September 24, 2011

Guardian One, the King County Sheriff's Office helicopter, takes off from the Issaquah Community Center lawn during the search for a gunman. By Christina Lords

UPDATED — 8:45 a.m. Sept. 26, 2011

Issaquah police shot and killed a gunman Saturday after police said the man opened fire near downtown Issaquah schools as children and spectators gathered for sporting events.

The man parked a car on Front Street South at Newport Way Southwest and then headed on foot, carrying two rifles — including a bolt-action hunting rifle — to the area near Clark Elementary and Issaquah High schools at about 11:15 a.m. on a muggy fall day.

Police said the man menacingly pointed firearms at passers-by as he headed about a half-mile to Clark Elementary School.

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Sports kick off Salmon Days Festival celebration

September 20, 2011

If walking with a GPS unit is your idea of exercise or if you are one of those who people who prefers a brisk 10K run, the Salmon Days Festival has something for all types of the sporting crowd this year.

The Ohfishal Salmon Days Sporting Weekend features geo-teaming and the Issaquah Rotary Run.

Geoteaming, a unique sport, is Sept. 24. The annual Issaquah Rotary Run, for serious runners as well as joggers, is Oct. 2.

Both events have their special features.

Geoteaming is a fun, interactive and high-tech scavenger hunt using hand-held GPS units to navigate to hidden treasures in and around Issaquah. Individuals or teams can participate in the event.

Each found cache earns a team or individual many valuable points toward a final score. All equipment is provided. Participants should have appropriate-weather clothes and walking shoes. The event begins and finishes at Rogue’s Issaquah Brewhouse, 35 W. Sunset Way.

There are two sessions of geo-teaming each day. The first session runs from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 24. Teams must sign in by 9:30 a.m. Sept. 24. The second session runs from 1-3 p.m., and teams must sign in by noon.

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Liberty cross country teams sweep 3A/2A meets

September 20, 2011

Both Liberty High School boys and girls cross country teams won their KingCo Conference 3A/2A meets Sept. 14 against visiting Sammamish and Juanita.

The Liberty boys took first with 34 points to beat Sammamish, which was second with 37, and Juanita, which took third with 59. Nick Knoblich finished second for Liberty in 17:01.

In the girls meet, Liberty easily won with 23 points. Juanita was second with 50 and Sammamish third with 65. Megan Chucka finished second for Liberty in 20:23.

On Sept. 17, the Liberty teams competed in the Fort Steilacoom Invitational. The girls finished second and the boys were 12th.

Issaquah High School girls nip Skyline team in cross country

September 15, 2011

NEW — 12:15 p.m. Sept. 15, 2011

The Issaquah High School girls cross country team, sparked by freshmen Ellie Clawson and Ellie Hendrickson, beat Skyline for the first time in six years Wednesday in a 4A KingCo Conference meet at Issaquah.

Issaquah edged Skyline 27-28 in the three-team meet. Bothell was a distance third with 83 points.

Clawson finished first in the 3-mile race in 19 minutes, 22 seconds. Hendrickson was third in 19:56. Three other Eagles cracked the top 10. Senior Rachel Osgood was sixth, and freshmen Abby Wilson and Emily Winterstein were eighth and ninth respectively.

Sam Krahling was Skyline’s top finisher, placing third.

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