Saving the best for last

February 19, 2013

Tia Riley closed her gymnastics career on a major upswing, competing in three disciplines and setting personal bests in two.

The Liberty High School senior’s scores in floor and vault at the state meet in Tacoma surpassed all her marks in prep gymnastics, she said.

She did not qualify for finals, but nobody could call her final meet a failure, not her coach who said that two minor mistakes kept Riley from the floor finals, nor Riley herself.

By Greg Farrar Tia Riley, Liberty High School senior, leaps during her floor routine at the 3A state gymnastics championships in Tacoma.

By Greg Farrar
Tia Riley, Liberty High School senior, leaps during her floor routine at the 3A state gymnastics championships in Tacoma.

“I’m happy,” she said. “I’m glad I competed so well in my last meet.”

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Liberty gymnasts stumble against Mount Si

January 15, 2013

By Christina Corrales-ToyShawna Sarrett, Liberty High School senior, poses on the balance beam, earning a score of 7.0 on Jan. 10 against Mount Si.

Shawna Sarrett, Liberty High School senior, poses on the balance beam, earning a score of 7.0 on Jan. 10 against Mount Si. By Christina Corrales-Toy

Going in to the Patriots’ Jan. 10 meet against Mount Si, Liberty High School gymnastics coach Lori Copenhaver knew it would be an uphill battle.

The relatively short-in-numbers Liberty squad failed to match Mount Si’s strong depth, falling to the Wildcats, 161.05-127.15.

“It was kind of expected, but I think the girls did really well,” Copenhaver said.

Despite the loss, Copenhaver said she was encouraged by what she saw out of her gymnasts, especially seniors Tia Riley and Shawna Sarrett.

“Tia actually had probably her best meet so far this year,” she said.

Riley took second place on the vault with a score of 8.65, and placed third overall with a score of 31.65. Sarrett placed seventh overall with a score of 29.9.

It was the Patriots’ first meet since the holiday break, and with a strong Mount Si team coming up, Copenhaver said it was important to get her gymnasts refocused as they returned to school.

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Liberty Patriots gymnastics team defeats Bellevue Wolverines

December 18, 2012

Tia Riley, Liberty High School senior, poses on the balance beam, earning a score of 7.8 Dec. 13 against Bellevue. By Christina Corrales-Toy

It is easy to spot the Liberty High School gymnastics team among a crowded gymnasium filled with fans, coaches and other competitors.

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A challenge to change the status quo

December 6, 2011

Hall Monitor Dawson Solly Liberty High School

Fall sports have just ended and the start to a new season has begun for winter high school sports such as basketball, gymnastics and wrestling.

For teams that moved into the playoffs and continued to the state championships, like the Skyline High School football team, it is an experience of a lifetime, but one thing missing from the playoffs is fan support. I think we need fan support from the district student body as a whole.

I know our district high schools have been rivals in the past and compete against each other, but times have changed as Skyline and Issaquah left 3A and moved on to 4A competition; the fan support should change, too. Instead of Liberty seeing Issaquah and Skyline as a rival in the playoffs we need to realize we are all part of the same district and that we all have an effect on our reputation as a whole.

Many may think that if this were to happen there would be a lot of conflict between schools, but think of how much our reputation as a district and community would improve. Districts across the state would think of our district as a trendsetter and a start to a new legacy.

Being an athlete at Liberty, I would see it as a positive, getting more support and gaining confidence because of it. Other athletes at Liberty agree — the more fans the better — particularly in sports such as wrestling, swimming/dive, gymnastics, tennis, and track and field, where individuals are on “the stage” alone.

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Liberty High School girls basketball team stuns Juanita

February 9, 2011

NEW — 10:30 a.m. Feb. 9, 2011

The Liberty High School girls basketball team got one of its biggest victories of the season Tuesday when the Patriots topped Juanita 53-44 in the semifinals of the 3A KingCo Conference tournament at Bellevue College.

Juanita, the regular-season champion, had defeated Liberty twice during the season. However, the Patriots took control in tournament contest by shooting to a 19-12 first-quarter lead. Liberty held a commanding 32-21 lead at halftime.

Danni Sjolander and Aspen Winegar each scored 15 points to lead the Patriots.

Liberty plays Mount Si at 8:15 p.m. Feb. 10 in the tournament title game. Mount Si defeated Mercer Island 61-49 in the other semifinal.

The top four KingCo teams and the top eight from the Metro League advance to the Sea-King District Tournament, which begins Saturday.

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Former Spartan helps Eastern win national title

January 11, 2011

Tyler Washburn, a former Skyline High School football standout, started at middle linebacker for Eastern Washington University on Jan. 7 and helped the Eagles defeat Delaware 20-19 in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision title game in Frisco, Texas.

Washburn was one of the key defensive players in Eastern Washington’s run to the title. He scored a key touchdown on a fumble recovery Dec. 17 to help Eastern Washington defeat Villanova 41-31 in a semifinal at Cheney.

The former Spartan had 10 tackles Dec. 11, when the Eagles defeated North Dakota State 38-31 in overtime in the quarterfinals.

Senior tight end Jason Harris, and freshmen Jase Butorac and Evan Day are other former Spartans on the Eastern roster. Read more

Liberty High School swimmers sprint past Sammamish

January 7, 2011

NEW — 1 p.m. Jan. 7, 2011

The Liberty High School boys swimming team swept the three relays Thursday and cruised by visiting Sammamish 118-64 in a 3A/2A KingCo Conference meet at Julius Boehm Pool.

Logan Briggs, who won the 100 butterfly, anchored the winning 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays. He also swam on the Patriots’ winning 200 medley relay.

Kevin Hays, Raymond Ha and Luke Duschl also swam with Briggs on the three winning relays.

Other Liberty first places came from Connor Biehl in the 200 individual medley, Matt Shepardson in the 50 freestyle, Jesse Herrild in diving and Thomas Hughes in the 500 freestyle.

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Issaquah High School swimmers clinch events

December 17, 2010

NEW — 2 p.m. Dec. 17, 2010

The Issaquah High School boys swimming team picked up two 4A KingCo Conference victories Thursday when the Eagles defeated Skyline and Bothell in Julius Boehm Pool.

Issaquah defeated Skyline 103-73 and beat Bothell 135-39.

Willy Matsuda, Skyler Kersten and Brian Ruggles each won two individual events for Issaquah.

Matsuda won the 100-yard butterfly with a state-qualifying time of 54.85 seconds. He captured the 200 freestyle in 1:54.33. Matsuda also swam on Issaquah’s winning 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays.

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Issaquah looks to re-assume the mantle of gymnastics powerhouse

December 14, 2010

Olivia Goree performs to a third-place finish at state on the balance beam in February during the 4A Gymnastics Championships in the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Center. By Don Borin/Stop Action Photography/

The Issaquah High School girls team took on two perennial powers Dec. 8 as the Eagles opened their 4A KingCo Conference season.

Issaquah placed third in the meet against longtime heavyweights Newport and Woodinville, both who have ranked among the state’s top teams over the years. Newport won 3A state titles in 2006, 2007 and 2008 before moving up to the 4A level. Woodinville entered this season having won four straight 4A state titles.

Thus, the Eagles were not competing against Sisters of the Poor.

Newport won the meet with 168.65 points to just edge out Woodinville, which was second with 165.2. Issaquah, which won 3A state titles from 2002-04, was third with a respectable total of 161.6 points. Read more

Issaquah, Liberty gymnasts come up short in openers

December 10, 2010

NEW — 11 a.m. Dec. 10, 2010

The Issaquah High School and Liberty gymnastics teams took on some perennial powers Thursday as they opened their KingCo Conference seasons.

Issaquah placed third in a 4A KingCo meet with heavyweights Newport and Woodinville, both who usually rank among the state’s top teams. Newport, which won 3A state titles 2008,2007 and 2006 before moving to the 4A level, finished first in the meet with 168.65 points. The Knights just edged out Woodinville, which has won the last four 4A state titles.The Falcons were second with 165.2 points. Issaquah, the 3A state champion from 2002-04, was third with 161.6 points.

“We did better than we expected. We opened the season with our toughest meet of the season. I was really pleased with the way our team performed,” Issaquah coach Ryan Fleisher said.

Olivia Goree, of Issaquah, took third all-around with a 34.8. She also placed first on the balance beam with a 9.5. Teammate AJ Bowers took first on the vault with a 9.0.

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