Eagles sink Patriot swimmers in the last event before snowstorms

January 2, 2009

By Staff

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Austin Briggs, Liberty High School junior, swims the breaststroke leg of his winning 200-yard individual medley against Issaquah, taking about two seconds off his personal best time. By Greg Farrar

Austin Briggs, Liberty High School junior, swims the breaststroke leg of his winning 200-yard individual medley against Issaquah, taking about two seconds off his personal best time. By Greg Farrar

In the last high school sports event before the harsh winter weather hit, the Issaquah and Liberty high schools’ boys swim and dive teams took to the pool Dec. 16 in what coaches consider one of the more friendly meets of the regular season.

The Patriots and Eagles met at the Julius Boehm Pool in front of a packed and noisy crowd for the third meet of the season, as Issaquah looked to pace its quick-swimming Liberty opponents. 

It came down to the final race. Liberty was up by two points going into the last relay, said Liberty head coach Kris Daughters.

Issaquah head coach Laura Halter’s strategy of finishing two-three in the relays paid off late in the meet and gave the Eagles a 94-84 win over the Patriots. She said she knew Liberty would win two of three relays, but if Issaquah won one and placed two groups in the top three in the others, they could eek out a higher point tally.

“We knew it was going to be a really close meet,” Halter said.

Liberty did win two relays. Logan Briggs, Austin Briggs, Kevin Hays and Chris Kaulia won the 200-yard medley relay in 1 minute, 49.67 seconds, and Luke Duschl, Kaulia and the Briggs brothers won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:37.67. 

Issaquah did what it planned, placing two-three in those two events and placing one-two in the 400-yard freestyle relay, with a time of 3:52.08. 

The team “did what their job was as assigned by the coaches,” Halter said. “It clearly came down to some third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes.”  

Despite the loss, Daughters said the annual meet between the two schools is one of the most amicable all year.

“The atmosphere was great, because we work out at the same time and they know each other really well,” she said. “The kids know each other and it seems to be more friendly than most matches. It’s an individual sport, but also a team sport. But a lot of the kids want each other to do well and improve their scores.”

The Patriots won seven of the 11 events. In addition to the relay wins, junior Austin Briggs helped Liberty’s cause by winning the 200 IM (2:14.63) and the 100 butterfly (1:01.60). 

“He’s right on that cusp of making state,” Daughters said. 

His brother, Logan Briggs, won the 100 freestyle in 50.89 seconds and the 100 backstroke in 57.28 seconds. His backstroke time qualified him for state. 

“He’s great to have on our team, because when you put him on the end of a relay, he can pull off some amazing feats,” Daughters said. “Logan will be able to choose what state events he wants.” 

Duschl won the 100 breaststroke in 1:12.66, with Issaquah’s Nathan Bachman finishing just .12 seconds behind. 

The Eagles’ Riley Goodman and Ben Halter took first and second in the 50 freestyle, with times of 24.67 and 24.86 seconds respectively.

As for working toward a relay sweep, Daughters said it is possible to improve that 400 freestyle relay time.

“I’m looking forward to seeing our relays qualify for state,” she said. “It’s a hard goal for us, but I think it’s something we can do.”

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