Hazen, Liberty sports programs had a good 2014

January 2, 2015

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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There was no shortage of success stories in the 2014 Hazen and Liberty sports seasons. Here are the ones that stood out among the rest.

Hazen drillers make it three in a row

Contributed The Hazen High School drill team and coaches show off their third consecutive first-place trophy after the Dance and Drill State Championships March 29 at the Yakima SunDome.

Contributed
The Hazen High School drill team and coaches show off their third consecutive first-place trophy after the Dance and Drill State Championships March 29 at the Yakima SunDome.

If Kristin Sargent’s career as the head coach of the Hazen drill team was written as a book, it would have the perfect fairy tale ending.

The preface would note that her Hazen roots run deep. She was a member of the Liberty High School drill team before coming to Hazen, where she was the drill team captain in 1999.

The body of the story would detail her seven years as the Hazen drill coach, a golden era of sorts, as she led the Highlanders to several state titles.

The best part would be the ending, though, when Sargent’s team captured its third consecutive state title, in the same year she announced it would be her last.

That’s what happened March 29 as the Hazen drill team added to its overflowing trophy case with another great showing at the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s Dance and Drill State Championships in the Yakima SunDome.

The Highlanders took first in 3A pom with a score of 252.3.

Liberty goes from 3A to 2A

Liberty High School sports teams went from 3A to 2A beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association released enrollment numbers showing 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 had opted up to the 3A level, despite its stature as one of the state’s smallest 3A schools, but this time around, administrators decided to test the 2A waters.

Former Liberty Athletic Director Stark Porter said he looked at the move as a two-year experiment, after which the school would re-evaluate things.

Hazen’s basketball star signs with ASU

With the swift stroke of a pen, Hazen High School senior Dominic Green made a permanent decision about the setting of his life’s next chapter Nov. 12.

The Hazen basketball star signed his national letter of intent to play at Arizona State University next year, officially making him a Sun Devil.

Green, a small forward, chose Arizona State over offers from schools such as Washington State University, Portland State University and the University of Montana.

Green is the first Hazen boys basketball player to sign with a Division I school since 1992, when Jason Hamilton began his career at San Diego State University before transferring to the University of Washington. Hamilton now serves as a radio analyst for the Huskies’ basketball team.

Patriots win first swim title

By Greg Farrar The Liberty High School swim team cheers Nov. 15 as the 400-yard freestyle relay team wins the final event and the Patriots run away with their first-ever team state swimming championship.

By Greg Farrar
The Liberty High School swim team cheers Nov. 15 as the 400-yard freestyle relay team wins the final event and the Patriots run away with their first-ever team state swimming championship.

The 2014 Liberty girls swim team won the program’s first state championship in a devastatingly dominant fashion. The Patriots won seven of the meet’s 12 events and left the King County Aquatic Center with a 2A record final score of 348 points.

To put that score in perspective, second-place finisher Sehome, coincidentally Liberty coach Kris Daughters’ alma mater, had 188 points.

“That was one of the most fun nights of my existence,” a beaming Daughters said at the end of the meet.

Senior Mackenna Briggs led Liberty swimmers with two individual wins, capturing the 100-yard butterfly with a 2A meet record time of 55.65 seconds, and cruising to victory in the 50-yard freestyle in 23.78. Briggs, a University of San Diego commit, also won the Swimmer of the Meet Award.

Hazen, Liberty wrestlers shine at Mat Classic

Malik Haythorne’s senior season of wrestling was emblematic of his entire Hazen High School team — growth was evident.

A year after failing to win a match at the state championships, Haythorne nearly wound up capturing a 3A state title. He settled for second place at 152 pounds as the Mat Classic XXVI wrapped up Feb. 22 at the Tacoma Dome.

Haythorne’s runner-up finish topped the Highlanders’ six-athlete contingent at the Mat Classic. Raven Svenson, a freshman who took seventh in the 155-pound girls division, was Hazen’s only other medalist.

On the Liberty side, three Patriots reached the medal podium.

Conner Small took third at 160 pounds, Romney Noel was sixth at 170 and Joanna Moreira took sixth in the 137-pound girls division.

Patriots put together big fall at 2A

In its first sports season at 2A, the Liberty Athletic Department put together an impressive 2014 fall postseason.

In addition to the swim team’s 2A state title, other teams took home hardware, too.

The Liberty boys and girls cross-country teams each earned third place at the state championships in Pasco Nov. 8, taking home the first state trophies in program history.

The Patriots’ volleyball team also made history, making its first state appearance and earning an eighth-place trophy.

Hazen senior named a Sea Gal

Hazen High School 2014 graduate Errin Mekel was selected as a member of the Seattle Seahawks dance team, the Sea Gals, for the 2014-2015 season.

Mekel, also a member of the state-champion Hazen drill team in 2014, competed in a marathon of workshops, tryouts and auditions to be selected as a Sea Gal.

She used her athleticism, knowledge of choreography and passion to win over judges in the selection process. Out of the hundreds of women who try out, only between 24 and 32 are selected for the squad.

Liberty tennis star goes out on top

A year after Liberty High School tennis player Jenny Adams teamed up with Kristy Braunston to take second at the 3A state doubles tournament, Adams went solo with almost as much success.

She placed fourth at the 3A state tennis singles tournament May 31.

Adams, who graduated in 2014 as one of Liberty’s best tennis players ever, defeated Shadle Park’s Audra Spargo in three sets to win the fourth-place medal.

Hazen coach steps down to lead alma mater

The Hazen High School football team began spring 2014 practices under new leadership after head coach Drew Oliver stepped down to take over at Newport High School, his alma mater.

Oliver took over the program in 2009, and under his direction, Hazen returned to the state playoffs during the 2011 season, for the first time since 1993.

Oliver, who grew up in the Newport Hills neighborhood, coached at Newport prior to accepting the job at Hazen.

David Kilpatrick-White took over for Oliver. The 2003 Bothell High School graduate came to Hazen via the Bothell program, having coached freshmen wide receivers.

Hazen finished 4-6 under the first-year coach.

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