Newcastle teen races in Head of the Charles Regatta

December 6, 2012

It may be hard to believe that the mere sight of a waterway can bring tears to a person’s eyes.

But for a rower, it is nearly impossible to remain emotionless when standing at the foot of the iconic Charles River in Massachusetts, and it wasn’t any different for Newcastle teen Justyn Jacobs, who competed on the river in late October.

“They always say that when you see the Charles, you are going to cry because the river, the bridges, the Boston skyline behind it, is just breathtaking,” she said. “I couldn’t even have dreamed of something like that.”

By James Conlu
Members of the Sammamish Rowing Association, including Newcastle resident Justyn Jacobs, compete at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in October. Jacobs, a senior in high school, will row for Oregon State University next year.

The Charles River plays host to the marquee competition in the rowing community, the Head of the Charles Regatta. College teams, Olympians and top junior rowers, like Justyn, gather at the river yearly to compete in the sport’s pinnacle event.

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5K Run/Walk will award $3,000 in scholarships

November 1, 2012

Proceeds from the 2012 Newcastle Days 5K Run/Walk will be used to award $3,000 in scholarship funds for college-bound students.

In all, three $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors who live in Newcastle or attend Hazen or Liberty high schools.

Scholarship applications will be available beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

Interested individuals can email to receive application notifications and details.

The 2012 Newcastle Days 5K Run/Walk drew almost 250 participants.


Liberty’s Jenny Adams loses in straight sets at district tennis match

July 3, 2012

After qualifying for districts in a grueling match at the KingCo district tournament, Liberty High School sophomore Jenny Adams’ tank was on empty. But despite being miles away from the nearest gas station, she got out and pushed.

“She started off really strong,” Liberty tennis coach Mike Salokas said. “Strong in strokes, and strong in conditioning.”

After being up 3-2 in the first set, Adams quickly started struggling to keep up. She lost the first set, 6-3, and the second, 6-1, to Shea Wojciehowski, of Lakeside High School.

“Yeah, pretty much I just got really tired,” she said, “because last week was really competitive for me. But I definitely think I could have won if I wasn’t so wiped out.”

Because she’s only a sophomore, this was Adams’ first year of a more strenuous schedule.

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First-round loss leaves room to grow for Liberty High School’s youths

May 31, 2012

Two unearned runs in an error-riddled bottom of the first inning proved to be an insurmountable lead as the Liberty High School Patriots’ fastpitch team lost to Everett in the first round of the 3A state tournament May 25.

Everett starting pitcher Lexi Levin took control after that, surrendering only one run in the top of the fourth on a steal of home.

Although the quick exit from the state tournament was not what Liberty had in mind, head coach Brian Hartman said he knows that the return of Liberty to the state tournament is a return to normalcy.

“It’s a big deal,” Hartman said. “The program’s kind of back where it belongs. I think we’re about ready to start another streak here. We had a 12-year run here. It’s fun seeing everyone here. It means you’re back playing with the elite. You’re one of the top programs in the state and that’s where we expect to be.”

Hartman said he thinks the several-year layoff and relative post-season inexperience was evident in his young team.

“I saw a team that hadn’t been to the state tournament in a few years,” he said. “They looked a little bit nervous to start the game, we made a few errors, definitely wasn’t our best game of the year. But we had a chance to beat a team that was 21-1. Like I told a few other people, I’m the happiest coach in the world to be here. There are a few other teams sitting at home right now that aren’t here. I’m proud of them. I’m disappointed that we lost, but Everett’s a great team.”

Hartman said he knew his team had some opportunities, but just weren’t able to string enough hits together off Levin.

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Hazen drill team comes up big at state championship

April 5, 2012

The Hazen High School drill team was able to bring home a little hardware from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s Dance and Drill State Championships after taking first place in several categories at the March 24 event.

The team placed first in 3A military, first in 3A pom and fourth in 2A/3A kick categories.

Hazen beat Decatur and Shorewood high schools for first-place in military, and Shorewood and Capitol for first in pom.

Liberty High School placed sixth in the 3A military category.

Hazen coach Kristin Sargent, in her fifth season of leading the squad, said the team’s success is the result of hours of practice, sweat, tears and sisterhood.

“Being a Hazen Driller is being part of a family,” she said.

The team — consisting of 29 girls that include sophomores, juniors and seniors — compete in three separate categories: military, pom and kick.

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‘Building a culture’

March 2, 2012

Liberty Rugby offers camaraderie, international competition opportunities

By Greg Farrar Jason Piutau, a Liberty High School junior, receives a pass during a practice drill with the Liberty Rugby Football Club, one of six Division 1 programs in the state.

As one of only 16 high school rugby clubs in the state, the Liberty Rugby Football Club has grown accustomed to traveling long distances to find adequate competition.

In fact, the team welcomes it.

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A different team from yesterday

October 9, 2011

Mike Salokas Liberty High School tennis coach

Allow me recreate a scene from Sept. 20’s tennis match — Liberty versus Juanita.

On court No. 3, the final exhibition match was nearing completion and the thankful end of a one-sided match was concluding. Juanita coach Justin Ochsner and I are amid obligatory congratulations while I am packing supplies and equipment.

Suddenly, Justin and I hear commotion coming from court No. 1. Players from both teams run there in such haste the Juanita coach and I fear something terrible is occurring.

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Local athlete prepares for Ironman World Championships

October 9, 2011

After losing several months of training time due to a car versus bicycle collision a year ago, Newcastle resident Cindy Bigglestone will compete with seven other Eastside triathletes in the Ironman World Championship this month.

Cindy Bigglestone, of Newcastle, races the running leg during Ironman Canada in Penticton, British Columbia on Aug. 28 to qualify for the Ironman World Championship Oct. 8 in Kona, Hawaii. Contributed

This year’s world championship will be Oct. 8 in Kona, Hawaii.

Cindy, who was unable to start training until February for the event, qualified for the championship Aug. 28 at Ironman Canada with the help of her husband and coach, Ben Bigglestone.

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Area rowers win big in Canadian meet

June 3, 2011

The Sammamish Rowing Association junior rowing team — which includes Liberty High School senior Alanah Bell — competed at this year’s Brentwood School Regatta in Mill Bay, British Columbia, Canada.

The team brought home the total points trophy and the individual boys’ and girls’ team points trophies for the second year in a row. The team won points by finishing each race.

The Brentwood Regatta is the largest youth rowing event in North America, featuring more than 1,700 rowers from the Pacific Northwest and southwest Canada.

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Liberty gymnasts go to state

April 1, 2011

Liberty High School gymnasts Hannah Bergham, Tia Riley, Shauna Sarrett and Miranda Jones took to the 3A state gymnastics championships Feb. 18.

The top finishers in the preliminary round Feb. 18 advanced to the final round Feb. 19.

Miranda Jones, of Liberty, dismounts from the balance beam to earn 7.9 points during a gymnastics meet Dec. 16 against Sammamish. By Greg Farrar

Although none of the Liberty gymnasts advanced to the finals, coach Lori Copenhaver said her gymnasts performed well, especially given the pressure of being in the state championships.

“Obviously, they were a little nervous,” she said. “They just worked really hard and went in with a good attitude.”

In the preliminary round on the floor, Bergam tied for 27th with a score of 9.1, followed by Riley and Jones, who tied for 54th and 70th with scores of 8.7 and 8.45, respectively. In the event, Bergam was only .575 points out of first place.

On the vault, Riley tied for 40th with a score of 8.325, and Bergam tied for 74th with a score of 8.025

On the beam, Bergam tied for 53rd with a score of 7.85, Riley tied for 58th with a score 7.75, Sarrett placed 68th with a score of 7.475 and Jones tied for 82nd with a score of 7.05.

On the bars, Riley finished 63rd with a score of 6.45 and Sarrett finished 73rd with a score of 6.15.

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