February 28, 2013
As Liberty High School senior Raymond Ha approached the starting block to swim in the final 100 breaststroke race of his high school career, the sounds of Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat” blasted from the King County Aquatic Center’s speakers.
The participant with the top-qualifying time in each event gets to choose which song is played as the swimmers walk onto the pool deck to compete in the final race. Surprisingly, Bieber was Ha’s artist of choice.
“I like to do it to psych people out, to get them off their serious edge, so I get an advantage,” he said of the song selection.
January 31, 2013
Coaches are notorious planners, especially in individual sports, such as golf, tennis, wrestling and swimming.
These amazing aquatic mentors can usually anticipate what may or may not transpire down to the tenth of a digit.
At the annual swim meet between the Issaquah Eagles and the Liberty Patriots held at Julius Boehm Pool on Jan. 24, what unfolded in front of the unsuspecting audience was not only in the realm of the uncharted, but was entirely unexpected with the element of surprise and was outrageously humorous.
January 2, 2013
The Hazen High School boys swim team may have won 11 of 12 events at its Dec. 20 swim meet against Lindbergh. The team may have soundly defeated its conference foe, 128-57. None of that mattered to Hazen coach Rick Wertman.
“Part of what I ask the boys to measure themselves against is how supportive are we? Are we being good sports? Good sportsmanship means caring enough to give your best,” he said.
The team did give its best, Wertman said, with several swimmers dropping seconds off of their times on the way to a dominant victory.
Leading the pack was junior Malcolm Mitchell, who earned two state-qualifying times, capturing the 200 freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 49.36 seconds and the 500 freestyle in 4:59.32
December 6, 2012
Liberty takes eighth
After coming into the 3A state championship ranked 12th, the Liberty High School girls swim team racked up four top-eight finishes to take eighth place overall with 98 team points.
With all of those points having been earned by underclassmen, coach Kris Daughters is already excited for next year.
“We are looking forward to the next couple of years. We should have strong teams,” she said after the meet. “The main state team is going to stay intact for the next two years.”
Daughters attributes a lot of the Liberty Patriots’ rise from their 12th-place ranking to an eighth-place finish to two freshmen: Ellie Hohensinner and Lauryn Hepp. Hohensinner finished the 500 freestyle with a time of 5 minutes, 18.88 seconds.
November 8, 2012
UPDATED — 3:25 p.m. Nov. 16, 2012
As the fall sports season comes to a close, athletes from Hazen and Liberty high schools are being honored for their athletic achievements as all-league teams are announced. Players and coaches select all-league teams annually. Email additional all-league honors to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazen boys tennis
The following Hazen High School tennis players were named to the Seamount League all-league team:
October 4, 2012
After 12 events at the Sept. 13 dual swim meet between the Liberty High School Patriots and the Hazen Highlanders, it was only 13 points that ultimately separated the winning team from the losing team.
The Highlanders beat the Patriots by a score of 99-86.
“It was a good meet with Hazen,” Liberty coach Kris Daughters said. “I think we’re pretty close in terms of our depth and talent. They got us by about 12 points, but that’s not very much for a swim meet.”
Hazen coach Rick Wertman said that the meet between the two schools is always competitive, especially since many of the swimmers are familiar with each other from competitions outside of school.
“It’s a natural rivalry because we’re in close proximity, but the kids know each other from club and summer league, so it’s always a fun meet. And Kris is an excellent coach, so it’s fun to put our teams together and see what happens,” he said.
Wertman said he was happy with his team’s meet and he highlighted the performances of Talisa Wibmer, Amy LeBar and Kourtney Brunings.
Wibmer, a junior, took first in the 100 backstroke with a state-qualifying time of 1 minute, 2.20 seconds. She also captured first in the 100 freestyle. Brunings, a sophomore, won the 100 breaststroke and LeBar, a senior, won the 50 freestyle. All three swimmers, along with freshman Clarissa Mitchell, were on the 200 medley relay team that captured first with a state-qualifying time of 1:57.91.
February 3, 2012
Members of the Hazen High School swim team celebrate the new year by participating in the Jan. 1 Polar Bear Dip at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park on Lake Washington Boulevard in Renton.
February 3, 2012
Newport Hills resident Maraea Skeen is among the elite athetes in the Western Region
Diving has become one of the most popular spectator sports at the Olympics. It combines the unique attributes of gymnastics, dancing, grace and athleticism.
But for 20-year-old Newport Hills resident Maraea Skeen, diving also offers something else.
“It’s a thrill,” she said, describing jumping from 20 feet above the water into a cold pool.
Skeen’s zeal for diving has lifted her from the ranks of elite high school athletes to a top competitor in the Western Region.
October 9, 2011
After 11 events between the Liberty High School Patriots and the Hazen Highlanders at Sept. 22’s dual swim meet, the teams were tied going into the final 400-yard freestyle relay.
With a final time of 3 minutes, 57.71 seconds, Hazen’s relay team grabbed eight critical points to narrowly clinch a final score of 95-88 in favor of the Highlanders.
Liberty coach Kris Daughters said she opted out of bringing the Liberty diving team —which cost the Patriots 13 critical points — due to safety concerns related to the depth of the Hazen pool. The pool Liberty practices in is 10 feet deep, while Hazen’s is only 8 feet deep.
December 2, 2010
Swimmers from Hazen and Liberty high schools competed at the state meet at the King County Aquatic Center Nov. 13, earning their schools 10th- and 15th-place finishes, respectively.
Hazen’s Lauren Kaufman came out strong, taking first in state in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23 seconds and 31 hundredths of a second, and first in 100 freestyle with a time of 51.26. Both performances are considered All-America times.