- About Us
Five questions for fall | Prep sports news
Who leads on hard court?
Interlake has been home to a state singles champion on the boys side for the past three years, first with now-graduated Luat Le in Class 2A and then Connor Garnett the past two seasons in 3A.
The Saints opened without Garnett in the lineup in the opener against 4A Issaquah, and still posted wins in all seven singles and doubles matches, as they did in the second match of the year against Liberty.
Interlake isn't the only team bringing back top-shelf talent and a winning pedigree, as the defending 4A team champions from Newport welcome back a pair of players who saw action in the state tournament last season in Alex Namba and Matt Sham, who faced off on opposing sides last year in the all-Newport 4A boys doubles state final.
That match was won by Dylan Harlow and Sham, with David An and Namba finishing in second and that experience will pay dividends for both this season.
Can Casey Schoenlein, Knights surpass 2012 success?
Newport made it back to the 4A state tournament in 2012 after reaching the title game of the 4A KingCo tournament with a roster that included six juniors, headlined by Schoenlein, and could be in line for an even better finish this year.
Now a senior, the outside hitter for the Knights has begun to garner recognition as one of the top players in the country for the 2014 class after being named 4A KingCo Player of the Year last year. She is far from the only returning threat for Newport, as fellow All KingCo first team selections Anna Crabtree and Emmy Freed also return to the mix along with Kristina Mills, a second team selection and India Gants, who was named honorable mention in 2012.
The Knights were dropped in the first round at state last year, finishing with a 1-2 record and off the podium. That finish could improve significantly this year behind a potent combination of skill and experience.
Repeat for Newport girls in pool?
The Knights used unmatched depth in the postseason to win the 4A state title despite no individual championships for a Newport swimmer.
Those individual crowns are one of many goals this year's squad enters the season with, as head coach Eric Bartleson welcomes back a host of swimmers who got a taste of the competitive edge needed at state last year.
"I've always had pretty high expectations for the girls," Bartleson said, citing the numerous top-five state finishes and individual champions in the program's history. "This group, getting that experience, is something really positive."
Sophomore Elisa Fang helped Newport to a third place finish last year in the 200 medley relay and also made the finals in the 50 free, finishing fourth and 100 back, where she was sixth. Fellow underclassmen Jenny Huo and Emily Waddell also swam on the 200 medley relay team and Huo also made the B Final in the 200 IM.
Maggie Pana areturns for her senior year after placing fifth in the 200 free (Kiera Watson made the B Final for Newport in the same event last year) to go with a fourth place finish in the marathon 500 free. She will be joined by fellow senior standout Lorea Gwo, who capped a record-setting junior year with a third place finish in the 50 free and 100 fly at state, said the excitement from the state title has resulted in an even more dedicated group.
"Usually, people are sluggish," she said of early season practices. "But we have been going really fast, we have a lot of depth and have been looking really good."
The entire foursome of Huo, Waddell, Pana and Gwo return to take another shot at the 200 free, where they earned the best finish in any event in second place. Fang, Pana and Gwo also return for the 400 free relay, where they were third at state last year.
Which hopefuls lead the pack in cross country?
The Bellevue boys and Interlake girls began the year ranked in the state's top-10 and along with Sammamish junior Pascale De Sa E Silva are among the state's hopefuls for championships in 2013.
The Saints were ninth as a team in 2012 on the girls side, led by the 13th place individual finish of Antoinette Tansley. Nikita Waghani returns for her senior year after a top-50 finish at state and fellow senior Annie Davis, who was 55th last year, also enters her final prep season hoping to carry her team to the podium.
Bellevue's boys were sixth last year and despite losing fifth place finisher Spike Sievert, look poised to have another strong season behind 2012 state qualifiers Aaron Smith (45th), Kyle Pratt (52nd), Graham Wendle (55th) and Jacob Feinman (56th).
De Sa E Silva was 14th in the 2A girls meet last year for Sammamish and should once again threaten for district and state titles.
Which girls squad cracks postseason on pitch?
It was a state shutout for Bellevue schools in the state's soccer tournaments in 2012, as all four missed out on a trip to the final 16.
Interlake, only two years removed from its 2A state championship, welcomes back a trio of juniors who were named first team All KingCo last year, with former Player of the Year Emma Bergstrom joined by Jaimee Ferrell and Courtney Fedor. Goalkeeper Catie Getzendaner and Sarah Williams were second team honorees in 2012 and also return this year in the hope of getting to the 3A tournament.