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Looking back at the memorable moments from 2017


December 27, 2017

Athletes from Kamiak and Mariner high schools made quite an impression in 2017.

Kamiak’s Ally de la Cruz won the first state wrestling championship in her school’s history. The Mariner girls basketball team defeated Jackson in a regular season game for the first time in more than 10 years.

Kamiak and Mariner also joined together for the first-ever Unified Basketball game before a packed and enthusiastic crowd at Kamiak High School.

Let’s relive some of the highlights in sports for 2017.


Mariner girls hold off Jackson for win

Mariner recorded one of its biggest regular season victories in more than a decade.

Hannah Hezekiah scored 22 points and Zaria Smith added 18 to lead the Marauders to a 52-49 victory over Jackson in a Wesco 4A girls basketball game Friday, Jan. 6, at Mariner High School.

The win was the first-ever over the Wolfpack for Marauders coach Corey Gibb, who is in his 10th season.

The Timberwolves attempted a long 3-point shot with about three seconds left in the fourth quarter, but the shot was off the mark.

Kamiak, Mariner face off in first-ever Unified hoops game

Kamiak prevailed over district rival Mariner 43-34 in the first-ever Unified Basketball game Thursday, Jan. 26 at Kamiak High School.

But as far as the players and coaches were concerned, both teams left the court as winners.

The game, played before packed stands of students, parents and community members, was punctuated by spectacular shots, loud cheers and all-around good sportsmanship.

Unified Sports is a program in which Special Olympics athletes or students with special needs are teamed up with Unified Partners or student peers. Each of the teams had three Special Olympics athletes and two partners on the court at one time.

This was the first time the two schools played each other. Mariner started its Unified Basketball team this year, while it is the second season for Kamiak.


Kamiak’s de la Cruz claims wrestling title

Ally de la Cruz made history at Mat Classic XXIX.

The junior won Kamiak High School’s first-ever state wrestling championship Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Tacoma Dome.

De la Cruz pinned Sequim’s Alma Mendoza at the 3-minute, 35-second mark in the girls 155-pound finals. The pin was de la Cruz’s third in the two-day tournament

“It means the world to me,” de la Cruz said. “It means everything. It’s what I’ve been working for.”

The victory capped an unforgettable season in which de la Cruz finished 37-0 overall with 29 pins. She is the Knights’ only three-time district and regional champion.

Kamiak boys, girls move on to regionals

The fourth time was the charm.

After losing twice during the regular season and once in the postseason, Kamiak finally pulled out a victory over Lake Stevens 47-44 in a winner-to-state regionals/loser out 4A District 1 girls basketball game Saturday, Feb. 18, at Everett Community College.

The Kamiak boys basketball team also got the job done when it mattered the most.

Trailing 48-45 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Knights outscored Monroe 24-12 to beat the Bearcats 69-60 in a loser-out 4A District 1 game Saturday, Feb. 18, at Everett Community College and earn a berth to the state regional tournament.

Junior guard Carson Tuttle scored a team-high 25 points and senior guard Christian Clausen added 20 points.

Freshman Fang takes 5th at 4A state meet

Kamiak’s Maxwell Fang has a bright future.

Fang was the lone freshman to advance to the 200-yard freestyle finals at the 4A state swimming championships Saturday, Feb. 18, at the King County Aquatic Center.

The Kamiak standout finished fifth with a time of 1 minute, 45.46 seconds. Fang also placed 10th in the 100 butterfly in 53.89.


Curtain call for Olympic View gym

The past, present and future came together at Olympic View Middle School.

The event was the Pirates’ final regular season wrestling match against North Middle School Monday, March 27, in the school gym.

The match was the final sporting event scheduled to be held in the gym.

“Thousands of athletes came through here,” Olympic View wrestling coach Eric Bergan said. “After this match during the summer, they will tear this building down.”


Nickerson, Long honored by Kamiak

Two individuals who left a lasting impact on the Kamiak baseball program were honored during a pregame ceremony Thursday, April 27 at Kamiak High School.

Family members of former coach Frank Nickerson and former player Jake Long were presented with framed jerseys and portraits as a tribute to the contributions that Nickerson and Long made to the program.

The Kamiak Athletic Department, with the support of the Kamiak Athletic Booster Club and the Kamiak Art Department, made the presentation.

Nickerson, the head baseball coach for two seasons and an English teacher at the high school, passed away last summer after a long battle with cancer. Long, who was one of three Kamiak High School students killed at a party last summer, was a standout athlete and student leader.

Kamiak nabs state boys soccer berth

What a difference four days makes.

After losing 5-0 to arch rival Mariner in a district semifinal game, Kamiak rebounded with its most important victory of the season.

Andre’ Hamilton and Soren Pehlivanian scored goals to lead the Knights to a 2-1 win over the Marauders in a winner-to-state/loser-out 4A District 1 boys soccer tournament game Saturday, May 13, at Lake Stevens High School.

The last time Kamiak advanced to the state tournament was in 2009.

Knights win Wesco 4A boys/girls crowns

Kamiak’s Devin Kim took first place with a 4-under-par 68 to help lead Kamiak to the Wesco 4A boys golf championship Monday, May 8, at the Mill Creek Country Club.

The Knights scored 375 to finish ahead of Glacier Peak, which tallied 409.

Kamiak also took first place in the girls tournament Tuesday, May 9, at Walter Hall Golf Course in Everett.

The Knights scored 300 points to finish ahead of second-place Lake Stevens, which had 331.

Kamiak advances to state quarterfinals

The Kamiak boys soccer team’s season came to an end in the 4A state quarterfinals.

Luke Gregg scored the winning goal with two minutes left in the second overtime period to lift Todd Beamer to a 2-1 victory over the Knights Friday, May 19, at Goddard Stadium.

Though disappointed, Kamiak senior captain Jason Kim wasn’t dwelling on the heartbreaking defeat.

“It doesn’t seem much like a loss,” he said. “I’m just so proud of these guys for making it so far.”

The state quarterfinal appearance was the second-ever for the Knights.

Knights perform well at district track meet

Kamiak’s dominated the girls relays and boys throws at the 4A Northwest District track and field championships.

The Knights swept the 400-meter, 800- and 1,600 girls relays Friday May 19, at Everett Memorial Stadium. Kamiak also finished first in the boys shot put, discus and javelin and also won the girls shot put.

Kamiak’s Anderson places 2nd in 1,600

Kamiak’s Alicia Anderson came home with a pair of medals from the 4A state girls track and field championships.

Anderson took second place in the 1,600-meter race with a personal best time of 4 minutes, 58.59 seconds on Thursday, May 25, at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.

The sophomore standout dropped nearly a second from her previous best time of 4:59.47, which was at the district meet a week earlier. Anderson also finished fifth in the 3,200 in 10:58.32.

Knights finish 2nd in 1,600 boys relay

Kamiak’s 1,600-meter relay team finished the season strong.

The Knights placed second at the 4A state boys track and field championships Saturday, May 27, at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.

Cullen McEachern, Patrick Olson, Taylor Barnes and Adam Alayli clocked in with a time of 3 minutes. 21.83 seconds and were just edged out of first place by Mount Rainer, which won the finals in 3:21.62.

Kamiak’s Kim grabs 2nd place golf medal

Kamiak’s Jane Kim found herself in 12th place after the first round of the 4A state girls golf championship.

Kim expected to shoot a little better, but overall she said was OK with her 6-over par 78.

On day 2 of the tournament, the Kamiak sophomore played the best round out of all the competitors, shooting 3-under-par 69 to finish with a total of 147 to take second place Wednesday, May 24, at MeadowWood Golf Course.

“I didn’t really expect to get in the top 3, but my second round went really well,” Kim said. “I was actually surprised and happy at getting second.”


Koonce wins state hammer/shot put

Kamiak High School’s Tara Koonce won the hammer throw and shot put at the Pacific Northwest Association Junior Olympic Championships June 23-25 in West Seattle.

Koonce, a member of the Get Strong First track club, placed first in the hammer throw by almost 20 feet on Friday. Koonce followed with a third place finish in the discus on Saturday and then returned to win the shot put on Sunday. Her throw of 38 feet, 5 inches, was a near personal best.

Kwak qualifies for National tournament

Kamiak’s Alvin Kwak took first place in a U.S Junior Amateur Championship Qualifier tournament June 20 at The Classic Golf Club in Spanaway.

Kwak shot a 1-under par 71 to finish ahead of Colt Sherrell of Maple Valley and Joe Highsmith of Lakewood.

All three players qualified for this year’s U.S. Junior Amateur Championships, which are set for July 17-22 at the Flint Hill National Golf Club in Andover, Kansas.


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