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This year’s Spartan boys’ swim team doesn’t have a lot of senior leadership. In fact, the team doesn’t have a lot of seniors. As of last Friday, there was a total of one: Nick Rodda. “He’s a great leader and has phenomenal experience in swimming,” said coach Lynn Wells, returning for her second year after guiding the Spartans to an 11th place finish at the state meet. “But he wants some company.”
BI Swim Club coach Jane Swanson and a group of her athletes watched a 9-year-old girl, competing in her first-ever race out in the nether reaches of lane six, win a 50-yard race in just over 30 seconds. That’s an outstanding time even for an experienced swimmer at that age. “Who is that girl?” Swanson asked. Nine years later, the swim coaches at several dozen major universities know exactly who “that girl” is.
Last Friday’s Girls 2A/3A Swimming and Diving Championships ended with Bainbridge finishing second to Bellevue, 227 to 232.
About four minutes into Saturday’s first-round playoff football game at Yakima’s West Valley, Gary Duffner swept around left end for a one-yard gain to the Ram 42. That turned out to be the closest that Bainbridge came to scoring.
When Susan Donnan ran the final few strides of last year’s Seattle Half Marathon, she noticed that hundreds of kids were crossing the artificial turf of Seattle’s Memorial Stadium beside her. They were part of the Kids Marathon that accompanies the annual adult event, and Donnan became an instant fan. She’s not the only one. Started in 1998 with 250 signed up, the Kids Marathon had more than 1,400 entrants in 2000, and organizers anticipate nearly 3,000 this year.
UPDATE: The Bainbridge football team will play West Valley (Yakima) at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be at West Valley High School, 9206 Zier Road, Yakima. The Rams, 8-2 for the season, qualified by defeating Cheney 18-10 on Tuesday. The Spartan football team qualified for the state playoffs for the first time in six years with Thursday’s 21-6 win against West Seattle at Seattle’s Memorial Stadium. The team’s next goal is to do what no Bainbridge football team has ever done in the 29 years that the playoff system has been in existence: win a state playoff game.
When senior Elizabeth Wiggs accepted her Athletic Scholar award – given to those with GPAs of 3.75 or higher – following the diving competition at Saturday’s District 2 swim meet, she thought it would be her only ribbon. She was wrong. Pressed into service later in the meet because of injuries to two swimmers, she swam lifetime bests in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays to play a key role as the Spartans squeaked by Bellevue.
The Spartan football team came ever so close to washing away O’Dea’s 70-game regular season winning streak in a game played in a constant heavy pelting rain, but came up just short in Friday’s 12-7 defeat. Disappointed with the loss and convinced that they’d played the city’s premier program on virtually even terms, most members of the team would have loved another shot at the Irish. They might get it.
The girls soccer team closed out the regular season with a 2-0 win on Thursday afternoon at Eastside Catholic to provide some momentum going into today’s first round of Metro League playoffs.
The Spartan football team delivered their most entertaining game of the season to a packed house on Friday by defeating Seattle Prep 34-26 in a game that saw four touchdowns in the final ten minutes. Even the one bad call of the night, a third quarter pass “completion” at the Spartan one where the Prep receiver was clearly out of bounds – the NFL requires two feet inbounds, the NCAA one, ergo high school requires none? – which led to the Panthers’ second touchdown, was quickly forgotten in post-game euphoria as hundreds of students and other fans poured onto the field.
The Spartan freshman football team nearly came back in the final moments of Thursday’s game against Seattle Prep to pull out a victory, but a final Hail Mary pass was picked off as the visiting Panthers preserved their 26-22 win. Down 20-6 at halftime, Bainbridge gave up another score in the third quarter and trailed 26-6. But Francis Toglia scored on a two-yard run and Zach Smith added his second touchdown of the game late in the fourth quarter. On both occasions the Spartans were successful in two-point conversions, bringing the team to within four points.
The girls cross country team finished third in their first-ever Metro League Cross Country Championships on Thursday at Seattle’s Lower Woodland Park course, while the boys placed sixth. The Spartan girls scored 67 points, with Blanchet edging Holy Names 49-51 to take the title. Blanchet swept the team titles by placing all seven runners in the top 16 to easily win the boys’ competition with 30 points.
The Bainbridge football team paid its first Metro League visit on Saturday to Lakeside, The House That Built Bill. But a group of referees who put the “Home” into “Homecoming” at Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ alma mater nearly made the Spartan trip anything but user-friendly before Bainbridge pulled out a 20-19 nail-biter to remain undefeated in Sound Division play. Though the picturesque leafy Lakeside campus bears a strong resemblance to a small New England college, it has an athletic field more suited to playing peewee football. The tiny bleachers meant that most of the scores of Spartan faithful were strung out along the sidelines. The proximity to the field of play soon resulted in harsh words being exchanged between fans and overbearing game officials who ordered them to move back by threatening penalty calls against the team.
Following Wednesday’s 15-10, 15-8, 15-8 victory over visiting Nathan Hale, volleyball coach Julie Miller began looking forward to post-season play. With two games remaining against Ingraham and Cleveland – teams the Spartans handled easily during their first meeting – Miller anticipates a 10-0 record in Metro League Division B competition. That means that Bainbridge would begin play in the Metro tournament on Oct. 24 against the Division A fourth-place team, most likely Eastside Catholic, a team the Spartans thumped in their season opener.
The new pool can’t be ready soon enough for the water polo team. With Curtis scoring a goal with four seconds remaining to tie Monday’s game at 7-7, several members slapped the water in frustration. The pool had to be turned over to the next users so there was no time to play overtime and determine a winner. Though as coach Mead Trick said, “That’s not a bad way to end it.”
The Spartan girls’ cross country team hit No. 5 in the state coaches’ poll this week, believed to be the highest ranking a Bainbridge squad has ever achieved. While conceding his own excitement, coach Richard Christopher cautioned the team against excessive exuberance. “You still have to go out and run,” Christopher told them. “You have to do the best you can every time, and the other stuff will take place.” Taking his words to heart, the team won its fourth meet of the season Thursday, defeating Lakeside and Seattle Prep on Battle Point Park’s three-mile course to remain unbeaten on the season. The girls finished 2-3-4-5-6 to score 20 points to far outdistance Lakeside (52) and Seattle Prep (65).
Soccer co-captain Fab Rezayat termed visiting Nathan Hale “the nicest team we’ve faced this year – they said ‘Thank you’ and ‘Welcome to Metro.’” Hale even played the entire game without committing a foul – a sharp contrast to the rough ‘n tumble, push ‘n shove tactics common to nearly all the Spartans’ previous opponents. Courtesy and class, though, didn’t prevent the Spartans from dealing their guests a 6-0 thumping Friday, to snap a five-game losing streak. Bainbridge scored in the second minute, as Emily Haber sent a perfect pass down the center to a streaking Rezayat.
As Friday’s game against Fife wound down and running back Andy Aversano’s energy level stayed up, a spectator turned to his mother Diane and asked loudly, “What did you feed Andy this week?” “Apple strudel and pizza” was the Spartan junior’s response as he stood at midfield later, accepting congratulations for a 114-rushing-yard, three-touchdown game that also included an interception, eight tackles and a pair of two-point conversions. Aversano was dominant in the Spartans’ 34-21 home victory. But though his evening included the team’s longest run from scrimmage – a 50-yarder for a touchdown early in the third quarter – his shortest run might have been even more vital.
Team Ray, the Bainbridge boys’ water polo team, won four games in eight days to improve their season mark to 5-0, including wins over three squads – Newport, Kentridge and Wilson – that finished ahead of them in last year’s state tournament. After Thursday’s 16-0 dismantling of Peninsula, first-year head coach Mead Trick said he was surprised to be undefeated at this point in the season. “But we practiced hard all summer and it shows,” he said. “They’re all great students of the game, listen really well and get along well together. Their ball-handling skills are well-developed and they’re all pretty versatile.”
Bainbridge cut the ribbon at Rainier Beach’s new sports complex on Friday by scoring the facility’s first-ever touchdown. But the Vikings did most of the celebrating as they rolled up nearly 500 yards of total offense to hand the Spartans their first defeat of the season, 40-21.