Skip To Main Content

Search Panel

Schools Menu

Reflecting on Fall Sports: Congratulations, Athletes!

Skyline's girls soccer team won first in the state for the sixth time

While winter sports seasons are underway, let’s give another round of applause to our fall athletes from throughout the district, who competed well at the local level and many of whom went on to post-season and state competitions! 
Cross country runners from Issaquah High School and Skyline High School traveled to Pasco for the Washington State 4A Championship races, with the I.H.S. boys bringing home their first-ever championship trophy and the girls team tying for first and taking second in a tiebreaker. And, during the girls championship race, Skyline runners Anna Callahan and Rebecca O’Keefe placed first and third as individuals. 

In girls soccer, our Skyline Spartans and I.H.S. Eagles earned first and second place in the state, respectively, at the Washington State 4A Championship Tournament in Puyallup. Additionally, each team sent a player to the All-American game in Florida, where Eagle Shelby Runje and Spartan Sophie Zhang represented Washington state at the national level. 

Our swim and dive teams also took the plunge into post-season competition, with the I.H.S. girls placing third in the state at the Washington State Meet in Federal Way. Athlete Gillian Tu earned an individual first place finish in the breaststroke, and was named an All American. 

Read on for more details, and, if you’d like to cheer on one of our teams competing in winter sports in the current season, visit the I.H.S., Liberty, or Skyline websites and then select “Student Life,” then “Athletics,” then “Winter Sports.”  


Cross Country 

Issaquah High School cross country coach Liza Rickey said their team mantra is “Fly, Eagles, Fly,” and that runners practice “flocking together” during workouts and races. As the largest fall team at I.H.S. with 130 athletes, intentional team building is critical to creating collaboration and inclusion, Rickey said. The combination of hard work and focus resulted in the team’s top five boys placing in the top 16 at state and earning the boys team’s first-ever state championship trophy. 

In school history, the boys team has been in the top three teams five times; the girls team has won three state titles and seven prior top-three finishes. 

“We strive to build an inclusive community where 'anyone can do cross country, but cross country is not for everyone'! Our community is made up of our athletes, coaches, and our families as we cheer and support each other through the challenges of training and racing,” Rickey said. “We strive to foster a love of running, teamwork, goal setting and strong work ethic, and resiliency. Our sport is much more than just running.” 

Skyline Cross Country Coach Brendan Hyland said that Callahan and teammate Rebecca O'Keefe had an amazing season and both have very high expectations for themselves. "They train diligently all year, and understand the level of commitment it takes to be great. They embrace the challenge," Hyland said. It was great to see their hard work pay off, and it could not happen to better people. They are great teammates to everyone and lead by example."

Skyline’s first-place individual runner, Callahan, said that for her, being mentally prepared is as important as being physically ready to race.  

“Showing up every day whether it's freezing or way too hot, whether you feel like it or not and putting your all into the practice” is critical, she said. “Consistently pushing yourself even when it is hard to mentally keep going is what's most important to being able to perform well. ... I like to tell myself 'It's not whether you can, it's whether you will' as far as pushing yourself and performing goes.” 

Individual top 10 finishers for girls included:  

  • Callahan, first place, 18:03.5 (Skyline). 

  • O’Keefe, third place, 18:33.5 (Skyline). 

  • Katherine Yahn, fifth place, 18:43.1 (Issaquah). 

  • Mary Jane Harig, eighth place, 18.51.2 (Issaquah). 

Individual top 10 finishers for boys included: 

  • Connor Rickey, eighth place, 16:16.0 (Issaquah). 

  • Ben Konopka, 10th place, 16:22.0 (Issaquah). 

Photo credit: WIAA. The Issaquah High School boys cross country team at the Washington State Cross Country Championships.


Above: The I.H.S. girls cross country team at the Washington State Cross Country Championships.


Boys Golf 

The Liberty High School boys golf team was 6-2 for the fall season and three golfers qualified for the Washington State Golf Tournament, which takes place in the spring. 


Girls Soccer 

Skyline girls soccer coach Don Braman said that much of the team’s collective wisdom comes from athletes who have played in the program in prior years and helped the current players reach their full potential. “I firmly believe that much of our success comes from the way that we want to reflect after games, and work to learn from our mistakes as much as our successes,” Braman said.  

This year's team averaged nearly five goals per game, scoring 100 goals in 21 games, including 20 goals in the four-game state tournament. The Spartans beat a league-champion Tahoma team – a team that had conceded only eight goals all year – by eight goals in the state quarterfinals. Issaquah is an incredible team, so winning against them in the state championship game was even more meaningful. “We knew we'd become the best by beating the best,” Braman added. 

The Spartans have now won 6 state titles, the most by any large school in state history. “Since they created the 4A classification in 1997 (the same year Skyline opened), the only other teams to win the 4A trophy even twice are Federal Way, Camas, Shorecrest, Bellarmine Prep, and Gonzaga Prep,” he said, noting that Issaquah also won three times as a 3A team.  

Individual players recognized this season include junior forward Ashley Roni, who was recognized as an All-Region player, and Zhang, who was named to the All-American team. 

Skyline is nationally ranked as second on the “Fab 50” list, and as fourth in the NSCAA rankings

The team had the most wins in school history with 20 wins, and was undefeated at 20-0-1.  

Skyline's girls soccer team won first in the state for the sixth time

Photo credit: Skyline girls soccer team. The Skyline girls soccer team pauses for a photo with the first place trophy; they are holding up six fingers to indicate it's the team's sixth state championship trophy.

Photo credit: Issaquah girls soccer team. The Issaquah girls soccer team pauses for a photo before leaving for the state championship tournament.


Girls Swim and Dive 

Issaquah High swim and dive coach Laura Halter said that part of what made the season so fun for her team this year was that they just kept getting faster and faster every week. “We exceeded our expectations because we didn’t know our true potential,” Halter said. 

“Our district, KingCo, and our league are the strongest in the state, but when you get thrown into the state meet, you don’t really know what you’ll be up against,” she continued. “It’s just completely different.” 

The team did very well during the preliminary rounds, which are crucial in order to be set up well for the second day of competition, Halter said. 

Swimmer Gilian Tu broke the school record, the league record and now holds the state record in the breaststroke as well, and was named the swimmer of the state meet. 

Most of the team's athletes are returning next year, which will set the Eagles up for a solid season. 

During the state meet, the team’s excitement built throughout the competition as they continued to perform well. “They were like, wait, what, we’re going to get third in state?” Halter recalled. “I said, ‘You’ve gotta’ beat Curtis. And we did.’” 

Results from the state meet in the top 10 included: 

  • Diving: Trudy Iagawa, second place. 

  • Medley relay team of Chloe Dandeneau, Gillian Tu, Amelia Bowen, Sophia Minotte: second place. 

  • 200 free: Juliana Kampf, ninth place. 

  • 50 free: Gillian Tu, first place, a new school record and an automatic All-American time. 

  • 100 free: Chloe Dandeneau, fourth place. 

  • 100 backstroke Chloe Dandeneau, fifth place. 

  • 100 breaststroke: Gillian Tu, state champion with a a new school record, new state meet record an automatic All-American time. 

  • 400 free relay team of Juliana Kampf, Amelia Bowen, Chloe Dandeneau and Gillian Tu: sixth place. 

The I.H.S. girls swim and dive team pauses for a photo after winning 3rd in the state tournament.

Photo credit: I.H.S girls swim and dive team. The I.HS. girls swim and dive team pauses for a photo after winning third place in the state tournament.