Remembering an action-packed 2016 in Mukilteo sports
Kamiak and Mariner high school athletes provided many memorable moments in 2016.
The Knights and Marauders experineced success on the basketball courts, the wrestling mats and the soccer fields.
Here is a look back at some of the accomplishments of Mukilteo’s top athletes.
Kamiak ends boys basketball drought against Jackson
If the Kamiak student body section seemed a little more excited than usual after the Knights’ victory over Jackson, it’s understandable.
After a back-and-forth game for the first three quarters, Kamiak pulled away from the Timberwolves in the final period for a 70-59 victory in a Wesco 4A boys basketball clash Jan. 12 at Kamiak High School.
The victory was the Knights’ first over the Wolfpack in at least a decade, according to Kamiak coach Cory West.
Kamiak’s de la Cruz takes second at state wrestling tourney
Ally de la Cruz wanted to face the very best at Mat Classic XXVIII.
The Kamiak sophomore came into the 4A state wrestling tournament undefeated against girl competition, and she dominated her opponents up until the finals, when she lost to a returning state champion.
Grandview’s Desiree Zavala won her fourth title by pinning de la Cruz at the 5:01 mark in the 145-pound finals Feb. 20 at the Tacoma Dome.
Limm collects two state swim medals
Kamiak senior Henry Limm closed out his high school career with a pair of top 5 finishes at the 4A swimming championships Feb. 20 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
Limm took second place in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 50.91 seconds behind winner Andrew Oh of Bothell, who clocked in at 50.46. Limm dropped time from his preliminary race (51.41). Both times were school records.
The Kamiak standout also placed fourth in the 200 individual medley with a 1:55.25. He previously had a 1:55.82 in the prelims.
Mariner wins two games at district boys hoops tourney
Mariner made the most of its district tournament appearance.
The Marauders posted two victories, its first postseason wins since 2009.
But the team’s playoff run came to an end with a 70-56 loss to Jackson in a loser-out District 1 boys basketball tournament game Feb. 18 at Everett Community College.
After falling to eventual district champion Cascade, the Marauders (11-13) rebounded with a 54-44 win over Monroe before falling to the Timberwolves.
Mariner girls fall to district rival Kamiak
Mariner’s first appearance in the district playoffs in five years ended with a tough loss to district rival Kamiak.
The Knights overcame a sluggish first half to defeat the Marauders 54-45 in a loser-out District 1 girls basketball tournament game Feb. 16 at Everett Community College.
The Marauders led 24-23 at halftime, but then were outscored 19-3 in the third quarter.
Kamiak boys move on to 4A state regionals
For the first time in more than a decade and only the second time in school history, Kamiak is headed to the state boys basketball tournament.
The Knights withstood a career-defining 46-point performance from Sam Saufferer to defeat archrival Jackson 70-68 in a winner-to-state/loser-out District 1 tournament game Feb. 20 at Everett Community College.
The last and only other time the Knights advanced to state was during the 2004-05 season when the state tournament consisted of 16 teams.
Kamiak advances to state girls basketball regional tourney
Defense and free throw shooting lifted Kamiak to a victory in its biggest game of the season.
The Knights clamped down defensively and shot 82 percent from the line to defeat Lake Stevens 50-47 in a winner-to-state/loser-out District 1 girls basketball game Feb. 20 at Everett Community College.
Kamiak (15-10 overall) advanced to the state tournament for the first time since 2009.
Kamiak boys and girls hoopsters lose at 4A state regionals
Whether it was nerves or just not being used to the faster tempo of the state playoffs, Kamiak struggled in the first half against Curtis.
The Knights fell behind 22-8 after the first quarter and trailed 43-27 at halftime.
But Kamiak rallied in the second half, cutting the deficit to single digits before eventually falling to the Vikings 82-74 in a 4A state regional boys basketball game Feb. 27 at Rogers High School in Puyallup.
Kamiak girls basketball coach Brian Norman didn’t sense his team was feeling the jitters at the start of its 4A state regional game against Kentlake.
But after the first eight minutes and a 10-2 deficit, Norman came to a different conclusion.
“I didn’t feel like we were nervous at all, but the score says we were,” Norman said. “Missed lay-ins says we were. Turnovers, we haven’t turned the ball over that much all year.”
The Knights continued to feel their way through the first half and went into halftime trailing 22-9.
The Knights played better in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as Kentlake prevailed 42-34 in a 4A state regional girls basketball playoff game Feb. 27 at Rogers High School.
Knights claim Eason Invitational
The Kamiak boys track and field team made history at the 28th annual Eason Invitational.
The Knights took home a first-place trophy in an invitational for the first-time ever April 16 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Snohomish. The girls team placed second place in the 53-team meet, its highest finish in an invitational in at least eight years and likely in school history.
Kamiak wins first-ever lacrosse title
Kamiak made history with its convincing victory over Stanwood.
The Knights claimed their first-ever Wesco/Northwest Conference boys lacrosse championship after defeating the Spartans 14-6 in a May 3 match-up at Kamiak High School.
The Knights seized control of the contest, jumping out to a 4-1 lead after the first quarter. Kamiak extended its advantage to 8-2 at halftime and entered the fourth quarter ahead 11-5.
Mariner captures district soccer title, advances to state
A loud and boisterous Mariner crowd had plenty to cheer about during the District 1 boys soccer championship game.
Junior Bakary Dibba scored one goal and contributed to two others to lead the Marauders to a 3-1 victory over two-time defending 4A state champion Snohomish May 12 at Goddard Stadium.
Mariner eventually advanced to the state quarterfinals where a couple of first-half mistakes cost Mariner against Mount Tahoma.
The Bears capitalized by scoring a pair of goals and went on to beat the Marauders 2-0 May 21 at Tahoma High School in Covington.
Freshman finishes first in shot put
Kamiak’s Tara Koonce came into the 4A Bi-District track and field championships hoping to finish in the top four in the shot put.
The freshman standout exceeded her own expectations by winning the event with a personal best throw of 37 feet, 5.25 inches, May 20 at Lake Stevens High School.
Her throw was more than two feet longer than her previous best throw, which was on April 7. Koonce’s saw her throws started to go down after her 35-5 throw.
This is Koonce’s second season of competing in the shot put. Her throw currently ranked Koonce as 16th in the state.
Knights take district boys, girls golf titles
The Kamiak boys golf team won the 4A District 1 championship May 17-18 at Legion Memorial Golf course.
Four Knights finished in the top 10. The district championship team included Tanner Mohr, Michael Baker, Alvin Kwak, Devin Kim, Alex Kim and Whistler Pascual. Kwak placed third overall.
Mohr, Kwak, Devin Kim and Alex Kim advanced to the state tournament. The Knights also tied with Snohomish for the Wesco 4A title.
The Kamiak girls golf team wrapped up the 2016 with some impressive accomplishments. The Knights won the Wesco 4A title for the 15th time and the District 1 championship for the 14th time.
Kamiak placed ninth at the state tournament. Freshman Jane Kim finished 17th overall. Renee Kwak won the district title and Kim was the runner-up.
See next week’s issue for part 2 of the Year in Review.