Eastlake staying put in Class 4A | Prep sports news

The new WIAA classification numbers revealed no major changes for local squads.

The WIAA released classification numbers for its next two-year cycle, 2014-16, and there were no changes among Issaquah-Sammamish area schools.

The cutoff for Class 4A was 1,252.4 students, and the number used does not reflect students who attend a program outside of their attendance area, such as STEM.

Issaquah and Skyline were in well within the 4A boundary, with the Eagles counting 1,464.2 and the Spartans at 1,452.

Eastlake counted at 1,168.8, which meant it could have dropped to compete in Class 3A athletics. But athletic direct Pat Bangasser said that was never considered, and the amount of success the Wolves have enjoyed in team and individual sports has them confident they will be able to continue to compete for state spots and league titles while opting-up.

“Our coaches wanted to stay in 4A with natural rivalries, and we think we can compete at the 4A level,” he said. “I got input from coaches, our principal, and I made the final decision.”

A drop to 3A would also have meant rescheduling games with Eastlake’s natural and geographical rivals, Redmond and Skyline.

Bangasser said a great number of students that live within the Eastlake boundary and compete in athletics at the schools are home-schooled or attend a program that is off-site, meaning they are not counted.

“We’ve done just fine,” he said of their participation in 4A.

Eastlake reached the state quarterfinals in football before losing to eventual runner-up Camas, and could become the home of the state’s second eight-time individual title winner in swim and dive when senior Edward Kim hits the pool later this season. The boys golf team won the state championship in 2013 and the girls earned a third-place finish.

Garfield and Ballard, 4A KingCo schools for the past several years, were the only conference members to drop to Class 3A. Liberty was the only school to drop from 3A to 2A, while Sammamish remained in 2A and Lake Washington returned to 3A.

Eastside Catholic, which has competed in 3A athletics since opening, once again opted-up to remain in 3A Metro.