Skyline swims to first ever state championship

No matter how many times Skyline first-year head swim coach Susan Simpkins saw the evidence, she still couldn't believe it.

Skyline senior Andie Taylor took first place in the 200 yard and 500 yard freestyle events Saturday during the 4A State Swim and Dive at the King County Aquatic Center. Taylor set a new state record for the 200 yard free style with a time of 1:48.09.

Skyline senior Andie Taylor took first place in the 200 yard and 500 yard freestyle events Saturday during the 4A State Swim and Dive at the King County Aquatic Center. Taylor set a new state record for the 200 yard free style with a time of 1:48.09.

No matter how many times Skyline first-year head swim coach Susan Simpkins saw the evidence, she still couldn’t believe it.

“I had the trophies at my house all weekend long, every time I walked by them I was like ‘Wow,'” she said.

The Skyline swim team wowed everyone Saturday at the 4A state swimming championships at King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way, claiming its first ever team state championship.

The Spartans earned 234 team points, finishing ahead of Garfield’s 176. Thomas Jefferson was third with 140 points, and Issaquah finished fourth with 131.

Skyline, which had a competitor in all but two events, was helped by seven top-five finishes.

Senior All-American Andie Taylor paved the way with two individual championships, giving her a total of seven state titles for her career. Taylor broke her own state record in the 200 freestyle, finishing in 1 minute, 46.09 seconds. She also took first in the 500 freestyle, swimming to the second fastest time in state history at 4:45.47.

Simpkins, who is in her first year as head coach, but was an assistant the last seven seasons, said watching Taylor compete has been incredible.

“Every year she’s gotten better,” she said. “She makes it look so easy. It’s a pleasure to watch her because she does it right.”

Taylor also pushed the Spartans to their first ever state relay titles, anchoring them to first in the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay. The 200 relay of junior Nina Zook, sophomore Meghan O’Keefe, freshman Maria Volodkevich, and Taylor finished in 1:38.71. The same group of swimmers finished at 3:33.85 in the 400 free.

“The times were incredible,” Simpkins said. “Every single one of those girls’ splits were so fast.”

Volodkevich, who made it her goal at the beginning of the season to win a state title in the 100 breaststroke, reached her goal in exciting fashion. Her time of 1:04.25 edged Redmond’s Heather Harper by just two-hundreths of a second.

“When Maria looked up and saw that she was first, the look on her face was just fabulous,” Simpkins said.

Volodkevich also earned a fifth place finish in the 200 IM (2:07.76), while O’Keefe was fourth in the 100 butterfly (57.95).

Issaquah grabs fourth

While Issaquah didn’t have any champions, the Eagles had plenty of strong performances.

Issaquah earned two second-place finishes, one in the 200 medley relay and another from senior Helen Liu in the 50 free.

The relay of freshman Stacy Maier, freshman Kayla Flaten, junior Marit Borth and Liu finished just two-tenths of a second behind Garfield for first in a time of 1:49.79. Liu’s time of 24.26 was narrowly behind Thomas Jefferson’s Amber Cratsenberg (23.87). Flaten finished third in the 100 free in 52.80 seconds, and Liu took seventh in the 100 butterfly in 58.80 seconds.

Eastlake’s Kinnear swims to two titles

Eastlake sophomore Katie Kinnear continue to impress the the state level. She defended her title in the 100 butterfly, earning a new state record of 53.10 seconds. The mark beat a record set in 2001 by Lindsey Marchand of Peninsula. Kinnear was also a state champion in the 200 individual medley, finishing first in 2:02.53.

The Wolves’ 200 free relay of freshman Laurel Schy, sophomore Becca Fabian, and sophomore Kara Beauchamp finished second behind Skyline in a time of 1:39.98.

Eastlake finished 11th overall with 90 team points.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

Photo courtesy of Panthers Youth Rugby
Panthers Youth Rugby rolls into action

Panthers Youth Rugby is encouraging boys and girls in middle school and… Continue reading

Photo of Eastlake Little League’s All Star Team. From L to R: (Back row) Jackson Wheeler, Kellen Kinney, Sanath Chari, James Ort III, Sule Tian, Eli Jones, Pryce Eadon. (Front row) JJ Hamiltion, Sawyer Todd, Ryder Oswalt, Walter Steinbok, Logan Rausch, Harrison Militello. Photo Courtesy of Jeff Steinbok.
Eastlake’s time at Little League World Series comes to an end

The boys of Eastlake Little League’s 12U all-star team’s time at the… Continue reading

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.

Teaser
Eastlake all-stars score spot in Little League World Series

Eastlake Little League’s 12U all star team was crowned Northwest Regional Champions… Continue reading

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

Screenshot
Redmond Police arrest former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

Redmond Police allege former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman crashed into a… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.

t
Issaquah notches girls soccer victory

Issaquah’s girls soccer team celebrates a goal during its 4-0 victory over… Continue reading

t
Registration open for Panthers Youth Rugby

By Sophie Demandolx Special to the Reporter If you are a teenager… Continue reading

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.