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February 26, 2014



Blackwell Elementary celebrates its worldliness Blackwell Elementary School families turned out in droves Feb. 20 for the school’s sixth annual International Celebration Night. Students and parents dressed in native clothing and waved flags from 21 different countries during a parade of nations. The event also featured dancing and food from many nations, including Japan, Thailand, Romania, Spain and Finland.

Sammamish resident Roland Fink shows children how to shoot a hockey puck at a Canadian-themed area.

Blackwell first-grader Rachael Reagan enjoys a sweet treat while speaking with friends. Reagan’s family is from Japan.

Myra Kuhanont, left, and Janejira Damron don ornate costumes from Thailand.

From left, fifth-grader Pablo Ulargui, first-grader Francesca Duque and parent Marta Ramos take to the stage during the parade of nations. Ramos is a native of Madrid, Spain. From left, kindergartener Alex Millar, second-grader Ethan Millar and fourthgrader Michael Millar wave Swedish flags - the country their father’s family is from - during the parade of nations.

Photos by Neil Pierson

Juhi Chandra, left, and her older sister, Devina, entertain the crowd with traditional Indian dancing.

Blackwell second-grader Grace Hill, center, prepares to represent South Africa before the parade of nations.



February 26, 2014



Edward Kim wins record 7th and 8th state titles By Christina Corrales-Toy

Eastlake’s Edward Kim didn’t need directions to find the top of the winners’ podium at the 4A state swimming championships Feb. 21-22. After all, the march across the blue, hex-shaped steps at Federal Way’s King County Aquatic Center had become a familiar path for the Eastlake senior. He ascended those stairs for the last time in his storied high school career Feb. 22, after collecting his record seventh and eighth individual state titles. “I’m kind of sad, but happy at the same time, because it was a great finish,” he said after his final race. Kim, who will swim for Harvard next year, became just the second male swimmer in state history to win eight individual state titles with his victories in both the 100 and 200-yard freestyle. He captured the 200 with an automatic All-America time of 1 minute, 37.42 seconds, and the 100 in 43.90, also an automatic All-America time. Since swimmers are allowed to race in only two individual events per season at state, Kim’s

For all of his individual accolades, though, Kim was quick to point out that what he will miss most about his high school career are his teammates. It seemed fitting, then, that Kim’s last high school swim, and last trip to the state podium, was with his 400-yard freestyle relay teammates Markus Zimmerman, Chirag Das and Jackson Berman. That relay team placed fourth with a time of 3:14.48. “We could not have finished it better,” he said. “The team aspect is my favorite part, and that’s what I’ll be leaving behind. I’ll definitely miss that.” Berman, a junior, also came away with an individual medal, placing seventh in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:47.84. Caleb Alleva, Kim, Berman and Zimmerman combined to take sixth place in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:30.13. Photo by Greg Farrar

Edward Kim, Eastlake senior, carves through the water in the 100 freestyle on the way to his eighth inidivdual state championship. accomplishment means that he won every time he competed solo. Shortly after achieving one of

his greatest high school swimming goals, the significance of what he had done hadn’t quite sunk in yet as the meet came to

a close. “It still hasn’t. I don’t think it will for a few days,” he said with a smile.

Skyline swimmers medal at state Skyline senior Paul Jett wrapped up his high-school swimming career with three medals, two of them individuals, See SWIM, Page 9

Skyline wrestlers Steciw, Mejia garner state medals By Neil Pierson

Six Skyline High School wrestlers reached the state championships, but only two left the Tacoma Dome with medals hanging from their necks. Senior Tristan Steciw earned the eighth-place medal at 132 pounds in Class 4A, and freshman Addie Mejia took eighth in the girls’ 118-pound division, leading the Spartans’ contingency at Mat Classic XXVI, held Feb. 21-22. Steciw earned a state medal for the first time in three tries. Coming off a third-place finish at the previous weekend’s Region II tournament, he started fast at Mat Classic. In the first round, Steciw battled Tahoma’s Todd Link in a defensive-oriented match. Steciw escaped from a bottom-position restart in the third period, earned a takedown moments later, and held on for a 5-3 victory.

“I went in strong, feeling ready,” he said. “It’s my last year. As a senior, I’m excited, just wrestling tough and enjoying the whole experience.” In the quarterfinals, though, Steciw couldn’t get anything going against Lake Stevens senior Noah Cuzzetto and dropped a 9-1 major decision. That forced him into a latenight, loser-out match against Bethel’s Dante Springsteen. Steciw advanced to the medal round with a 5-1 decision. And although he wasn’t able to close out his career with a win – he lost 8-3 to Yelm’s Brian Rochester and 4-2 to Central Valley’s Elijah Kilborn – he left the state tournament with something to show for his efforts. “I’ve been wrestling for 12 years and had my older brothers always beating on me,” Steciw said. “It’s helped a lot through the years with being tough and pushing through those hard parts

Photo by Greg Farrar

Skyline’s Tristan Steciw (in gray) battles Todd Link, of Tahaoma. Steciw won the match on the way to an eighth-place finish. of the matches that you’ve really got to dig deep (for).” In the girls’ tournament, Mejia opened with a decisive 9-4 win over Sunnyside’s Daisy Chavez. Mejia earned takedowns in all

three periods and generally kept Chavez glued to the mat. But she ran into a buzzsaw in her next match. Puyallup sophomore Jordyn Bartelson pinned Mejia in 1 minute, 6 seconds.

Bartelson dominated her opponents, winning the 118-pound title with four straight pins. In a loser-out match, Mejia See WRESTLE, Page 9

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