June 12, 2013
Love for bikes brings wide range of people together By Neil Pierson
Ever since its first phase of construction was completed four years ago, Duthie Hill Park has been a unifying force on the Sammamish Plateau. Each June since then, the park’s collaborators – the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and King County Parks – have given mountain-biking enthusiasts an extra-special reason for coming to the 120-acre playground. At the fourth annual Evergreen Mountain Bike Festival June 8, the park was filled with riders of all ages and skill levels. For 12 hours, riders tested bikes brought by 14 vendors, learned new tricks from experienced trainers and mingled over barbecue, beer and live music. Duthie Hill Park’s construction was finished in 2012, and the facility, which connects to more than 2,000 acres of public forest land, has been a large draw. “We’ve been seeing … between 75,000 and 100,000 people a year riding in here,” said Stacy Karacostas, communication and membership director for the mountain bike alliance. “Nobody really expected it, so they’re working really hard to get us a bigger parking lot, because
Photo by Neil Pierson
Blake Treadway of Transition Bicycle Company does some quick fixes on a bike at the June 8 Evergreen Mountain Bike Festival. Transition Bicycle, a Ferndale-based company, has been coming to the Sammamish festival for a couple years. we overflow the lot that was built for this.”
Organizers expected 1,500 people to attend this year’s fes-
tival, and the demographics are perhaps the most eye-popping
part of the experience. “You’ll see little tiny tots on the Strider push bikes, and you’ll see 75-year-old big guys in fullfaced helmets and body armor,” Karacostas said. “We knew that there was a demand for mountain biking and places to ride, but we were really surprised at how popular this place became and the variety of people who come out and mountain bike,” said Butch Lovelace, youth sports facility grant manager for King County Parks. Lovelace recalled being at the festival a couple years ago and running into a woman in her 70s. “She’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, it’s hard for me to walk, but if I have a bike, I can get out in the woods and get around a little bit easier,’” he said. “I couldn’t believe it. That’s just not the person I was expecting to see at an event like this.” Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance is the largest organization of its kind in the state, and mountain biking is a popular sport both because of the large numbers of trails available and its family-friendly appeal. The alliance website, www. evergreenmtb.org, has lists of events and education programs. Karacostas said that because most See BIKE, Page 9
Skyline scientists acting on big-picture ideas By Neil Pierson
Many education-based groups, including teachers, administrators and coaches, have their own statewide organizations designed to form relationships and share ideas. Up until a few months ago, there was no organization in Washington for students with an aptitude for science. That’s where Skyline High School students Gokul Kumarressen, Akkshay Khoslaa and Oscar Mowar come in. In March, the students launched the Washington Student Science Association (WSSA), which has a mission to unite science clubs in grades K-12 throughout the state. They’ve already received interest from many groups, and they’ve filed for federal status as a nonprofit organization. “What’s unique about WSSA is it’s really organized,” Mowar said. “We have a business plan, we
have a hierarchy, it’s all set up and it’s ready to go.” They plan to offer plenty of membership incentives and a chance to connect year-round. Right now, most student scientists never interact unless it’s at a big competition. “They’ll be included in a community so they can connect, and we’ll obviously have events where everyone will just come together and enjoy science,” Mowar said. Along with founding WSSA, Kumarressen, Khoslaa and Mowar also joined together to form Skyline’s first science club. The school has more specific clubs related to robotics, physics, math and biology, but the students felt there was a need for more. “The thing that makes science club so special is that, unlike all these other clubs, we can compete in a lot of national and interSee SCIENCE, Page 9
Photo by Neil Pierson
Cascade Ridge Elementary School students Anthony Xie, left, and Michael Guo test out “The Hangman,” an electromagnetic experiment at the Skyline High School science club’s anti-gravity exposition on June 7.
June 12, 2013
Strong pitching not enough to extend Recovery’s win streak By Neil Pierson
Jake Rosen had barely pitched since his Newport High School baseball team ended its season in late April, but that didn’t stop him from putting together a great outing June 6. Rosen shut out Phiten Legion of Bellevue through five innings, but Phiten scored a run in the sixth off reliever Clayton Huber to top Lakeside Recovery 1-0 in a Senior American Legion contest at Issaquah High. Lakeside Recovery coach Rob Reese liked what he saw from Rosen, who allowed three hits and two walks with three strikeouts. “He hasn’t pitched much because Newport, they’ve been out of it for a while, so he’s only had, like, three innings in a month,” Reese said. “Five innings is about where he was good to go today, and then he gave us five shutout innings. You can’t ask for
much more than that.” Lakeside Recovery entered the game with five straight wins, and its offense had been red-hot during the streak, averaging more than eight runs per outing. The bats were silenced against Phiten, though, as they managed only three hits and struck out eight times. Lakeside Recovery’s best scoring chance came in the bottom of the first inning after Matt Sinatro dropped a leadoff double down the left-field line. However, Sinatro was thrown out trying to steal third base, and Phiten ended the threat when Lakeside Recovery’s Justin Vernia grounded into a double play. Reese credited Phiten’s pitcher for a solid outing, and said Lakeside Recovery didn’t accomplish the type of small-ball tasks that make a difference in a close game. “We had our shot in the first inning,” Reese said. “We made a
baserunning error, and we had our three, four hitters up with a guy in scoring position, and we just didn’t get him in. That was the end of our offense today. “Who knows, if we get two or three runs in the first, it changes the whole game.” Instead, Rosen was forced to hold Phiten at bay. He dodged a bullet in the third when a baserunning error helped squash a rally, and he stranded men in scoring position in the fourth and fifth innings. See BASEBALL, Page 11 Photo by Neil Pierson
Lakeside Recovery’s Matt Sinatro fouls off a pitch during Lakeside Recovery’s 1-0 loss to Phiten Legion at Issaquah High School. Sinatro, a senior at Skyline High, will be playing collegiate baseball next year at the University of San Francisco.
Kaleb Strawn’s soccer career is just beginning after graduation By Neil Pierson
Kaleb Strawn (left) battles for the ball in a game against Inglemoor earlier this season.
Kaleb Strawn has never been able to dominate opponents physically on the soccer pitch. Instead, he uses intelligence and speed to make the other team miserable. This spring, the 5-foot-7inch Strawn led the Skyline High School boys to their first undefeated KingCo Conference season. The central midfielder supplied a single-season school record for points with his 11 goals and 13 assists, and it helped him lock up an NCAA Division II collegiate scholarship offer from Saint Martin’s University in Lacey. Skyline coach Don Braman said Strawn acted as a magnet, pulling defenders to him and opening up spaces for his teammates to exploit. “The things that his teammates were able to do around him made Kaleb effective in attacking through the middle of the field,” Braman said. “Kaleb was great at asserting himself in game situations when we needed him most.” Strawn, a first-team all-league choice and a Seattle Times all-
“Kaleb was great at asserting himself in game situations when we needed him most.” – Don Braman, Coach – area pick, helped the Spartans win 11 straight games during the 2013 season. They saw that streak end with a 4-0 loss to Inglemoor in the conferencetitle match, and their playoff run ended prematurely with a 1-0 loss to Camas in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs, but there was plenty for the team to celebrate. In Strawn’s mind, going 10-0 in conference play – the first time any KingCo squad had done it since 2005 – topped the list of accomplishments. “Winning every game is tough, and not many teams can do it,” he said. “That’s probably one of the best memories, just all our teammates, working together and having a really good time
and working really hard for the cause. It was really good to watch.” A year-round player with Eastside FC, Strawn had developed a solid reputation and had options when it came time to choose a college. He had interest from multiple schools in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, but felt Saint Martin’s was the right place. “They came and saw me through a couple games, a couple tournaments out-of-state and such,” Strawn said. “I was looking for a nice place to go, and I wanted to stay in-state, so the opportunity arose, and I just took it.” At Saint Martin’s, Strawn will join a rebuilding program. The Saints finished 3-15 last year, although their coach, Rob Walker, has more than 30 years of experience in the sport and led them to the 2009 conference championship. Playing with Eastside FC helped raise Strawn’s profile, he said. “One of the benefits is the exposure you get from going out-of-state – like we’re going to See STRAWN, Page 11