Tim Watanabe

Mustang seniors

Loaded Stangs ready to rumble: Mustang baseball has all the tools to make a run at state

As solid as the Redmond High baseball program has looked in the past, the 2011 Mustangs are shaping up to have a banner year on the diamond. At the helm of the club will be six returning seniors, with three of them – Dylan Davis, Zach Abbruzza and Michael Conforto – already having committed to playing Division I ball next year.

Mustang seniors

AT A GLANCE: Redmond baseball

REDMOND BASEBALL AT A GLANCE• Head coach: Dan Pudwill, 7th season• Last year: 12-4, 4A Kingco champions; 20-6 overall• 2011 turnout: 34KEY RETURNERS• Sr. Dylan… Continue reading

Bear Creek senior Lucas Peterson drives the lane during the Grizzlies' 53-39 loss to Napavine on Friday night. Playing in his last game in a Bear Creek uniform

Bear Creek boys dream big, earn highest finish in school history

Before the basketball season got underway for The Bear Creek School boys' team, head coach Scott Moe encouraged his players to set their sights high. On the first day of practice back in November, Moe passed out T-shirts to the team that contained one simple phrase, "SNM5," which stood for Saturday Night March 5, the final day of the basketball season. That day, nearly four months later, the Grizzlies beat Colfax, 54-43, at Spokane Arena to earn the Class 2B third-place trophy, the program's highest finish in school history.

Bear Creek senior Lucas Peterson drives the lane during the Grizzlies' 53-39 loss to Napavine on Friday night. Playing in his last game in a Bear Creek uniform
Bear Creek forward Ryan Strandin goes up for two of this game-high 20 points during the Grizzlies' 58-47 overtime win over Waitsburg-Prescott in the state quarterfinals last night. Strandin finished with a monster double-double which included 20 rebounds. The Grizzlies play Napavine (21-3) in the semifinals tonight at 5:30 in Spokane.

Grizzlies win in OT, reach state semifinals

The Bear Creek School boys’ basketball team came back from a fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Waitsburg-Prescott Cardinals in overtime, 58-47, in the quarterfinals of… Continue reading

Bear Creek forward Ryan Strandin goes up for two of this game-high 20 points during the Grizzlies' 58-47 overtime win over Waitsburg-Prescott in the state quarterfinals last night. Strandin finished with a monster double-double which included 20 rebounds. The Grizzlies play Napavine (21-3) in the semifinals tonight at 5:30 in Spokane.
Bear Creek School junior Zach Alleva

On top of the water world: Redmond’s Zach Alleva wins state title, fulfills his dream

Ever since he started swimming at age four, Redmond resident Zach Alleva favored a certain stroke. "Since I've been a little kid I've always done the breaststroke," said Alleva, a junior at The Bear Creek School in Redmond who swims for Eastlake High in Sammamish. "Even when I was 4 or 5, when we'd go to my grandparents' pool, I'd kick like the breaststroke and just swim that. It's what I've always done.

Bear Creek School junior Zach Alleva
Redmond senior Catherine Kelly (left) takes down Kentwood's Cassidy Meyers in the consolation semifinals of the girls' 119 weight class at Mat Classic XXIII last Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. Kelly lost to Meyers 7-4 en route to a 6th place finish.

Redmond’s Kelly places 6th at state, leaves legacy in Mustangs’ program

Redmond High School senior Catherine Kelly didn't get the finish she wanted, but she leaves behind a legacy of achievement unmatched in the Mustangs' wrestling program. Kelly placed sixth in the 119-pound weight class of the Class 4A girls' division at Mat Classic XXIII last Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

Redmond senior Catherine Kelly (left) takes down Kentwood's Cassidy Meyers in the consolation semifinals of the girls' 119 weight class at Mat Classic XXIII last Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. Kelly lost to Meyers 7-4 en route to a 6th place finish.
Redmond High wrestlers (from left to right) Catherine Kelly (119)

Mustang wrestlers set to take down Mat Classic

A talented trio of Redmond High wrestlers and one alternate will be making the trek to the Tacoma Dome this Friday and Saturday for Mat Classic XXIII — the largest high-school wrestling tournament in the nation — with the hopes of bringing back some state hardware.

Redmond High wrestlers (from left to right) Catherine Kelly (119)
Redmond senior Joe Glass (top) takes down Inglemoor sophomore Josh Koukal during the 4A Kingco Championships on Feb. 12. Glass

Prep Report: Four Mustang wrestlers advance to state

Three Redmond High wrestlers and one alternate pinned down state berths to the Mat Classic at the Tacoma Dome last weekend. On the girls' side, Catherine Kelly dominated the 119-pound class at the Girls' Region 1 Tournament at Sedro-Woolley High School, achieving two first-round pins and winning the regional title with a late second-round pin of Mount Baker senior Roxanne Rosas in 3:51.

Redmond senior Joe Glass (top) takes down Inglemoor sophomore Josh Koukal during the 4A Kingco Championships on Feb. 12. Glass
Inglemoor High senior standout Anthony Bratcher (26-1 on the season) puts a hold on Redmond's Brandon Long during the 135-pound finals at the 4A Kingco Wrestling Tournament. Bratcher won by decision

Prep Report: Three Mustang wrestlers make Kingco finals

The Redmond High wrestling team put together a strong performance at last weekend's 4A Kingco Championships at Juanita High School, with three Mustangs advancing to championship bouts.

Inglemoor High senior standout Anthony Bratcher (26-1 on the season) puts a hold on Redmond's Brandon Long during the 135-pound finals at the 4A Kingco Wrestling Tournament. Bratcher won by decision
Bear Creek junior Nikki Peterson goes up in traffic during the Grizzlies' 46-20 win over Rainier Christian at home on Tuesday night. Peterson finished with nine points and six assists in the win

Grizzlies torching the nets: Bear Creek hoops teams a combined 18-0

One of The Bear Creek School’s basketball teams is a perennial state contender coming off a perfect 11-0 league season. The other has only been to the state tournament once — in 2007 and failed to win a game — and didn’t even have a coach with two weeks to go before the 2010-11 season started. Despite the high expectations of the boys’ squad and the hardships that the Lady Grizzlies have faced this season, the two teams, a combined 18-0 in Sea-Tac 2B League play, have been dismantling opponents in the league this season.

Bear Creek junior Nikki Peterson goes up in traffic during the Grizzlies' 46-20 win over Rainier Christian at home on Tuesday night. Peterson finished with nine points and six assists in the win

Prep Report: Mustang boys cool off red-hot Newport

The Redmond High boys' basketball team took down one of the hottest teams in 4A Kingco Friday night at home, beating the Newport Knights, 57-45.

Redmond High School teachers Andre and Julie Barashkoff are both coaching winter sports for the Mustangs. Julie is entering her seventh year as the boys’ swim head coach

Busy Barashkoffs enjoying Mustang life: Coaching couple helps solidify sports programs at Redmond High

Most high school teachers think of their jobs as a full-time gig – waking up at the crack of dawn, and often staying long after the final bell to grade papers, write quizzes, and prepare for future lessons. Add to that the long hours of coaching duties required to lead both the boys’ swim team and the girls’ basketball teams, along with four kids of their own at home, and you have the Mustangs’ own Andre and Julie Barashkoff, a couple lucky to catch a wink every now and then.

Redmond High School teachers Andre and Julie Barashkoff are both coaching winter sports for the Mustangs. Julie is entering her seventh year as the boys’ swim head coach
Redmond's Heather Harper overcame a year of heartbreak by winning gold in the 100-yard breaststroke in her senior season

YEAR IN REVIEW: Top 10 Redmond sports stories from 2010

2010 was certainly a year of some phenomenal stories to come out of the Redmond prep sports world. With so many memorable moments, it would be impossible not to leave anybody out, but here is my own personal top 10 list:

Redmond's Heather Harper overcame a year of heartbreak by winning gold in the 100-yard breaststroke in her senior season
Lief Moi

New restaurant to benefit local Little League programs, families

Redmond resident Lief Moi got his start in the restaurant business at the young age of 14, working for Italian restauranteur Spiro Aliagas in his heralded Olympia Pizza and Pasta location on Queen Anne Hill. From there, Moi helped open multiple Italian eateries all over the greater Seattle area, including the Sparta’s and Spiro’s chains, as well as Pizza Bank in Kirkland.

Lief Moi
Freshman guard Luke Blankenbeckler

Clutch free throws lift Grizzlies: Bear Creek fends off U. Prep 62-60

In a non-league holiday showdown against 1A University Prep, The Bear Creek School boys’ basketball team (1-0, 4-0 overall) pulled out a 62-60 win, thanks to some clutch shooting at the charity stripe.

Freshman guard Luke Blankenbeckler
Redmond High boys' swim and dive team captains Kevin Creekmore (left) and Alec Stohl will be the leaders in the pool for the Mustangs this winter. Both will contribute in the freestyle and relay events.

Mustang swimming looks to make waves in 4A Kingco

For Redmond head swim coach Julie Barashkoff, there is certainly no rest for the weary. Just days after the girls’ swim season ended with Heather Harper’s thrilling gold-medal breaststroke performance at the state meet to go along with the Mustang 200-yard medley relay team’s sixth-place finish, she was at it again at the helm of the boys’ squad, which turned out a solid 30 swimmers this season.

Redmond High boys' swim and dive team captains Kevin Creekmore (left) and Alec Stohl will be the leaders in the pool for the Mustangs this winter. Both will contribute in the freestyle and relay events.
Redmond High senior Catherine Kelly (top) takes down Sedro-Wooley's Andrea Iversen at last year's state tournament - the Mat Classic at the Tacoma Dome. Kelly placed fourth tournament last year and she is looking to better that finish this season.

WRESTLING PREVIEW: Kelly, Glass lead young Redmond grapplers

The turnout numbers may be down for the Redmond High wrestling team and the rest of the 4A Kingco teams, but optimism runs high. Unlike other sports such as football, when compared to the rest of the state, 4A Kingco has traditionally been a weak league for high school wrestling. Redmond head coach Paul Mullen admitted that the 2010-11 season turnout was even a down year for Kingco, with low turnout numbers affecting powerhouse programs like Inglemoor, Issaquah and even Woodinville.

Redmond High senior Catherine Kelly (top) takes down Sedro-Wooley's Andrea Iversen at last year's state tournament - the Mat Classic at the Tacoma Dome. Kelly placed fourth tournament last year and she is looking to better that finish this season.
Senior Marjorie Drieu works on her 'Cat Leap 1/1 turn' floor exercise while senior co-captain Maria Di Iorio looks on during a recent Mustang gymnastics practice at Eastside Gymnastics Academy in Woodinville.

GYMNASTICS PREVIEW: Talented Redmond High athletes raising the bar

When head coach Jason Farr took over the nearly non-existent Redmond High gymnastics program in 2007, to say he was presented with a challenge would be an understatement. But with more than 20 years of coaching experience and an infectious positive attitude, he has succeeded in rebuilding the Mustangs into a 4A Kingco force. And it all looks to come to a head in 2010-11 with a number of experienced varsity returners looking to make a splash at the state meet this February.

Senior Marjorie Drieu works on her 'Cat Leap 1/1 turn' floor exercise while senior co-captain Maria Di Iorio looks on during a recent Mustang gymnastics practice at Eastside Gymnastics Academy in Woodinville.
The Bear Creek girls' basketball team's tri-captains

Girls’ basketball preview: New coaching era begins at Bear Creek

Just two weeks before practices began for the winter sports season, second-year head coach of the Bear Creek girls’ basketball team, Alan Dickson, chose to take the newly-vacated head coaching job at Cedar Park Christian School in Bothell. That left the Grizzlies’ athletic department scrambling for a last-minute replacement, and it was a veteran boys’ coach that came through in the nick of time.

The Bear Creek girls' basketball team's tri-captains

AT A GLANCE: Redmond prep girls’ basketball

REDMOND MUSTANGS• Coach: Andre Barashkoff, 1st season• Last season: 6-10 in 4A Kingco Crest Division, 9-11 overall• Turnout: 25TOP RETURNERS• Sr. Stacey Kimball, PG/SG: Experienced… Continue reading