Mustangs looking to make waves in Kingco | Swim preview

The Redmond High girls’ swim team, although in the midst of a rebuilding year after the graduation of state breaststroke champion Heather Harper, is not without high hopes for the 2011 season.

The Redmond High girls’ swim team, although in the midst of a rebuilding year after the graduation of state breaststroke champion Heather Harper, is not without high hopes for the 2011 season.

Head coach Julie Barashkoff, in her eighth year at the helm of the Mustangs, was able to pick up one key addition to the varsity lineup and sees potential in the younger girls to improve their times as the season progresses. She said the ultimate goal is to send a relay team to the 4A state meet this November.

“We’ve got Emily (Smith) and Allison (Binkerd) back that were on our 200 medley relay team that made it to state last year,” Barashkoff noted. “We’re hoping that we can pull that off again this year. It’s going to be a little bit harder.”


With the graduation of Harper and also losing Japanese foreign exchange student Kisa Isobe, who went back home after the 2010-11 school year, the Mustangs were fortunate to get a phenomenal club swimmer on board in Ally Davis, a versatile athlete who has already pinned down state-qualifying times in three individual events.

“She’s definitely our top swimmer and has qualified for state in the 200 free, 100 fly and 100 breaststroke,” said Barashkoff of Davis. “She’ll probably try to qualify for state in all of the events. She’s the last one I put in the lineup, wherever I have a hole, that’s where she gets to go.”

Davis, who swims for King Aquatic Club based out of Seattle, said that she’s having a great time in the new team atmosphere.

“I’ve always done club swimming ever since I was eight, so I think this year I wanted to take a step back from that, and just have some fun,” she said, adding that she is looking at swimming at Texas Christian University or Colorado State. “I’m going to college next year, and I want the team experience. I love all these girls and so far, it’s been really great.”

In addition to Davis, the program also returns a strong senior core in fourth-year varsity swimmer Allison Binkerd, who specializes in the backstroke, and Stephanie Sze, another versatile swimmer. Junior Emily Smith looks to benefit the relay squad with her sprint speed.

“With Ally already qualified for state, we’d really like to get a relay there so she doesn’t have to swim alone,” Barashkoff said. “It would be really fun if we could do that.”


With programs like 2010 4A state champion Skyline and 4A runner-up Newport both coming out of the ultra-tough Kingco league, the Mustangs have to set their bar high.

Binkerd, after a 10th-place finish at districts last season, thinks she can finally qualify in her senior year for the state meet.

“My goals are to place at districts again in the backstroke, and make it to state,” she said. “We’re hoping to get some relay to state again.”

Davis has an even more lofty goal, to go for the rare “Ironwoman” feat, which is to qualify for state in all eight individual events. So far, she’s nearly halfway to her goal.

“Julie and I haven’t talked about it a lot, but it’s kind of a goal that’s out there,” she admitted. “I’d like to place at state, and hopefully make a run for the top three.”

But regardless of how fast or slow the girls are, the “Mustang Way” that Barashkoff instills in each of her swimmers centers upon integrity and sportsmanship.

“We’re all really close and we have a lot of new people,” said Binkerd. “It’s fun to be with your friends and do something you love.”

The Mustangs’ next meet is on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 3:15 p.m. against Newport at Redmond Pool.


• Head Coach: Julie Barashkoff, 8th year

• 2011 turnout numbers: 27


• Sr. Allison Binkerd: Fourth-year varsity returner specializes in the backstroke (10th at districts) and was part of the state-bound medley relay last year.

• Jr. Emily Smith: One of the fastest girls on the team, will swim the sprint events and help out in the relays.

•Sr. Stephanie Sze: Versatile swimmer can compete in a number of events, adds to the Mustangs’ depth.


• Sr. Ally Davis: Phenomenal club swimmer that has posted state-qualifying times in three events already – the 200 freestyle, 100 butterfly and  100 breaststroke – and will be a big part of the relay team’s success.


• Thursday, Oct. 13 vs. Skyline at Boehm Pool: Last meet of the regular season will be against the defending 4A state champion Spartans and their senior standout Katie Kinnear, who has garnered national attention and owns school and state records.


“The Mustang Way is (about) our integrity and our sportsmanship, basically what we really strive for. It’s not all about one person… it’s about all of us and how every single person on the team contributes. –  Head coach Julie Barashkoff