Kirkland’s Kya Aldrich unleashes a pitch against Canada in the Little League Softball World Series. Courtesy of Kristin Pascal

Kirkland’s Kya Aldrich unleashes a pitch against Canada in the Little League Softball World Series. Courtesy of Kristin Pascal

2018: The year in sports for the Kirkland area

Athletic success is a staple of the Kirkland community.


“Maggard notches school record, leads NCAA in 3,000 meters”: Utah State University senior Dillon Maggard, a Lake Washington High alumnus, won the 3,000 meters last weekend at the Washington Invitational with a school-record time of seven minutes, 52.99 seconds, beating the previous school record by nearly 10 seconds. Maggard, who beat a field that includes four of the other top-10 3,000-meter times in the nation this year, is the first Aggie to break the eight-minute mark in school history.


“Rebel wraps up 3A state 285-pound wrestling title”: A heaping plate of chicken alfredo set John Nascimento’s afternoon into motion and satisfied his appetite. Many hours later, the Juanita High senior 285-pounder worked off that meal and feasted on senior Josiah Vaiolo of Wilson, 5-2, to win his first 3A state wrestling title at the Mat Classic XXX Championships at the Tacoma Dome.


“Dancin’ to the top: Lake Washington squad wins state titles for second straight year”: They’re champions again. For the second consecutive year, Lake Washington High’s dance squad won a pair of titles at the WIAA Dance and Drill State Championships on March 24 at the Yakima Sundome. In the 3A Military category, LW scored 268.30 points and Bonney Lake took a close second with 267.80; in the Pom competition, LW notched 276.70 points and Capital finished second with 271.80.


“Frandsen notches 49th at Boston Marathon”: Kirkland’s Shaun Frandsen slogged through the brutal weather to place 49th in the men’s division at the Boston Marathon. The 40-year-old Spokane native’s time of 2:34.56 put him in second place in the masters division.


“Lake Washington boys net state title”: Lake Washington’s boys doubles tennis team of Shubhu Purohit/Nedim Suko beat Michael Campbell/Thomas Sui of North Thurston, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, to win the 3A state title in Kennewick. LW’s Charlize Yeh captured fourth place in the state singles tournament. In the team standings, LW’s boys placed fourth and the girls placed tied for fifth.

“Murray’s walkoff single sends Juanita to state”: A blistering single up the middle lit the fuse for a bombastic celebration. As if the Juanita softball players weren’t loud enough while cheering in the dugout, their jubilant screams pierced the night sky several levels higher after Megan Murray did her job. Her two-out hit drove in Lauren Moreau from second in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Rebels a 5-4 win over West Seattle and a return trip to state.


“Frannie Ronan is set for gymnastics action at the Special Olympics”: Frannie Ronan smiles, lifts her hands and shows off the callouses just below her fingers. She’s a gymnast and athletes love to display how hard they’ve been working on their skills. Mom Becky Ronan and Frannie laugh together and note that they’re thrilled the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games are just around the corner. Frannie, who has Down syndrome, will be the youngest athlete in the competition at age 8 and the Kirkland resident can’t contain her energy.

“Astros select Juanita’s Schroeder in MLB Draft”: The Houston Astros nabbed Juanita fireballer Jayson Schroeder as the 66th overall pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball first-year player draft. Schroeder’s selection spot has a slot value of $965,300, according to the Houston Chronicle. The 6-foot-2 righty has committed to play for the University of Washington next season. When he unleashed his first pitches in competition during a March game at Eastlake High, Schroeder drew a large crowd behind the plate of scouts and coaches wielding radar guns. They were packed in tight like fans at the front of the stage at a rock show.


“Kirkland softball wins regional championship, headed to World Series”: Five up, five down and a championship. Kirkland’s majors softball all-stars knocked off Flagstaff, Arizona, 4-1, to complete an undefeated run and notch the Western Regional crown on July 26 at Houghton Field in San Bernardino, California. The locals qualified for the World Series on Aug. 8-15 in Portland, Oregon.


“Kirkland takes fifth at World Series”: Kirkland’s all-star majors defeated Canada, 14-4, in five innings in a consolation game on Aug. 15 to place fifth at the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon. The West players were Kya Aldrich, Erin McKeag, Kaidence Caiola, Christina Minor, Bella Ely, Zoe Tarrach, Emily Nielsen, Mary Madaline Roe, Hailey Story, Ashlyn Cook and Emma Pascal. Manager is Chris Cook along with coaches Erik Nielsen and Molly Ely.


“Juanita rumbles over Lynnwood in football action”: Juanita defeated Lynnwood, 53-21, in nonleague football action. Juanita quarterback Jake Hohu had 87 yards rushing and one touchdown, and was 3-of-4 passing for 61 yards and two touchdowns; running back Isaiah Eubanks had seven carries for 100 yards and a touchdown; running back Jake Langeuin had five carries for 87 yards and a touchdown; tight end Connor Freinik had a 48-yard touchdown grab; and running back Tjitjihaanda Muundjua had a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown. Overall, Juanita rushed for 530 yards and added 61 yards passing.


“Lake Washington headed to the playoffs after knocking off Juanita”: First they received the Kirkland Bronze Man Trophy. Then came the 2A/3A KingCo championship hardware. There were cheers galore and talk about dancing in the locker room on a huge night for the Lake Washington High football team. LW defeated crosstown rival Juanita, 29-19, to notch their third straight victory that paved the road to the playoffs.

“Lake Washington girls win 3A KingCo cross country title”: Lake Washington High’s girls cross country team won the 3A KingCo championship on Oct. 18 at Lake Sammamish State Park and qualifies for districts. The Kangs’ top-10 runners were Belle Brandenfels (seventh, 20:12.54), Makena Billington (eighth, 20:27.99) and Chloe Cook (ninth, 20:30.87). Also making an impact for the Kangs were Emily Stoneman (13th, 20:54.72), Hannah Woten (18th, 21:24.13), Sophie Kirov (24th, 21:40.09) and Esther Strathy (43rd, 23:47.79).


“Lake Washington ends season with 3A state football playoff loss”: Lake Washington High head coach Andy Arena gathered his football team for one last huddle after its loss in the opening round of the 3A state playoffs. This LW team won four of its last five games and was the first Kang squad to make the state playoffs since 2003.


“Kirkland athletes are ready to row in college”: Allie Kelly and Cameron Laukaitis used to call the volleyball and basketball courts their home, but now they’re making an impact in the rowing realm. The Kirkland residents along with several other Sammamish Rowing Association athletes recently signed their letters of intent to compete in college. Their schools of choice are University of Texas at Austin (Kelly), Lehigh University (Laukaitis).

Juanita High’s John Nascimento celebrates his wrestling title while opponent Josiah Vaiolo looks on. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

Juanita High’s John Nascimento celebrates his wrestling title while opponent Josiah Vaiolo looks on. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

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