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The top high-school sports stories of 2013


1. Mercer Island wins volleyball title

Frustration turned into elation for the Mercer Island volleyball team this year.

A year after their quest for a perfect season and first state championship ended with a loss to Prairie in the opening round of the tournament, the Islanders fulfilled their title dream in dramatic fashion.

MI knocked off top-ranked Southridge of Kennewick in the semifinals – handing the Suns their only in-state loss of the season – then came from behind to beat red-hot Holy Names in the final. Both matches went five sets.

2. Cleveland holds off Seattle Prep to take 3A basketball crown

The two Metro League rivals went at it for a fourth time of the 2012-13 season in the 3A championship game. Once again Cleveland prevailed to claim its second title in four years, 45-43 in overtime. The Panthers overcame a 16-point, first-half deficit and led in the final minute-and-a-half of regulation, but Cleveland would not be denied.

3. Liberty rides big upset to first state soccer championship

First, the unranked Patriots pulled off a 2-0, first-round upset against top-rated Columbia River, which sported a 17-0-1 record and had outscored opponents 83-0. Then they rolled all of the way to their first state title, beating No. 2 Kamiakin of Kennewick in the final, 2-1.

4. Amy-Eloise Neale caps illustrious prep running career

One of the state’s most decorated high-school runners, Neale capped her outstanding Glacier Peak career by winning the 800 and 1,600 at the 3A state track and field meet, both in record times. She finished with seven state titles in track and three in cross country.

5. Ronnie Ladines leads Arlington to first softball crown

Ladines was on the bench with a broken finger when Arlington was the surprise second-place finisher at the 4A state basketball tourney in 2012, but she was back to full form a year later. She had three hits and struck out 15 in a 2-1 victory over Camas.


1. Bellevue football breaks state unbeaten streak

The Wolverines, as they have done for the last six years, won a playoff game quite easily. This 48-27 win over Peninsula in November, though, meant much more than a trip to the state semifinals — it surpassed Lake Washington’s longstanding 51-game unbeaten streak.

Bellevue went on to win its sixth straight Class 3A state title and improve its winning streak to 54 games. The national record is De La Salle (Calif.)’s 151 consecutive wins, a record Bellevue snapped in 2004.

2. Rainier Beach’s Mike Bethea wins record sixth state championship

Rainier Beach outlasted Lakeside for a 62-59 OT win to capture the 3A state title. The win gave Vikings coach Mike Beathea sole possession of a record he previously shared with Phil Lumpkin (O’Dea), Al Hairston (Garfield) and Ray Ricks (NW Christian – Colbert).

3. Federal Way track sweeps state titles for retiring coach

The Federal Way boys track team won the 4A state title by a comfortable margin over second-place Wenatchee. It came down to the last event for the girls, but the Eagles edged out Curtis to come away with the title sweep. The wins were the perfect gift to longtime coach Sam Beasley, who retired after the season.

4. Shawn Guinn pitches Auburn Mountainview to first state title

A month before the state championship game, Guinn felt he wasn’t effective on the mound and asked coach Glen Walker if there was someone who could take his rotation spot. Fast forward to the title game and Mountainview turned to the senior, who tossed a no-hitter through four innings. Guinn’s best outing of the season helped AM to a 7-1 win over West Seattle and the program’s first-ever title.

5. Budda Baker chooses Oregon

In a much-anticipated decision, Bellevue star Baker announced he would play football at Oregon. Baker, the Associated Press, Seattle Times and News Tribune Player of the Year, was the most sought-after recruit in the Northwest and turned down offers from Washington and UCLA.

Sandy Ringer and Josh Liebeskind

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