Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
                                The Mercer Island Islanders basketball team celebrates after defeating the Bishop Blanchet Braves 52-47 in the Class 3A girls state championship game on March 4 at the Tacoma Dome.

Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography The Mercer Island Islanders basketball team celebrates after defeating the Bishop Blanchet Braves 52-47 in the Class 3A girls state championship game on March 4 at the Tacoma Dome.

Islanders dominate the sports landscape in 2017 | Year in Review

January

Meisner retires from athletic coordinator post

Mercer Island High School athletics coordinator Ann Meisner announced her retirement from her position in January. Her last day on the job was Jan. 20. Meisner, who worked in the Mercer Island High School athletic department for nearly 14 years, was a familiar face on Mercer Island.

“The time has just come,” Meisner said in early January. “This is a great job. It takes a lot of work to do this job. My husband’s been retired for five years and it’s time that I join him.”

Islanders grapplers sweep Bellevue, Juanita: The Mercer Island wrestling team captured two victories in a Class 3A KingCo double dual match on Jan 26, defeating the Bellevue Wolverines and the Juanita Rebels. In the matchup against the Wolverines, Mercer Island grapplers capturing wins via pins were Sean Cote (126), Vinny Ricci (138), Melissa Tran (145), Jonah Andrews (160), Colin Farrell (170) and Connor Hill (195). In the showdown against Juanita, Islanders’ wrestlers nabbing wins courtesy of pins consisted of Ricci (138), Finn Childress (152) and Teague Frazier (220).

Girls basketball squad wins KingCo 3A title: The girls basketball team captured its first KingCo 3A championship since 2010 in dominant fashion, finishing conference play undefeated with a 69-24 win over Lake Washington in the league finale on Jan. 31.

February

Luce earns MVP honors: Senior girls basketball player Anna Luce was voted by coaches as the KingCo 2A/3A league MVP in the 2017 All-KingCo selections, which were released in early February.

Boys swim team captures third: The boys swim anddive team earned a third-place trophy at the 3A state championships, which wrapped up on Feb. 18 at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. The Islanders finished with 193 points as a team.

March

Girls hoops squad earns Class 3A state championship: The Islanders attained their first-ever state championship in program history, earning a 52-47 victory against the Bishop Blanchet Braves in the Class 3A state championship game on March 4 at the Tacoma Dome.

Brackmann closes out memorable career on the hardwood

Kris Brackmann, who graduated from Mercer Island High School in 2013, saw her collegiate basketball career with the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas women’s basketball program come to a close, courtesy of a 77-66 loss to Trinity (Texas) in the second round of the NCAA Division-III basketball tournament on March 4 in Richardson, Texas. Brackmann scored 12 points and doled out five assists in the final game of her college career. Brackmann, who was one of six seniors on the roster, was part of a group that compiled a respectable 90-23 record over the past four seasons.

Boys soccer team defeats defending champs: The boys soccer team waited nearly 10 months for another opportunity to face the Interlake Saints. Interlake, who captured a 1-0 victory against Mercer Island in the Class 3A state championship game in May 2016, was one of the best programs in the state. The Islanders beat the defending champs in a convincing 4-2 victory.

April

Girls lacrosse conquers Bellevue: After the first 12 minutes of play, the Mercer Island and Bellevue Wolverines girls lacrosse teams were tied at 2-2. The close contest between rivals didn’t last long. Mercer Island outscored Bellevue 15-1 in the final 38 minutes of play en route to a 17-3 victory on April 20 at Bellevue High School. The Islanders improved its overall record to 5-3 with the win.

May

Boys soccer team wins KingCo crown: The Islanders clinched a berth at the Class 3A state tournament courtesy of a dramatic 2-1 win against the Lake Washington Kangaroos in the KingCo championship game on May 6 .

Golf team wins state championship: The girls golf team won the Class 3A state tournament championship on May 24 at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick, scoring a total of 82 team points to take the title. The Interlake Saints finished in second place with a total 77 team points. Mercer Island’s Ella Warburg captured 10th place individually, totaling 165 strokes during the two-day tournament. Estey Chen registered a 14th-place finish individually with 172 total strokes. Madelyn Quickstad earned 16th place with 174 strokes.

Baseball squad finishes strong: The baseball team didn’t let a heartbreaking 5-4 loss in the Class 3A semifinals against the Southridge Suns keep them down for long. Less than 24 hours after that defeat, the Islanders rebounded with a 2-1 victory against the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors in the Class 3A third/fourth place game on May 27 at Safeco Field in Seattle. Mercer Island junior pitcher Robert Weaver went the distance on the hill, surrendering a meager two hits in a complete game performance. Mercer Island scored their only runs of the game in the bottom of the first inning.

June

Boys soccer team takes trip to Spain: The boys soccer team traveled more than 5,100 miles for a prestigious soccer tournament. The Islanders, who advanced to the Class 3A state quarterfinals in the 2017 season, competed in the formidable Donosti Cup International tournament from July 2-8 in San Sebastian, Spain. The Islanders flew to Spain on June 30.

July

Lacrosse program takes trip Russia

The Islanders, who captured second place in the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse 3A state tournament this past May, traveled to Russia as a team from July 27 through Aug. 8. The purpose of the trip is for Islanders athletes to not only play lacrosse with Russian teams, but simultaneously teach and develop the sport of lacrosse with the youth of Russia as well. The Islanders lacrosse club was invited by the Russian Lacrosse Federation and men’s lacrosse clubs from Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Morris leads USMNT to Gold Cup victory: Island native and U.S. men’s national team forward Jordan Morris scored a goal in the July 26 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, giving the U.S. a 2-1 win and its sixth Gold Cup title. Morris, who plays professionally for his hometown Seattle Sounders FC, was named Man of the Match. He was the leading scorer for the team in the tournament. His dramatic go-ahead goal came in the 88th minute, when the game looked like it would head to overtime. Morris, 22, has now won an NCAA crown with Stanford University in 2015, an MLS Cup in his rookie season with the Sounders in 2016 and a Gold Cup in 2017.

August

Cohen returns to gridiron with Bulldogs

Ben Cohen figured his football career had come to a close following the final high school football game with Mercer Island in the fall of 2014. Cohen, who played offensive and defensive line for the Islanders, looked forward to his return on the gridiron after a two-year hiatus this season with the Eastside Bulldogs football squad. The 20-year-old 2015 Mercer Island graduate played defensive line for the Bulldogs.

“It is definitely a refreshing comeback,” Cohen said. “It’s been awesome. I never thought I would play football again after high school.”

MIHS volleyball team bonds by building bikes

Mercer Island High School volleyball players had a special bonding and leadership training experience planned on Aug. 25, after a long week of tryouts and practice. The volleyball booster club, with the team’s coach, Susan Rindlaub, planned for the 34 girls on the team to put together six bicycles, which would then be donated to a Mercer Island family in need.

Boys water polo team partakes in I-90 swim: The boys’ water polo team ended its first week of practice with a tradition — the Lake Washington Swim and Run. A sun-drenched Mt. Rainier stood as the backdrop for the event on Aug. 25. Decked in their Speedos and swim caps, the team departed Mercer Island’s western shore and swam to Seattle.

September

Girls swim team dominates in KingCo 3A matchup: The Mercer Island girls swim team cruised to a 149-37 victory against the Juanita Rebels on Sept. 12.

Girls soccer team remains undefeated in early season action: Mercer Island registered a 3-0 victory against the Sammamish Totems on Sept. 14.

Volleyball team defeats rival Bellevue: The girls volleyball team had Sept. 20 circled on their calendar before practices kicked off in late August. Mercer Island rose to the occasion against their biggest rival, earning a 3-1 victory against the Bellevue Wolverines on Sept. 20. at Bellevue High School. The Islanders improved their overall record to 5-0 with the win while Bellevue dropped to 5-1 overall with the loss.

“The rivalry is huge. They had been talking about it all week. They get so excited to play Bellevue,” Mercer Island head coach Susan Rindlaub said. “It definitely gives us some confidence moving forward.”

Football squad captures victory against Interlake: Second half dominance was the difference for the Mercer Island football team in their KingCo 3A matchup on the road against the Interlake Saints. Mercer Island outscored Interlake 20-7 in the second half en route to a 30-20 victory on Sept. 30. at Interlake High School in Bellevue. The Islanders improved their overall record to 3-1 with the win, while Interlake dropped to 1-4. Mercer Island senior quarterback Nikhil Nayar had three touchdown passes in the win

October

Islanders swim team earns fifth win in a row: The girls swim team captured a 96-90 win against the Bainbridge Island Spartans on Oct. 3. Mercer Island improved its overall record to 5-0 with the victory. Mercer Island athletes earning first place in their respective events were Kaitlyn Williamson (200 medley relay, pictured in above photo), Grace Olsen (200 medley relay), Annie Pearse (200 medley relay, 100 free, 400 free relay), Haley Vandenbosch (200 medley relay, 200 IM, 400 free relay), Julia Williamson (500 free, 400 free relay), Elizabeth Bailey (400 free relay) and Sophia McGuffin (1-meter dive).

Tennis squad nabs KingCo title: The boys tennis team captured the Class 3A KingCo championship on Oct. 10.

Volleyball team attains championship: The girls volleyball team captured the 2017 Class 3A KingCo tournament title courtesy of a 3-1 win against the Bellevue Wolverines in the championship match on Oct. 28. at Mercer Island High School. It was the third time during the season the Islanders had defeated the Wolverines

November

Volleyball earns second place at Class 3A state tournament

: The volleyball team put together a season for the ages in 2017, finishing with an overall record of 22-3 and earning second place at the Class 3A state volleyball tournament on Nov. 11. at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. The Islanders lost to Capital 3-1 in the Class 3A title match. The Islanders won the second set 25-14, tying the match at 1-1 but lost the final two sets of action. Mercer Island defeated Gig Harbor (3-0), Stanwood (3-1) and Mount Spokane (3-1) at the state tourney

Swim team takes fourth place at state: The girls swim squad registered a fourth place finish at the Class 3A state swim meet on Nov. 11. at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. The Islanders compiled 180 team points

Islanders capture state soccer championship: Often in the world of high school sports, big games come down to a the wire. But the girls soccer team didn’t have to worry about the outcome of their Class 3A state championship matchup, dominating all phases of the game en route to a 4-1 win against the Stadium Tigers on Nov. 18. at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. It was the first state title in the history of the Mercer Island girls soccer program

December

Gymnastics team defeats Juanita: The Mercer Island girls gymnastics team earned a 153-147 win against the Juanita Rebels on Dec. 7. at Mercer Island High School. The Islanders improved their overall record to 2-0 with the win

Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
                                The Mercer Island girls soccer team won its first ever state championship courtesy of a 4-1 win against the Stadium Tigers on Nov. 18 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography The Mercer Island girls soccer team won its first ever state championship courtesy of a 4-1 win against the Stadium Tigers on Nov. 18 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

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Berry takes top spot at Cal International Marathon

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Mercer Island Islanders junior Adam Parker, left, looks for a teammate to pass to against the Juanita Rebels. Parker finished with a team-high 20 points against the Juanita Rebels on Dec. 11. The Islanders defeated the Rebels 56-49. Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography
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Mercer Island hits clutch shots down the stretch against Juanita.

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Flame earn a coveted title on the soccer pitch

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Mercer Island Islanders senior swimmer James Richardson (pictured) captured first place in the 100 fly and 100 back at the Class 3A state swim and dive meet during his junior season. Richardson wants to lead his team to a Class 3A state championship in February of 2019 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Photo courtesy of Scott Richardson
Richardson is a rising star in the pool

Mercer Island senior is striving to lead his team to a state title.

Perfection in dual meets was attained during the 2017 season for the Islanders boys swim team in KingCo contests in the pool.
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Islanders conquer rival in the pool

Mercer Island swim team defeats Bellevue in season opener.

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Howard, Vassau sign on the dotted line

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