Shaun Scott/staff photo
                                Mercer Island boys swim team head coach Evan Moline, who is in his second season leading the Islanders program, graduated from Mercer Island High School in 2011. The 24-year-old Moline is a graduate of Washington State University.

Shaun Scott/staff photo Mercer Island boys swim team head coach Evan Moline, who is in his second season leading the Islanders program, graduated from Mercer Island High School in 2011. The 24-year-old Moline is a graduate of Washington State University.

Islanders swim team is striving for a state title

Expectations never waver for the Mercer Island boys swim team in the pool.

During the 2016-17 season, the Islanders captured third place at the Class 3A state swim meet. Islanders swim head coach Evan Moline, who is in his second season leading the program, is confident the 2017-18 Islanders squad can perform even better this season.

“We want to win state (title). We have a lot of talent. We lost a few seniors from last year but we have at least five incoming freshman that I think are going to make an immediate impact. We also have a lot of solid athletes returning. It is going to be a great year,” Moline explained. “I think that strength in numbers is going to be really helpful in practices and meets. There will be a lot of competition, which will help team camaraderie and all that kind of stuff.”

The 24-year-old 2011 Mercer Island graduate is excited about leading the swim program at his alma-mater for the second consecutive season.

“It’s nice because it gives me a chance to give back to the program that did so much for me. It is definitely much easier because there is no transition from coming in as a new coach,” Moline said of being in his second season as head coach. “Now I know a lot of the guys from the previous season. It is easier to talk to them about what is expected and what our practices are going to look like. A lot of them have already been talking to me about what they want to achieve by the end of the season, which is cool. This team has great aspirations. Knowing them a little bit better (this season) helps me understand how I need to help them get to the point where they want to go.”

Depth across all events will be one of the Islanders’ biggest strengths during the 2017-18 season.

“We’re looking at districts and state and are going to try to get as many people as we can into those two meets. That will give ourselves the best chance of succeeding (at state meet),” Moline said. “A lot of them are going to be fighting for spots because we’re only allowed four district spots and four state spots (in each event). We will alter our lineup to make sure we get as many people as we can into the meet so we can score as many points as we can. It is going to be a tough battle. We will see how we will be able to maneuver ourselves to give it our best chance.”

Moline said seniors Oliver Hoff and Kyle Bailey are two of the most experienced athletes in the pool this season for the Islanders.

“Those guys have been to state ever year. Oliver has been big in the 200 (free) and 500 (free) every year and Kyle has been big in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke,” he said.

More in Sports

Soccer and hockey take center stage on vacation / Sports Scene

When you’re on vacation, you might as well pack as many vital… Continue reading

Mercer Island Islanders senior swimmer Killian Riley will compete in the 200 free, 100 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay at the Class 3A state swim and dive championships on Feb. 15-16 in Federal Way. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Riley rises to the occasion in the pool

Mercer Island senior Killian Riley thrives in a quartet of events.

Mercer Island Islanders freshman Chris Clark (pictured) drives to the hoop in the fourth quarter against the Bellevue Wolverines in the 3A KingCo tournament championship game on Feb. 6 at Newport High School in Factoria. The Islanders defeated the Wolverines 44-41. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders conquer Wolverines in 3A KingCo championship game

Mercer Island fends off Bellevue fourth quarter rally.

The Mercer Island Islanders boys swim team earned first place at the KingCo swim meet on Feb. 2 at Mary Wayte Pool on Mercer Island. Photo courtesy of Jay Na
Islanders boys swim team wins KingCo swim meet

Mercer Island swim team is a dominant program.

Northwest Yeshiva senior Zohar Hemmet, left, dribbles the ball down the court in the final game of her high school career against Rainier Christian on Jan. 30. Northwest Yeshiva finished the 2018-19 season with an overall record of 4-16. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Rainier Christian defeats Northwest Yeshiva in season finale

Northwest Yeshiva finishes the season with four victories.

Mercer Island Islanders wrestler Colin Farrell, left, registered a first place finish in the 182-pound weight division at the KingCo/Wesco 3A sub-regionals on Feb. 2. Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
Bevy of Mercer Island grapplers advance to regionals

Islanders wrestling team is peaking at the right time.

Mercer Island 220-pound wrestler Donnie Howard, pictured, pinned Interlake wrestler Cole Mullenix in their matchup on Jan. 17. The Islanders defeated the Saints 44-24 in the dual match. Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
Mercer Island grapplers conquer Interlake on senior night

The Mercer Island Islanders wrestling team earned a 44-24 victory in a… Continue reading

At long last, Edgar Martinez’s waiting game is over. Photo by clare_and_ben/Flickr
Edgar Martinez finally makes the Hall of Fame

In his last year on the ballot, the Mariner legend and greatest designated hitter of all time gets the Cooperstown call.

Mercer Island Islanders guard Nigel Seda, left, scored a team-high 15 points against the Interlake Saints on Jan. 22. Mercer Island defeated Interlake 63-46. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders cruise past Saints in 3A KingCo hoops contest

Mercer Island dominates Interlake in the first quarter.

Mercer Island resident Desiree Berry, pictured with her children Beau, 5, and Bear, 3, clinched a berth at the United States Olympic trials after clocking a time of 2:39.17 at the Cal International Marathon on Dec. 2 in Sacramento, California. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Berry takes top spot at Cal International Marathon

Mercer Island resident clinches a spot at the USA Olympic trials.

Mercer Island Lacrosse Association to host a clinic in February

A free lacrosse clinic and giveaway will take place from noon to… Continue reading

The Mercer Island Islanders boys swim team earned first place at the Kentridge Invitational on Jan. 12. Islanders athletes capturing first place in their respective events consisted of Nate Robinson (50 free), Collin Ralston (200 IM) and James Richardson (100 back). Photo courtesy of Carol Gullstad
Islanders swim team earns first place at Kentridge Invitational

The Mercer Island Islanders boys swim team earned first place at the… Continue reading