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

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.

Mercer Island Islanders senior swimmer James Richardson hasn’t forgotten how close his team came to a hoisting a Class 3A state championship trophy during his junior season.

The Islanders, who finished the 2017-18 season with a total of 374 team points, captured second place at the Class 3A state swim meet. The Bainbridge Island Spartans earned first place, tallying 397 team points.

Richardson, who captured individual 3A state championships in the 100 back and 100 fly, wants to see his team bring home the state crown in his final year of high school swimming.

“It is going to be tough to win but we can definitely do it. Bainbridge has a few very, very strong swimmers and we have a very deep team with a great group of guys,” Richardson explained.

Richardson said the Islanders boys swim team spends a significant amount of time together outside the pool as well. Richardson counts Islanders teammates Nate Robinson, Killian Riley and Jake Headrick as some of his best friends.

“We have a lot of fun. There is a lot of team dinners. It is very fun to be part of this team,” Richardson said. “I have been swimming for a long time but I really didn’t get into it, though, until I was around 12 years old. That is when I started to develop some really good friendships. That is what kept me going.”

Richardson is a huge fan of Islanders’ second-year head coach Evan Moline. Moline, who is a graduate of Washington State University, graduated from Mercer Island High School in 2011.

“I’m very glad we have him as our coach. He looks through all of the data. He always comes up to us and tells us what is happening for the last few years in each of our races. He knows the times, who made the finals, who qualified for state. He is a great coach with technique too. He is a very exciting coach,” Richardson said Moline.

Recently the Mercer Island Reporter had an opportunity to ask Richardson a few questions about his life away from the pool.

Mercer Island Reporter: What is your favorite movie of all time?

James Richardson: I would go with “Shrek.”

MIR: What is your biggest pet peeve?

JR: My friends say that I say fickle a lot. I don’t like indecisiveness.

MIR: What is your dream vacation spot?

JR: It is probably Fiji. It is tropical, has good food and has good scuba diving.

MIR: If you could pick one person to go to dinner with, who would it be?

JR: My girlfriend.

MIR: What is your favorite hobby away from swimming?

JR: I like to play around with electronics.

MIR: Who was your favorite sports team growing up?

JR: I never had one. My dad likes the Mariners and Seahawks but I never went with him (to games).

MIR: How many text messages do you send per day.

JR: I send 10 at most.

MIR: What kind of music are you listening to the most in your car right now?

JR: I probably listen to rap the most.

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