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.

More in Sports

Simply sensational!

Tiger Woods’ improbable victory resonates across America.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls golf team currently has an overall record of 3-2 in early season play on the links. The Islanders golf program, which is its 22nd year of existence, has won three state titles, seven KingCo titles and 10 district championships over the past two decades. The 2019 team is led by captains Annelise Rorem and Katelyn Travis. The Islanders registered their 200th career victory as a program earlier this season. Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
Islanders girls golf team is striving for excellence

The Mercer Island Islanders girls golf team currently has an overall record… Continue reading

Mercer Island junior midfielder Luca Mtskhetadze, left, celebrates with teammate Jonah Hyman, right, after scoring on a header in the 87th minute of play, giving his team a 2-1 lead in overtime. Mercer Island held on for a 2-1 victory against the Juanita Rebels on April 11. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders register comeback victory against Rebels

Mercer Island prevails in overtime against Juanita.

Mercer Island senior outfielder Cole Miller will continue his baseball career with the Huskies next year. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Miller patrols the outfield with passion for the Islanders

Mercer Island senior will continue his baseball career at the University of Washington.

Mercer Island Islanders senior lacrosse player Stew Vassau will continue his lacrosse career at the University of Utah next season. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Vassau wants to lead Mercer Island to a state crown

Islanders are aiming for the pinnacle on the lacrosse field.

Mercer Island third baseman Caitlyn Barber, left, tags out Bellevue baserunner Rachel Treves, right, during a matchup between rivals on April 3 at the South Mercer playfields. Bellevue defeated Mercer Island, 35-0. Photo courtesy of Jim Nicholson
Islanders remain positive despite lopsided defeat

Mercer Island girls softball team displays character in loss.

Mercer Island Islanders senior girls lacrosse player Grace Fujinaga will continue her lacrosse career at the University of Pennsylvania. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Fujinaga is a dominant force on the lacrosse field

Mercer Island Islanders senior girls lacrosse player Grace Fujinaga hasn’t forgotten her… Continue reading

The Mercer Island Islanders varsity boys soccer team is looking forward to the 2019 season. Photo courtesy of Sophy Yang
Islanders are looking to dominate on the soccer field

Expectations never waver for the Mercer Island Islanders boys soccer program. The… Continue reading

Optimism remains supreme in March for baseball fans

Home opener is on the horizon for the Seattle Mariners.

Mercer Island Islanders senior point guard Will Lee earned 3A KingCo first-team all league honors for his play during the 2018-19 season. The Islanders finished with an overall record of 17-6. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Lee exudes leadership during memorable season on hardwood

Mercer Island senior Will Lee was the definition of a floor general.

Elementary school wrestlers Arabella Chapman, Alex Chapman and Briak Chapman competed at the 2019 WSWA Folkstyle state tournament on Feb. 17 at the Tacoma Dome. Photo courtesy of Connie Chapman
Elementary School wrestlers bring home medals

Northwood Elementary School students showed off their wrestling skills at the 2019… Continue reading

A view from the bleachers at the Mat Classic state wrestling tournament on Feb. 15, 2019. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Mat Classic is an amazing spectacle

A simply special experience at the Tacoma Dome.