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

Mercer Island Islanders senior wrestler Donnie Howard, left, battles against Yelm’s Derrick Platt, right in the Mat Classic Class 3A 195-pound championship match. Platt earned a 3-2 victory against Howard on Feb. 16 at the Tacoma Dome. Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
Sensational senior earns second place at Mat Classic

Mercer Island 195-pound wrestler Donnie Howard finishes a memorable career on the mat.

Mercer Island Islanders senior grappler Eli Pruchno, who competed in the 138-pound weight division, earned three victories at the Mat Classic Class 3A state wrestling tournament on Feb. 15-16 at the Tacoma Dome. Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
Pruchno earns three victories at the Mat Classic

Mercer Island Islanders senior grappler Eli Pruchno, who competed in the 138-pound… Continue reading

Three Mercer Island Islanders gymnasts will compete at the Class 3A state meet from Feb. 21-23 at Sammamish High School in Bellevue. Islanders athletes Ava Motroni (beam, vault), Emery Sampson (vault) and Rachel Ressmeyer (bars, floor, vault) will test their skills against the best gymnastics athletes in Washington at the state meet. Photo courtesy of Debra Gibbs
Three Mercer Island athletes will compete at gymnastics state meet

Three Mercer Island Islanders gymnasts will compete at the Class 3A state… Continue reading

Richardson earns top honors at state swim meet

Mercer Island senior takes pair of titles again.

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.

Give it your all in the playoffs and appreciate the moment / Sports Scene

Athletes and coaches have unveiled their best performances in the regular season,… Continue reading

Islanders earn overtime win against Saints

Mercer Island girls hoops team captures first victory of the season.

Most Read