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Mercer Island High School graduate Rendy Opdycke swam the Catalina Channel, from Catalina Island to the California mainland, in eight hours and 28 minutes on Aug. 9. It is the third fastest time for a woman and the sixth fastest time overall, out of 145 people who have swam the channel solo since 1927.
The Olympics have a little something for every sports fan — casual or diehard. Watching Michael Phelps has been great theater. Although there is no relation to myself as far as I know, I do get a kick out of seeing “Phelps wins gold” flash on every news and sports Web site on the Internet. But Phelps’ quest for eight gold medals, the most won at one Games by an Olympian in history, brings the best of sports to the forefront of our culture. I haven’t heard much talk of steroids at these games — the only time was when previous world record holders hailed from the former East Germany.
Two things have been constant in Hugh Miller’s life — Mercer Island and bowling. And while he has drifted away from each at one time or another, he has returned to both. Miller grew up on the Island and graduated from Mercer Island High School in 1975. That was when the lane of life rolled him into stardom.
In most communities, summer is a time for relaxing. Organized sports fall to the wayside in favor of vacations and recreation. But Mercer Island doesn’t fall into that category.
Former Mercer Island High School graduate and coach Brad Rorem has had a lot of experience with parents and adolescent athletes. He has played and coached football and wrestling for the Islanders and is currently a high school teacher. Rorem will use his experiences to teach a class at Bellevue Community College and help parents through this phase of their child’s life, starting on June 26 for five Thursdays.
At the beginning of April, the Mercer Island boys soccer team fell to fifth place in 3A KingCo and were in danger of heading out of the postseason playoff picture all together. The team will not play in the KingCo playoffs this season but will bypass them instead.
The good news/bad news quotient for the Seattle Mariners was somewhat parallel to the Pacific Northwest climate going into the recent weekend’s three-game road series with the division-leading Los Angeles Angels. Yes, it was late April and mid-spring in Greater Seattle; yes, the forecast mentioned snow.
Former Mercer Island High School golf coach and middle school teacher Gary Adrian touched numerous young lives on the Island for more than a decade and a half. His passing in September 2006 brought many of his former students and athletes back together to say goodbye. Many more of his family, friends and pupils will gather on July 14 at the Fairwood Golf and Country Club in Renton for the first Gary Adrian Memorial Golf Tournament.
For starters, the Mariners have them. That much was apparent during the brief first home stand of the 2008 Seattle Mariners, management of which bet millions that a beefed up starting-pitching corps would be all the team needs to seize the American West Division title from the rival Los Angeles Angels. But for a ninth-inning home run given up by all-star reliever J.J. Putz (now on the disabled list with a minor injury) during the second of three with the Texas Rangers, the 2008 M’s would have left home for a week at 3-0. As is, the 2-1 mark kept up with the pitching-depleted Angels in a race that may proceed well into September.