Newspaper Archive of
Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island, Washington
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September 2, 1998     Mercer Island Reporter
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September 2, 1998
 

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M 15:38) David Friedman/Reporter file photo Katie Cunha will likely be remembered as one of the best tennis players in state history, winning the last two Class 3A state singles tennis tour— nament titles after finishing fifth in the tournament as a freshman. ‘It’s really cool we have a lot of athletes that have played all four years on varsity. You have to be pretty good to play all four years, is really good.’ especially at Mercer Island, where every sport «- Diana Chamberlain By Ethan Fowler Mercer Island Reporter . Matt Brashears/Reporter file photo Jane Humphries has been a" rock solid leader for the six—time defending state champion girls swim team, as well as the water polo team. V+ TIGHT-KNIT CREW Rowing is a family affair for Peschels ‘petitively with them as part of the Mount Baker Crew’s master’s team. By Ethan Fowler Mercer Island Reporter “I can’t believe he hasn’t graduated yet, it seems like he ’s been dominating the high school ranks forever. ' “She is a junior? way. thought for sure wouldn’t ever have to worry about guarding her again. can’t believe she’s still got a year left in high school. That really bites. “These guys are too good to be sopho- mores. There’s no way these guys have two years left in high school.” These are familiar refrains that oppos- ing coaches, players, fans and reporters have made about Mercerlsland High School’s Class of 1999 for the past three to four years. The surprise and disappoint- ment echoed in the quotes underline the ' amazing athletic ability of this year’s se— nior class. Ever since arriving at Mil-IS as freshmen in 1995, the Class of 1999 has made an impression for its athleticism, talent, and skills, no matter the sport or the outcome of the game. In most years, there are a few sports standouts in a class; with the Class of ’99, there are many. » From Katie Cunha and Nick Rainey in tennis, to Elliott Prasse-Freeman and Lexie Richards in basket- ball, to Emily Odegard and Katie—Jay Scott in girls soc- cer, to Jane Humphries and Timmy Chung in swimming, to Colin‘Lake and Jeff Pattison in lacrosse and to Kelsey Ternes and Brandon Curfew in track, the Class of 1999 has left its mark not only in athletic skills, but also in leadership and camaraderie. “I’ve been saying for two years that this is one of the best classes,” Mercer Island C(yAthletic Director Scott Florsheim said. “We have 21 sports here and out of 81086.21, Sppns._we’v,e hadthese guys dom- inate 15.’They’ve taken their talent and wOrked' hard to reach their potential and ' they just have more athletes in their class that want to get to an elite level. Individually, they’ve gone out to be the best they can be - it’s an extremely talented class.” “They started their careers very early and are very committed to being success— ful,” 31—year MIHS boys basketball coach Ed Pepple said. “The‘kids'seem to gen— uinely like each other and they seem will— ing to share the credit, the glory and every— thing else — very team-oriented group. There’s no question that Mercer Island High School and Coach Pepple, in partic— ular, will miss them very much when they graduate.” ‘ THE CLASS OF ’99 helped lead their respective teams to a school-record four state titles their sophomore year and five state crowns and seven Kingco 3A Seniors striving for continued success Conference championships last season. Their contributions are some of the great- est in three of the school’s most success— ful sports: tennis, swimming and basketball. Cunha has won two Class 3A tennis singles titles, and Rainey finished second in the singles tournament his sophomore year after winning doubles his freshman sea- son. In swimming, HUmphries was fourth in the ZOO—yard freestyle her sophomore year and came back last year to finish sec- ond. Chung won both the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke state titles last year after coming in third and fourth in the events his sophomore season. Prasse— Freeman was the only sophomore who started in the Class 3A state championship game, and Richards has led the girls bas- ketball team in scoring the past two seasons, including finishing with a Kingco—high 19.2 average last season. But the main reason for the Class of 1999’s amazing success is its ability to not only dominate the established Mercer Island dynasties, but to substantially raise the level of play in almost all the sports offered at the four~year high school. Pitching ace Scott Robertson pumped enthusiasm and « interest into a baseball pro- gram that had never won a league title. Lake led the boys lacrosse team in goals scored the past two years. set the table since she was These are just a few of the top Mercer Island High School athletes who made significant strides on varsity teams in var— ious sports since they were freshman and sophomores. WITH ALL THE great athletes who have worn the Islanders’ maroon and white jersey over the years, though, why is this class so spectacular? Some believe their class has been lucky to haveall the athletic tal- But many others believe the success of the Class of ’99 stems from their unity. “It’s really cool we have a lot of ath— letes that have played all four years on varsity,” Chamberlain said. “You have to ‘be pretty good to play all four years, es pecially at Mercer Island, where every sport is really good.” “Everybody looks out for each other; we’re like a big family,” Scott said. “We are really tight; everybody knows everybody. Any problems that happen Within our grade are resolved quickly.” Another reason for their success comes from the support of the Mercer Island com- munity. Boys basketball games are often sold ‘ out and many in the community travel to road games, meets or matches in large numbers to show their support and pride. Please see Seniors on B2 And Diana Chamberlain 'i a freshman for the volley- ‘ ball team’s pursuit of the“ post-season. . Matt Brashears/Reporter file photo 1 Colin Lake has been a scoring machine for the boys lacrosse: eat it has and: Consider it a: merely a fluke; * ' team, tallying 87 goals the last two years. \- Elliott Prasse—Freernan has been the emotional leader for the“. boys basketball program since making the team as a freshman. If a Rainrunners * _, ,~ take Sthin relay I i f By Ethan Fowler Mercer Island Reporter ’ i 'u it. Mat Brashears/Reporter file photo a“. ’ -. It wasn’t the" challenge of running atfall ‘ items —— pitch black, morning sunrise or peak ,‘ heat ‘——‘that brOught Mercer Island’s Team Rainrunners back'to the grueling Hood'to Coast event. thelargest relay running eventin‘ ‘ g the world, held over the weekend in Oregon. . “Whatattracted me torowing was I seeing my kids have a'good time do- ing it,” said Dale Pesehel, who has been the vice president of The Citicorp ' Private Bank in Seattle for the past “ 3 0t many parents get to oom- ' pete with their children after r they reach high school. Usually 2 as their kids get older and stronger in sports, parents’ opportunity to play with their children in,ath1etics either diminishes severely or disappears completely. . But Dale Peschel isn’t like a lot of parents. In fact, the Mercer Islander is still competing and participating with his sons. He started rowing in 1993 and has taken it seriously for ' the last 18 months. After watching his sons, Jamie and Curtis, practice 17 years. “I’m an athletic person, so I thought I’d give it a try, and since then, I’ve found there’s a wonderful zen quality to rowing. It’s a marvelous way to disconnect from all else. “To me, it doesn’t matter whether the lake is glassy smooth or gray and rough,” said the 6-foOt-2, l60-pound Peschel, who recently placed fourth in two races at» the prestigious Nike World Masters Games. “I’ve, seen sunrises, Nor was it'the factthey were the defending 5 mixed submasters ‘304and:over division cham- pions. Nor was it” the opportunity to partakemf a 2:30 am. breakfast ata Portland bar more known for its body-piercings thanits food. The reason Mercer Island’s Doug MacLean. Ted Coulson, Dallas Otter. Kathy Govier, ‘ Cindy Fellows and Marty Wall, along with Mercer Island High School grad Gary Gills and = ,, off-Islanders Lora Brown, Karin Gonclaves, Liz Sledsc‘her, LizStahl and Tony Williams, . ran the grueling course for the fourth straight year was because of their unique camaraderie. ‘ ‘ r ‘ ' n Mount Rainier and the leaves chang- ing color and it’s ‘a marvelous expe- at home continuously on theer'g (row— ing machine) as part of their training, the 51-year-old Peschel decided he wanted to row recreationally and com- ‘ , ‘- Matti earn/Mércer .‘ le Peschel all row crew competitively. slander father and e Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing centerfsfcrew house. please see Runners 0,1333 .._ L ,_ Left to right: Curtis, Jamie, and Da his two sons are pictured here in th Please see Rowing family onBZ