An epic comeback for SHS basketball, historic runs for several spring prep teams and a trio of longtime coaches step down.
There were plenty of storylines to follow on the Sequim sports scene in 2019. Here’s a quick look back at the athletes, teams and events that made headlines in the past year:
Looking all but finished, Sequim High School’s girls basketball squad broke out in a big way — to the tune of a 28-0 second half run — to upend Foster and advance to the state 2A tournament. There, despite sophomore Jayla Julmist’s 19 points and 19 rebounds, rival Port Angeles ended the Wolves’ season. Sequim finished 17-8 under new(ish) coach Linsay Rapelje, third in the Olympic League.
Port Angeles’ boys had a hand in stopping the Sequim boys on the hardwood as well, topping their league foes in districts. Sequim wound up 12-10, finishing third in the league standings.
Freshman Madison McKeown bowls her way to a 20th place at the state tournament, setting a new best finish for an individual SHS bowler.
SHS’s boys swim crew set two school records (200 medley, 400 free relays) and placed 21st at state.
Two Sequim High grapplers wrestled their way to the state 2A MatClassic finals: Noah Eveland and Aleah Chen.
Sequim High gymnast Emma Sharp, who competed with Port Angeles during the regular season, placed 40th overall at the state meet.
Outside of prep competition, Sequim ninth-grader Alex Schmadeke won a Level 7 state gymnastics title at the Washington Optional State Championships while a Sequim fifth-grade boys basketball team took an AAU state title in mid-March.
Highlighting a season of superlatives for local prep teams were two state champions.
Led by running ace Murray Bingham, Sequim’s boys track team took (in succession) league, district and — for the first boys team championship in school history — the state 2A title in March. Bingham won the 800-meter title, placed third in the 1,600 and helped the 4×400 relay team place third among Sequim’s 11 medalists. Fellow SHS seniors Riley Cowan (second in javelin), Riley Martin (second, 110 hurdles) and Alec Shingleton (second in 400, fifth in 800) and junior Darren Salazar (fifth in 200, sixth in 100) helped clinch the crown. SHS freshman Riley Pyeatt placed fifth in the 400-meter run (58.88) and senior Elizabeth Sweet capped her prep career with a sixth-place finish in the pole vault (10-0).
Paced by junior Jessica Dietzman and sophomore Kalli Wiker, Sequim girls tennis team went 16-0 in league play for a league title — but that was just a warm-up. Dietzman and Wiker, last year’s doubles runner-ups at the state tourney, took league and district titles, then swept foes to reach the 2A finals. There, in a rematch with Sammamish’s Katrina Kuntz and Nina Vingsaly (who beat the Sequim pair in the 2018 state finals), Dietzman and Wiker won a three-set match and, in the process, helped Sequim tie for the team state title, the second in the program’s history (2007).
Sequim’s boys doubles teams of Thomas Hughes and Blake Wiker placed seventh while SHS’s Liam Payne and Damon Little took eighth.
Sequim High’s boys soccer team battled to their first undefeated (12-0-0 in league, 14-0-2) mark in school history. In what turned out to be head coach Dave Brasher’s final season after leading the Wolves for 24 seasons, Sequim went 15-2-2. Brasher retired with 215 wins, 15 postseason appearances, two district titles and five state tourney berths.
It was also the coaching swan song (presumably) for Sequim High’s Bill Shea, who led the Wolves’ boys golf team to another undefeated league campaign (9-0). Paced by senior Blake Wiker (10th individually), Paul Jacobsen, Ben Sweet and Liam Payne, Sequim boys placed second at the state 2A tourney — topped only by a Ridgefield team that sent all six of its varsity players to state. Sequim’s girls had another strong season as well with a 7-2 league mark. Shea helped the SHS boys program to 42 consecutive league match wins and coached the past four league MVPs.
Sequim High’s fastpitch team tied for second in the league standings with Port Angeles and snagged the No. 2 seed from districts (they went 3-1, with the lone loss coming to Port Angeles) before losing two close games at the state tourney.
SHS’s baseball team posted a 14-9 overall mark and earned a district berth, falling one win short of a state tourney berth.
A deep Sequim Middle School girls track team won their league meet in the late spring.
Sequim High graduate (2015) Elise Beuke won her second NCAA title with the University of Washington women’s crew team in the UW varsity second eight boat.
Sequim High 2015 graduate Mikey Cobb raced to a win in the 2019 North Olympic Discovery Marathon on June 2, setting a course mark in the process (2:33.36). Sequim runners swept the full marathon as Heidi Hietpas took the women’s race in 3:36.16.
Sequim High grad Riley Cowan, who earlier in the year announced he’d play football for George Fox University, is named West team’s offensive MVP throwing a TD pass in the 25th-annual Earl Barden All-Star Classic in Yakima on June 22.
Sequim youth Liam Barber cycled with Team USA in a Junior Tour of Ireland in July.
Storm King squads dominated their home turf at the annual Dungeness Cup in early August, winning eight of 10 divisions at the 50-team tourney.
Mother-son duo Kathryn Sumpter and Sam Manders competed at the Canoy Canete Doce Pardes World Invitational Tournament & Gathering in Cebu City Philippines in August.
Wilder Junior, with Sequim youths Michael Grubb and Silas Thomas, qualified for state American Legion AA tournament while the Sequim-based Olympic Crosscutters qualified for American Legion A state tournament.
Prior to fall season, Harold Huff — Sequim High’s boys and girls cross country coach for the past 18 seasons — stepped down from his position. Huff’s teams produced two individual champions, 11 league titles, eight district championships and 15 team state meet berths.
Sarah Thorson, a former SHS swimming and basketball star, is hired to lead the SHS girls swim program. The Wolves go 5-2, and sophomore Mia Coffman — for the second time in as many seasons — earned berths in two individual events at the state 2A finals. She placed ninth in the 500 free and 15th in the 200 free, then joined teammates Lauren Sundin, Natalie George and Francesca Bargis in placing 16th in the 400 free relay at the state 2A meet.
Sequim football has a big season, finishing second in the Olympic League and beating River Ridge at districts before falling to Lakewood in the first round of the state 2A playoffs. Injuries to Olympic League Offensive MVP Taig Wiker and two-way all-league first-teamer Michael Young spoil an otherwise big season for the Wolves (9-2) that included a 26-0 blanking of rival Port Angeles.
SHS girls’ soccer squad earns its second state playoff berth in school history (and second in as many years), taking a No. 4 seed to the state tourney. A loss to Ridgefield set Sequim’s record at 11-7-1.
Sophomore Riley Pyeatt has a breakout cross country season, racing to league and district championships before placing sixth overall at the state 2A meet. Teammates Anastasia Updike and Jessica German join Pyeatt at state for their first finals meet along with Eli Gish, Sequim’s lone boys team representative.
Peninsula College’s men’s and women’s soccer teams once again have banner seasons. The PC men rout Tacoma 3-1 to win the NWAC championship — their first title since 2015 and fifth since 2010 — while the women placed second to Highline, Peninsula’s fourth runner-up finish since 2011 and PC’s eighth title game appearance in nine years.
Sequim Wolf Pack’s JV football team edges Port Angeles 13-12 for a youth league title on Nov. 9.
Dungeness Trails — a new trail system for mountain bikers, joggers, dog-walkers, horseback riders and the like — opened in late fall. The culmination of two years of work, the site is set on 400 acres along River Road just southwest of Sequim.
In early season prep basketball games in the 2019-2020 season, Sequim’s girls are off to a fast start (7-1), with junior Kalli Wiker setting a school record with eight 3-pointers in one game (Dec. 13, an 81-40 win over North Mason). Sequim’s boys started strong too, with a 6-4 mark.
Sequim High junior Kaleb Needoba set two school records — in the 200 and 500 free — in the span of two meets (Dec. 17, Dec. 19).
Sequim High’s cheerleading squad earned its first state competition berth, winning the Jungle Jam in Auburn on Dec. 7.