Prep stars of the week
Michael Soler, Lake Stevens wrestling
He came in ranked third at 132 pounds, widely considered the toughest Class 4A weight class in the state. But the savvy junior left as a champion once again, earning his third title. After a semifinal victory over a two-time silver medalist, Soler beat a fellow two-time champion, Timmy Martinez of Pasco, in the final.
“He was so calm and collected,” coach Brent Barnes said. “He’s just a great wrestler and a great competitor.”
Nykaela Dodson, Sammamish gymnastics
Dodson, a senior, put up the best all-around score at the state meet in any classification with a 38.125 — enough to edge Auburn Mountainview’s Kayla Porter (38.05). She had a solid showing in the finals of the individual events, too, taking second in each with impressive scores — 9.65 on vault, 9.65 on floor, 9.6 on bars and 9.45 on beam (38.25 total). “She peaked at the right time,” coach Jerry Penney said.
“To score two 38s in two days against pretty strong competition, that’s saying something.”
Liberty girls basketball team
Playing in the tough KingCo 3A/2A all season helped prepare coach Carly Fromdahl’s Patriots for the 3A state playoffs. They knocked off then-No. 3 White River in the semifinals of the District 2/3 tournament, 62-52, and wound up taking the title with a 54-44 victory over fellow KingCo qualifier Sammamish.