The Everett Elite Flag Football 14-under team practices Sunday morning at Harbour Pointe Middle School in Mukilteo, Washington on January 16, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Community roundup: GP grad King to represent U.S. at World Aquatics Championships

Plus, Arlington’s Max Gray earns Swiss pro football honors, Everett’s Mia Cienega takes second at national wrestling championships, and more.

Matt King is headed to Japan this week to represent the United States at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships, and he has a good chance of earning a medal.

The Glacier Peak High School graduate was one of 26 male swimmers selected to the U.S. team for the world championships based on his performance at the 2023 U.S. Swimming Championships, which were held June 27-July 1 in Indianapolis. King was selected to be a member of the men’s 400-meter freestyle relay team.

King, who is taking a redshirt year from collegiate swimming to concentrate on international competitions, including the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, had two top-four finishes at nationals. He finished third in the 100 freestyle with a time of 47.99 seconds, which was just 0.06 seconds behind winner Jack Alexy. Then he took fourth in the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.80, which was 0.30 seconds behind victor Ryan Held. Both times were personal bests.

King’s third-place finish in the 100 freestyle earned him one of six spots on the U.S. 400 freestyle relay team for worlds. The swimming portion of the World Aquatics Championships begins Saturday in Fukuoka, Japan, and runs through July 30. The men’s 400 freestyle relay final is scheduled for Sunday, and the U.S. is the defending gold medalist.

Gray named Swiss football Player of the Year

Arlington High School graduate Max Gray, who now plays football for the Calanda Broncos of the Swiss Nationalliga A, was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year as he led the Broncos to the Swiss Bowl championship.

Gray, in his fourth season with Calanda, played defense the previous three seasons because teams are only allowed one American on the field at a time, and the Broncos had an American quarterback. However, Calanda’s quarterback this season qualified as Austrian, allowing Gray to switch to receiver, the position he played in college. In nine games during the regular season he caught 76 passes for 1,130 yards, and he finished with 1,598 all-purpose yards and 18 touchdowns.

Calanda finished 9-1 during the regular season to receive a bye to the semifinals of the playoffs. The Broncos beat the Geneva Seahawks 35-3 in the semis to reach the Swiss Bowl. Then in the Swiss Bowl, which was held Saturday in Grenchen, Calanda, raced to a 39-0 halftime lead before defeating the Thun Tigers 53-21 to earn its 12th league championship. It was Gray’s third title with Calanda.

Cienega take second at wrestling nationals

Mia Cienega, who’s headed into her sophomore year at Everett High School, placed second in the 200-pound division at the 2023 U.S. Marine Corps 16U Women’s Nationals wrestling tournament held last week in Fargo, North Dakota.

Cienega, who finished second at the Class 4A/3A state tournament at 235 pounds and is ranked 18th in the nation at 200 pounds, breezed through the bracket, comfortably defeating nationally-ranked wrestlers from Missouri, Illinois and Pennsylvania in the round of 16, quarterfinals and semifinals to reach the championship match.

In the championship bout Cienega took on Utah’s Keilikki Nau Rarick, who’s ranked No. 11 in the nation at 225 pounds. Nau Rarick scored two points in the final seconds to eke out a 5-4 victory.

At the Junior (18U) Women’s Nationals, recent Marysville Pilchuck High School graduate Alivia White placed seventh in the 180-pound bracket.

Mill Creek, Pacific lead Little League baseball champs

Mill Creek Little League and Pacific Little League of Edmonds/Lynnwood took home five of the six titles in the District 1 Little League baseball tournaments, the last of which were completed last week.

Mill Creek won championships in the 10-year-old, Majors and Intermediate brackets. Pacific claimed titles in the 11-year-old and Senior brackets. Everett Little League won the championship in the Junior bracket.

All six champions qualified for the state tournaments, which are currently taking place at various locations across Washington.

Constantine returns to WHL with Wenatchee

Former Everett Silvertips coach Kevin Constantine has returned to the WHL, as he was hired as the head coach of the recently relocated Wenatchee Wild.

Constantine had two highly successful four-season stints with Everett. He was the team’s first-ever head coach, guiding the expansion Tips to the U.S. Division and Western Conference championships in 2003-04. Between 2003-07 and 2013-17 Constantine compiled a 326-199-51 record with Everett, winning five division championships and the 2007 Scotty Munro Trophy for the league’s best record in the regular season. He received the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as the league’s Coach of the Year in 2004.

Wenatchee joins the U.S. Division in the upcoming 2023-24 season after being moved from Winnipeg, where the team was the Ice. Everett’s first regular season meeting with the Wild is on Sept. 29 at Angel of the Winds Arena.

Four ERA entries win at Cascadia Masters

Four entries from the Everett Rowing Association took home gold medals from the Cascadia Masters Championships over the weekend in Burnaby, B.C.

The highlight came in Women’s 2x B (36 and older), when the pair of Anda Ruja and Jessica Raab won in a time of 3 minutes, 56.508 seconds over the 1,000-meter course, besting the rest of the field by more than 20 seconds. Both Ruja and Raab were part of other winning boats, as Ruja and Kimberly Rice-Narush won Women’s 2x C (43 and older), while Raab and Aaron Haack won Mixed 2x B.

Rice-Narush added a victory in the Women’s 1x E (55 and older).

If you have an item for the community sports roundup, email Nick Patterson at

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