Glacier Peak’s Matthew King competes in the 100 yard freestyle during the 4A NW District Swim Meet at Snohomish Aquatic Center on February 15, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Glacier Peak’s Matthew King competes in the 100 yard freestyle during the 4A NW District Swim Meet at Snohomish Aquatic Center on February 15, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

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Community sports roundup: Former GP swimmer excels at NCAAs

Plus, a GP alum earned Pac-12 volleyball honors, a Kamiak alum placed at the ice dancing worlds, and more.

Matt King capped his success-filled freshman season at the University of Alabama with a strong showing on the national stage.

The former record-breaking Glacier Peak High School swimmer made three podium trips — one as an individual and two as part of a relay team — during last week’s NCAA Division I men’s swimming and diving national championships in Greensboro, North Carolina.

King placed fifth in the 100-yard freestyle Saturday night with a time of 41.76 seconds, finishing just 0.17 seconds behind the runner-up.

Later that night, King helped the Crimson Tide to a seventh-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay. He led off the relay with a career-best split of 41.63 seconds in the 100 freestyle. It was just 0.11 seconds off the Alabama program record for the 100 freestyle, which was set by three-time NCAA champion Kristian Gkolomeev in 2016.

Earlier in the week, King helped the Crimson Tide to a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay. The relay team’s time of 1 minute, 15.62 seconds was the second-fastest in program history.

King also anchored Alabama’s relay teams to a 12th-place finish in the 200 medley relay and a 14th-place finish in the 400 medley relay. In the latter, he swam a split of 41.48 seconds, which was the fourth-fastest anchor leg in the event.

The Crimson Tide finished 15th in the team standings, which marked the program’s seventh consecutive top-15 finish at the national championships.

At the Southeastern Conference championships last month, King claimed the SEC title in the 100 freestyle and took second place in the 50 freestyle. He also helped Alabama to four top-three relay finishes, including the SEC title in the 400 freestyle relay.

King, a 2020 USA Swimming Olympic Trials qualifier, had a historic performance at the Class 4A high school state swim and dive championships last February. He broke a pair of overall state meet records in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle, both of which had remained untouched for nearly three decades.

Former GP volleyball star earns Pac-12 honors

Glacier Peak High School alum Lauren Sanders was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the week earlier this month after helping lead the University of Washington volleyball team to victories over USC on March 12 and 14.

Sanders, a senior middle blocker, posted a combined 15 blocks in the two matches — including 10 blocks in a three-set sweep of the Trojans in the second match. It marked just the fifth time since 2008 that a UW volleyball player had at least 10 blocks in a three-set match.

This past Sunday, Sanders became just the fourth player in UW program history to surpass 500 career blocks. She has averaged 1.37 blocks per set this season, which ranks second in the Pac-12 and 25th in Division I.

No. 7 Washington (15-3) closes the regular season this week with a pair of matches at California. With a pair of victories, the Huskies would clinch the Pac-12 title.

The NCAA Tournament field will be announced this Sunday. The tournament is scheduled to begin April 14.

Kamiak alum places 9th at ice dancing worlds

Kamiak High School alum Jean-Luc Baker and partner Kaitlin Hawayek placed ninth in ice dancing at this past week’s World Figure Skating Championships in Stockholm, Sweden.

Baker and Hawayek placed ninth in the free dance and 11th in the rhythm dance, earning a total score of 188.51 points. Their ninth-place finish matches their 2019 finish as their best-ever at the world championships.

In January, the pair earned the bronze medal in ice dancing at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Former Monroe football star catches 1st TD at Eastern

Former Monroe High School football star Efton Chism III hauled in the first touchdown reception of his college career on Saturday.

Chism III, an Eastern Washington University freshman receiver, hauled in an 8-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter of the No. 12 Eagles’ 62-10 rout of Cal Poly. He finished the day with four catches for 53 yards. Through three games, he has seven receptions for 72 yards.

Chism III was a dynamic all-around player at Monroe, where he excelled as a receiver, defensive back and returner on special teams.

Edmonds College announces new women’s hoops coach

Edmonds College announced Rafael Spears as its new women’s basketball coach earlier this month. He replaces Nick Amrine, who resigned for personal reasons.

Spears began his basketball coaching career as the boys coach at Eastside Christian High School in Bellevue from 1991 to 1995. From 2002 to 2006, he was the director of an AAU program for elementary and middle school girls in Southern California. From 2006 to 2009, he was the head coach of a Southern California-based 15-and-under girls travel program that competed on the Adidas national circuit.

Spears then moved to the community college level, where he was the associate head men’s basketball coach at Fullerton College (California) from 2009 to 2014.

The Edmonds College women’s basketball team won’t participate in this year’s modified Northwest Athletic Conference season, according to the school’s release. However, players who are in the area will have the opportunity to practice under the school’s return-to-play plan.

USA Gymnastics state competition coming to Everett

Angel Of The Winds Arena is set to host the USA Gymnastics XCEL state championships for the diamond, platinum and gold levels on April 10-11. An expected 600 gymnasts from across the state are slated to compete in the two-day event.

XCEL is a national USA Gymnastics program that runs alongside the Junior Olympic program. Diamond, platinum and gold are the highest levels of XCEL’s five-level program.

The two-day competition will consist of four sessions Saturday and three sessions Sunday. There is limited capacity per session.

The event has been designed with capacity limits and safety and sanitation standards to maintain adherence to COVID-19 safety guidelines from Washington state and the Snohomish County Health District, according to a release from the Snohomish County Sports Commission.

Snohomish Little League fundraiser

In an effort to support the annual budget and operating funds needed to allow kids to participate this season, Snohomish Little League is teaming with Little League International in the Lift Your League online fundraising campaign. To donate, visit bit.ly/2P6TTNB.

For more information on how to support Snohomish Little League financially or as a volunteer, contact snohomishlittleleague@gmail.com.

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