By Mike Maltais
This year’s crop of Liberty Bell High School graduates leaves behind a string of notable athletic achievements and records that they helped make reality through individual performance and team leadership. Those milestones included:
• Milo Holston’s domination of the 160-pound weight division that led the Mountain Lions to their second consecutive state wrestling championship.
• Austin Watson’s first-place state long jump — the second-longest in LBHS history — that contributed to the school’s first-ever state trophy in track and field.
• Liam Daily’s school records in both the 800-meter and 1,600-meter runs to go along with the 400-meter record he set last year.
• Varsity girls’ soccer team captains Hannah Hafsos, Tulie Budiselich, Estrella Corrigan and Kathleen Chavey-Reynaud, who guided a young Lady Lions team to its fifth consecutive academic state championship and third place in state play.
These were just some of the benchmarks set by the departing upperclassmen.
The News polled the ranks of senior athletes to compile brief profiles of who did what during their high school years. Part One appears this week.
A multi-sport athlete, Daily was one of five Liberty Bell seniors to earn the distinction of Central Washington 2B Scholar-Athlete (GPA 3.5 or higher) and received the prestigious Claude Watkins Award for 2014. He was instrumental in helping to lead the Mountain Lions varsity boys’ track team to its first-ever state trophy and a second-place finish in the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association State Track and Field Championships at Eastern Washington University in Cheney last month.
The Harvard University-bound senior currently owns the Liberty Bell High School records in the 400-meter run set in 2013, and the 800- and the 1,600-meter runs, both set this year.
Daily participated in cross-country, basketball and track and field during all four high school years and was twice voted the defensive Most Valuable Player on the Mountain Lions’ varsity basketball team.
In his free time, Daily enjoys hiking and backpacking and may continue to pursue both cross-country and track after high school.
A three-sport athlete, Hafsos was a member of the varsity girls’ soccer team and track and field team during all four years of high school and played basketball as a freshman, sophomore and junior. Through all 11 seasons of her sports career, Hafsos was a scholar-athlete and one of five seniors recognized as a Central Washington 2B Scholar-Athlete.
She won the basketball Coach’s Award as a freshman and was voted Most Inspirational on the soccer team as a sophomore and junior.
Hafsos has been swimming since she was 8 years old and also enjoys ice skating. She said she may pursue intramural swimming while attending the University of Washington.
Jensen starting playing football and wrestling as a seventh-grader and continued football through his senior year and wrestling through his sophomore year. As a junior, he took up track and field with impressive results. He was a member of the second-place state Mountain Lions’ varsity boys’ track team and stands seventh in the LBHS record book in the 100-meter hurdles. Jensen was on the four-man relay team with Daily, Jaymis Hanson and Cesar Dominguez that set the new 4×400-meter school record this year.
Jensen said he plans to continue football and track and field after high school.
When she wasn’t playing volleyball from her seventh grade through sophomore years, Bowers loved to dance. She was a member of the Red Lotus Seeds Bellydance group in 2012-13 and the Red Lotus Dance Company from 2013-14. Bowers participated in LFW Dance Studios in ballet and jazz, where she taught her own dance class “Empowering Your Dance.”
Bowers said she intends to pursue all kinds of dance following high school.
Szafas played both baseball and basketball through all four years of high school and gave the varsity cross-country team a turn as a senior. He was voted to the Central Washington 2B All-League First Team in basketball in both his junior and senior years.
Off campus, Szafas enjoys dirt biking.
Smith has been a snowboarder since sixth grade and said she intends to continue that sport after high school. She played varsity tennis in her freshman through junior years, volleyball as a freshman and sophomore, and was a member of the Lady Lions fourth-place state soccer team as a junior.
She was voted Most Improved in tennis as a freshman and sophomore.
Higbee focused most of his sports energies on baseball as a freshman, sophomore and senior, and his dedication paid dividends. He was voted Rookie of the Year as a freshman, made the CWB All-League Second Team as a sophomore, and All-League First Team and Pitcher of the Year as a senior.
The only varsity golfer representing LBHS this year, Dickinson made the distinction count by winning the district championship by eight strokes and advancing to the state championships, where he placed fifth. He also played baseball as a freshman and sophomore and football as a senior. He was also a member of the Killer Whales Swim Team.
Dickinson said he hopes to pursue golf while at Western Washington University.
Corrigan starred on both the running track and soccer pitch as a member of the Lady Lions’ varsity soccer team her freshman through senior years and varsity track as a freshman through junior. She was a member of the 4×100-meter relay team also comprised of Zoey Marchiney, Ashley Watson and Sarina Williams that ran Liberty Bell’s fifth-fastest time in that event last year.
Her tenure on the varsity girls’ soccer team included four consecutive years that the Lady Lions won the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Academic State Championship along with fourth place at state in 2012 and third in 2013, the year Corrigan received the team’s individual sportsmanship award.
Part Two next week: profiles of more graduating athletes.