Around Campus

Blazer Athletics | End-of-Year Review

    • Athletics Pic

It seems fitting that the theme for Bush this year was joy – an emotion that was emulated around in Blazer athletics on the courts, playing fields, and sidelines. 

Seven Bush alums returned to coach, including College Coordinator of College Counseling and Student Success Meg Manning ‘15, who was named the 2022 Emerald Sound Conference Boys Ultimate Coach of the Year. Bush also welcomed two new staff members to the athletic department this year, Associate Athletic Director Mel White, and Fitness Center Specialist Megan McKinney-Rickey. Joy was experienced in both the hard grind of practices and countless wins, including the historic Boys Cross Country state championship and a repeat of the Boys State Tennis Double title. 

“This was an amazing year for the entire Blazers Athletic Program. Our new Associate Athletic Director Mel White, along with the other members of the athletic department staff, played a vital role in us being able to provide a multitude of positive athletic experiences, including a record number of 158 participants on our Middle School teams,” Bush Athletic Director Jo Ito said.  “Across all three divisions, our mission-driven coaching staff provided opportunities for their athletes to improve their skills, learn important life lessons, and have successful seasons. We had so many memorable moments this year, highlighted by the Boys Cross Country team hoisting the state championship trophy in front of the entire student body in the fall and ending with the duo of Cal J. '24 and Bernie R. '24 winning the state doubles title for the second year in a row.”

Below are some of the highlights from the year. Head to for full recaps on each season. 

Boys XC Wins First State Title

It was a storybook ending to a special season for the Bush Cross Country program. On Saturday, November at the 1A Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Cross Country State Championships in Pasco, the Bush boys team won the state title for the first time in school history. The Blazers scored 95 points to edge out Northwest.
“We are so proud of the Blazer Cross Country program for creating history today,” Associate Athletic Director Mel White said. “For the first time in school history, the Bush Blazers Boys Cross Country team won a state championship. The entire program has been working hard since August, setting PR’s throughout the season. It is exciting to see everything come to fruition. Congratulations to the coaches and student athletes for an incredible end to a great season.”
Amaré F. '23 led the way for the Blazers with a ninth place finish overall, clocking 17 minutes, 13.3 seconds. Teammate Duncan F-S. '25 was right behind in tenth place (17:13.7). In total, Bush had six runners finish in the top fifty. 
The state title for the boys team capped a season filled with many highlights including winning the Varsity Division II title at the prestigious Bob Firman Invitational in Eagle, Idaho, and claiming the 1A District 2 Championship. 
The Varsity Girls team also ended their season on a high note placing fifth overall as a team with 183 points. Kathryn F.  '23 was the top finisher for Bush, placing tenth overall in 19:59. Caroline H. '26 And Elise F. '25 were the next top runners for the team, placing fifty-second and fifty-fourth overall. 
During the spring track season, Amaré ended off his prep career in style, finishing runner-up in the 800 (1:52.95) and 1,600 (4:15.05) and at the WIAA 1A State Track and Field Championships in Yakima. Teammate Duncan was sixth in the 1600 and seventh in the 3,200. 

James Batey Wins Coach of the Year
Another chapter in the historic season for the Bush Cross Country Program was added as Head Coach James Batey was named the 1A Boys Coach of the Year by the Washington State Cross Country Coaches Association Executive Board. 

“Coach James has invested so much time and energy into our cross country running program. It is fantastic that his hard work and dedication is also recognized by the state-wide running community,” Bush Athletic Director Jo Ito said. “His ability to provide a healthy, positive, and competitive team environment is second to none.” 

Twice as Nice: Boys Tennis Wins State Doubles Title for 2nd Straight Year
For the second consecutive year, the Bush Boys Tennis Double team won the state title! Saturday, May 27, at the Yakima Tennis Club, Cal and Bernie defeated Seattle Academy 6-3, 6-4 to claim the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association 1B/2B/1A Doubles title. The victory marked the second straight title for Cal, as he won last spring with partner Quinn C. '22. The team also locked up the third place trophy. 

The victory capped an impressive year for the duo going undefeated, as they won the Emerald Sound Conference Boys Tennis Doubles Championship back in October, defeating SAAS. 
It was so much fun watching Cal and Bernie defend their boys tennis doubles title. Their ability to stay calm and in control throughout the tournament was truly impressive."
 In girls tennis action, the doubles pair of Claire F. ’25 and Sarah S. '25 battled through the 1A bracket, winning their first two matches. The two finished with an impressive fourth place. 

College-Bound Blazers 

Nine Blazers across five different sports will be taking their talents to the next level. Three members of the Blazer Cross-Country team will continue to compete in college. Amaré F. ’23 , who received twelve varsity letters as a Bush student-athlete, will run for Yale University following his record-breaking spring track season. Eric C. ’23 will be hitting the trails at Colorado College, Luke V-C. ’23 will be running for Emerson, and Kathryn F. ’23  will  join the Loyola Marymount University cross country team this fall. Following a successful golf season, Henry F. ’23 will compete on the links at Hamilton College. Sidney K.’23 will get back on the soccer pitch as she will be putting on a jersey for Chapman University next year.  Vassar College is getting lacrosse player Sigrid F. ’23. Two of our rowers will each be taking to the sport in college: Ava B. ’23 will join the team at University of Texas, Austin, and Lili F. ’23 will row for Wellesley College. 

“We are so proud of our college-bound athletes, and cannot wait to follow their future sports careers,”Jo said.

University of Texas - Austin 
Colorado College
Hamilton College
Yale University
Wellesley College
Loyola Marymount University
Vassar College
Cross Country/Track
Upper School Athletic Awards Banquet

The 2022-23 Blazers sports year wrapped up with the annual Upper School Athletic Awards Banquet on June 9. Athletes, parents/guardians, and coaches gathered to share a meal, and to celebrate a myriad of individual and team accomplishments. A record number of 321 athletic opportunities were provided this school year, and the athletes made the most of them. Over the course of the year, five school records were broken, 62 athletes were recognized with All Conference Honors, two athletes were selected as MVP, and two state championships were won to mention a few of the many achievements. The evening’s highlights included the induction of Upper School Counselor and long-time coach John Ganz into the Bush Athletics Hall of Fame and the announcement of this year’s major athletic award winners including:

Twelve Varsity Letter Athlete Award - Amaré Fields ’23
Most Inspirational Athlete Award - Cal J. ’24 & Clare M. ’24
Blue & White Award - Eric C. ’23 & Henry Fey ’23 
The Blazer Award - Amaré Fields ’23 

Athletics Hall of Fame Awardee: Upper School Counselor John Ganz
by Tiffany Kirk, Alumni and Donor Relations Manager

Upper School Counselor John Ganz joined The Bush School faculty in 1986. During these thirty-seven years and counting, he has been a trusted guide, support, and advisor to generations of Bush students seeking his counsel. And although his door has retained the title of Upper School Counselor throughout the years, this year he is being honored for a different reason: his more than thirty years of coaching track and field, cross country, and bowling.

“It is hard to find the appropriate words to describe the importance of John’s contributions to our school and its athletic program,” shared Athletic Director Jo Ito. “I remember meeting John when I first started working at Bush, and I immediately picked up on his commitment to our students’ well-being. Throughout his coaching career at Bush, his perspective on how to best support student-athletes was felt not only by the members of the teams he coached, but also by all of our athletic program participants. His teams benefited from his high level of sports expertise, and his ability to provide a positive and safe team culture.” 

The Athletics Hall of Fame Award strives to honor those individuals or groups who exemplify the values of the Blazer Athletics program, and who have distinguished themselves, their team, and the school in athletic participation and/or competition. As a track and field coach from 1987-2018, a cross country coach from 1989-2016, and the head coach of the bowling team from 2010-2016, John embodies the spirit of the award. 

John was honored during the Bush Upper School Athletics Award Banquet this past June, and joins the ranks of the five awardees who preceded him: Floyd Webb, Janice Osaka, Theo Coxe, Jim Franklin, and the Lewis family. Read more about the award and awardees on the Bush Alum webpage. Alumni Stories ( 
The Bush School is an independent, coeducational day school located in Seattle, WA enrolling 715 students in grades K–12. The mission of The Bush School is to spark in students of diverse backgrounds and talents a passion for learning, accomplishment, and contribution to their communities.

3400 East Harrison Street, Seattle WA 98112    (206) 322-7978
The Bush School does not discriminate in matters of employment, recruitment, admissions, or administration of any of its programs on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. In addition, The Bush School does not discriminate in matters of employment on the basis of age or marital status.
© 2022  The Bush School