Kevin Rabourn knows how to make a big splash. The Newcastle resident recruited 71 other dedicated souls to swim 3 ½ miles across Puget...

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Kevin Rabourn knows how to make a big splash.

The Newcastle resident recruited 71 other dedicated souls to swim 3 ½ miles across Puget Sound today. They’ll start on Bainbridge Island and, accompanied by safety boats, swim to Alki Beach. The event benefits Junior Achievement.

Each swimmer raised a minimum of $2,500.

Rabourn knows the thrill of raising money for a good cause — and doing a challenging swim. He swam the same course solo in 1998, earning more than $22,000 for a homeless-youth project.

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“It was one of the most satisfying experiences of my life,” Rabourn said.

On top of the world

Proud parents in Sammamish are still bragging about their kids who played on the Eastlake Little League 9- and 10-year-olds All Star team. One dad went to great heights to show how proud he was.

The team recently finished second in the state championship in Chehalis — the strongest showing yet for any Eastlake Little League team.

Tom Marxen of Sammamish, whose son, Troy, played on the team, left the day after the final game to climb Mount Rainer.

Marxen made it to the top. In a photograph he e-mailed to other team parents, he’s standing at the summit holding a sign:

“Eastlake 9-10 All Stars

First Runner Up — State Championship.”

When he isn’t climbing mountains and cheering for his kids, Marxen is a Woodinville dentist.

Speaking of ballgames

The Girls Junior Softball World Series for 13- and 14-year-olds starts at noon tomorrow at Kirkland’s Everest Park, 500 Eighth St. S. Ten teams from the United States, Europe, the Philippines and Puerto Rico will compete. Redmond Little League softball players are the local contenders in this annual event.

There’s no charge for admission to see these powerhouse athletes play.

In case you don’t keep up with local sports, the Eastside’s reputation for strong women’s teams keeps growing.

The 4A Championship Woodinville High School softball team, coached by former San Francisco Giant Jim Weir, just had a 27-0 season.

Belated congratulations are also due to the Crossfire Premier 11-year-old girls team that recently won second place in the Nike Surf Cup Tournament in San Diego. The team included players from Sammamish, Redmond, Kirkland, Woodinville, Duvall and Carnation.

On the ball

Forget your leisurely croquet games. The Sunrisers Rotary Club of Bellevue hosted the Speed Croquet Tournament at Red Hook Brewery in Woodinville on Wednesday.

Twenty teams of six players competed. No word on which team won, but Rotarian Bill Perry said that doesn’t matter.

“The lure of beer and a barbecue kept the game moving,” Perry said.

One last grin

The BMW Z4 sports car looked fast, even just sitting at a stoplight in Bellevue. As it zoomed away like a silver bullet, the license plate seemed appropriate.

It read: ZZZZ YA.

Sherry Grindeland: 206-515-5633 or