BOYS SWIM PREVIEW: Four swimmers (and a diver) to watch
Chris Goodenow / The Weekly Herald
Kamiak's Liam Sosinsky placed second in the 100-yard breaststroke at the State 4A Boys Swim and Dive Championships last year.
Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald Kamiak's John Stupey swims the butterfly portion of the 200 yard IM Tuesday afternoon. Stupey would finish second to Thor Stenfjord of Shorewood (arm at left). Photo taken 012511 Sports - prep swimming - Shorewood at Kamiak
Elizabeth Armstrong/The Herald photo taken 022010 WIAA Boys State Swimming and Diving Meet Eddie Young of Shorewood wins the diving competition.
A two-time defending state champion, Young is back to go for a three-peat for the Thunderbirds, who finished third at the 2011 state meet after winning the team title the previous two years. Young won the title last year with clutch dives on his final two attempts to come from behind against defending state 3A champion Troy Neklason of Highline. Young now has a 3A and a 4A title on his resume after finishing fifth at state as a freshman. "His achievement has come at great personal effort," Shorewood coach Scott Kelley said. "He is an extremely hard worker."
John Stupey, Jr., Kamiak
In winning the team state title a year ago, Kamiak relied on balance rather than individual stars, and Stupey is the prototype of that balance. At state he made the finals in four events, finishing fourth in the 100 freestyle and sixth in the 100 backstroke and swimming on the third-place 200 medley relay and 400 free relay teams. Knights coach Chris Erickson said Stupey is off to a great start this season and could potentially be a top swimmer in six individual races ranging from the sprints to the 500 free and it could ultimately come down to team need and matchups. "John may be ina dog fight with four or five of the best swimmers, or in an event with one, two or none of the 'top' swimmers," Erickson said.
Liam Sosinsky, Jr., Kamiak
Sosinsky had the top individual finish for the Knights during their state-championship-winning meet this past season, finishing second in the 100 breaststroke. He also swam on the third-place 200 medley relay team and finished sixth in the 200 individual medley. Sosinsky isn't likely to swim for Kamiak until January as he catches up on practices but will be one of the favorites in the breaststroke come the postseason. "He was All-American last year in the 100 breast and should be in that range again this year," Kamiak coach Chris Erickson said.
David Escobar, Jr., Stanwood
With Matt Roe taking his state titles to UNLV, Escobar and senior teammate Justin Murrell will lead a new era of Spartans swimming. Escobar placed eighth in the 50 freestyle at state last season while swimming for the fourth-place 200 free relay and fifth-place 200 medley relay teams, and Murrell was also on both relay teams. Escobar stands out in the sprints while Murrell is versatile enough to swim short or long distances. "David's work ethic as well as his overall athletic ability and participation in other sports lends itself to the sprint events," Stanwood coach Jane Roe said. "He is a team player and is very capable and willing to swim any of the events."
Jacob Jepsen, Jr., Oak Harbor
One of the leaders of a talented, veteran Oak Harbor team that is off to a great start. As a sophomore, Jepsen was on the 200 medley relay team that finished sixth at state and also reached the state meet in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke. Jepsen has enough versatility to swim shorter events or the 500 free and can handle a variety of strokes. Jepsen and his brother Josh form one of the better sibling duos in the league and could help Oak Harbor improve on its 16th-place state finish of a season ago.