Thanks to its quick swimmers — and sheer number of swimmers in the finals — the Knights cruised to their seventh consecutive district championship Saturday afternoon at the Kamiak pool.
Kamiak finished almost 200 points ahead of second-place Lake Stevens.
"Kamiak has great depth," said Eric Smith, the head coach of Cascade. "They're not quite as strong as they were last year ... but they've got kids that are going to place in the district final. In that last heat they had three kids in the championship final in the 100 breaststroke. Just on sheer numbers, they're going to win."
The Knights won the first event, last event and five of the 10 in between, as Kamiak secured 12 state berths at the district meet, where the top three swimmers in each event qualified for next week's state tournament at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
Kamiak head coach Chris Erickson said the focus for the Knights swimmers was on getting personal bests and qualifying for the state meet.
"We want best times," Erickson said. "Depending on the individual, it's can you qualify for districts? Can you make the finals at districts? Can you qualify for state? Can you make the finals for state? Can you be a state championship? You just keep trying to move your way up the ladder and if you get enough guys in the right place you can pull of a championship."
The Knights did just that last season, finishing first at the 4A state championships. Erickson isn't sure if Kamiak can repeat as state champions, but the coach does have a goal in mind for his team.
"Top five would be realistic," Erickson said. "We don't have enough guns this year, like Newport and some others, that have just more depth at that level. But we'd like to be in there."
Eben Schumann and Henry Limm had big days for Kamiak, along with junior Shelby Lee. Schumann finished first in the 100-yard freestyle and 50 freestyle — and was on Kamiak's 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, along with Lee and Limm, that finished first. Limm added individual district titles in the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle.
Lee finished second in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke.
The Knights' depth was on display in a few races in particular, with Kamiak swimmers finishing in second, third, fourth and sixth place in the 100 breaststroke.
Not surprisingly, there were a lot of swimmers for Erickson to highlight.
"There was quite a few kids," he said. "Chris Thomsen, Ben Dovinh, Tristen Hansen dropped a bunch of time. There's kids that had some nice improvement that was fun to watch."
With Kamiak firmly ahead of the pack, Lake Stevens took second place by a comfortable margin with 475.5 team points, nearly 175 points ahead of third place. The Vikings were led by Chase Reid, who won the diving event with 409.10 points, finished third in the 100 backstroke and swam on two third-place Lake Stevens relay teams and Jeffrey Lozensky, who was also on the Vikings' 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams, and placed second in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle events.
The team competition quickly came down to a battle for third place, with Jackson (301 points) beating out Snohomish (288), Cascade (272) and Mariner (263.5) in the final events. The Timberwolves were led by Conner McGinnis, who won the 100 backstroke event, placed second in the 50 freestyle and led off two second-place relays for Jackson in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.
"Today was a good day for him," said Jackson head coach Drew Whorley. "... I feel really good. We came into the meet guaranteed having two swims next weekend and we leave having seven. It's always about what you're going to do at the end of the season, and that's what we've talked about, so I feel like we've got good momentum going."
Mount Vernon (198) finished seventh behind a first-place finish by Ben Johnson in the 200 freestyle, edging out Edmonds-Woodway (195) by three points. Alex Nguyenle took individual titles in the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke for the Warriors. Monroe (134) was ninth followed by Lynnwood (77).
All teams hope to help build a strong Wesco showing at next week's state tournament.
"There's going to be some pretty fast swims for our kids," Smith said. "Kamiak, of course, is going to be well represented. Lake Stevens is going to be there. Snohomish has always got a strong team. It looks like Edmonds-Woodway is putting a couple kids up there. It's going to be fun to watch."
Said Whorley: "I think that Wesco has a strong tradition of making noise at state and I expect to see all the swimmers from this area that are down there perform well."
At Kamiak H.S.
Team scores: 1. Kamiak 661, 2. Lake Stevens 475.5, 3. Jackson 301, 4. Snohomish 288, 5. Cascade 272, 6. Mariner 263.5, 7. Mount Vernon 198, 8. Edmonds-Woodway 195, 9. Monroe 134, 10. Lynnwood 77.
Top three individuals qualify for state
200 medley relay—1. Kamiak (Shelby Lee, Alonzo Tacuyan, Henry Limm, Eben Schumann) 1:40.82, 2. Jackson (Conner McGinnis, Ethan Forsberg, Seth Rubero, Christopher Anderson) 1:41.63; 3. Lake Stevens (Chase Reid, Jeffrey Lozensky, William Summers, Nathaniel Goldor) 1:45.90; 200 freestyle—1. Ben Johnson (MV) 1:49.53, 2. Jeffrey Lozensky (LS) 1:49.83, 3. Daniel Carey (K) 1:50.28; 200 individual medley—1. Henry Limm (K) 2:02.27, 2. Ethan Forsberg (J) 2:07.06, 3. Jeremiah Tien (J) 2:07.41; 50 freestyle—1. Eben Schumann (K) 22.05, 2. Conner McGinnis (J) 22.16, 3. Jacob Rudolph (S) 22.98; Diving—1. Chase Reid (LS) 409.10, 2. Justin Welch (C) 353.95, 3. Joel Tonsgard (S) 323.10; 100 butterfly—1. Alex Nguyenle (E-W) 54.46, 2. William Summers (LS) 55.34, 3. Max Takacs (E-W) 56.15; 100 freestyle—1. Eben Schumann (K) 48.69, 2. Shelby Lee (K) 49.85, 3. Travis Spitzock (C) 49.95; 500 freestyle—1. Henry Limm (K) 4:49.94, 2. Jeffrey Lozensky (LS) 4:58.49, 3. Christopher Anderson (J) 5:07.19; 200 freestyle relay—1. Kamiak (Alonzo Tacuyan, Ben Dovinh, Kristopher Kusuda, Daniel Carey) 1:33.80, 2. Snohomish (Jacob Rudolph, Bo Salvadalena, Robert Williams, Easton Lemos) 1:34.53, 3. Cascade (Travis Spitzock, Michael Cizek, Rami Sabra, Tarek Farouk) 1:36.41; 100 backstroke—1. Conner McGinnis (J) 53.37, 2. Shelby Lee (K) 55.33, 3. Chase Reid (LS) 59.28; 100 breaststroke—1. Alex Nguyenle (E-W) 1:02.70, 2. Alonzo Tacuyan (K) 1:03.54, 3. Ben Dovinh (K) 1:04.20; 400 freestyle relay—1. Kamiak (Shelby Lee, Eben Schumann, Henry Limm, Daniel Carey) 3:20.57, 2. Jackson (Conner McGinnis, Jeremiah Tien, Christopher Anderson, Ethan Forsberg) 3:28.94, 3. Lake Stevens (Chase Reid, Nathaniel Goldor, Chris Petershagen, Jeffrey Lozensky) 3:32.29.
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