Five prep swimmers/divers to watch

Connor May

Glacier Peak | Sr.

May, the reigning Class 3A state champion in 1-meter diving, has his sights set on a 4A state title this season following Glacier Peak’s recent classification change. “4A tends to be deeper in the level of top, elite divers,” said Glacier Peak diving coach Marc Hughes, adding that “(the classifications) are roughly in the same ballpark. (There’s) just more depth in 4A.” May’s greatest strength, Hughes said, is “finding the bottom of the dive” and making a clean entry into the pool. And with a gymnastics background, May excels at twisting. “If you have options in the twisting category of the five different categories, that makes you (stronger),” Hughes said, “because you have a wider range of dives to choose from.”

Zachary Thomas

Snohomish | Sr.

Thomas, who took fifth place in the 1-meter diving competition at last season’s Class 4A state meet, will be aiming for a top finish in the 3A state championships following Snohomish’s recent classification change. Snohomish diving coach Marc Hughes describes Thomas as a “natural athlete” who has “real talent in riding the board. You don’t see many divers that can get the height that Zach can off the board.” Although Thomas lacks a gymnastics background that many divers possess, he makes up for it with his work ethic. Thomas attended several diving camps over the summer and has “already improved tremendously from last season to this season,” said Hughes, who noted Thomas has the ability to “make a good run at state this year.”

Anders Stenfjord

Shorewood | Jr.

Stenfjord earned four medals as a sophomore at last season’s Class 3A state meet. The Shorewood standout took third place in the 500-yard freestyle and sixth in the 200 freestyle, and also helped the Thunderbirds place second in the 400 freestyle relay and fourth in the 200 freestyle relay. “Anders is a very talented swimmer,” Shorewood coach Jeremy Hunter said. “He’s really driven and motivated. He’s really cerebral with his swimming. He’s constantly thinking about his stroke and how to be more efficient. And he’s very goal-oriented, so he brings a tremendous amount of focus into practice and meets. He’s a really fun guy to coach, and we’re excited about his potential this year … We think the sky’s the limit for him.”

Carter Walles

Lake Stevens | Jr.

As a sophomore at last season’s Class 4A state meet, Walles took second place in the 500 freestyle and helped the Vikings to an eighth-place finish in the 200 medley relay. “He left last year pretty ready to rock for the upcoming year,” said Lake Stevens coach Brady Dykgraaf, who estimated Walles swam approximately 1 million yards in the offseason. “He made some pretty big commitments to himself, stepping up in the weight room and getting himself ready.” Added Dykgraaf: “He’s a really versatile swimmer. He swims backstroke, he’s a sprinter, he’s an anchor on two relays for sprinting and he’s a distance swimmer. So he can kind of do it all. We’ll see what he chooses come the end of the season.”

Tony Mikhail

Archbishop Murphy | Sr.

In last season’s Class 2A state meet, Mikhail earned fourth place in the 200 freestyle and helped the Wildcats place fifth in the 200 freestyle relay. Mikhail, who Archbishop Murphy coach Erin Edmondson said is a very “diligent” worker, has already qualified for state in two events this season and is aiming for more. “It’s his senior year and he’s working hard to try to do as much as he can and qualify in as many events as he can,” Edmondson said. “I’m just looking forward to a great season with him. I think he’s going to do very well.”

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