MILL CREEK — The depth of the Jackson High School boys swimming team carried the day in the Timberwolves’ 106-64 victory over Shorewood on Tuesday in a battle of Wesco South unbeatens at WEST Coast Aquatics.
The Timberwolves claimed two of the top three spots in 11 of the 12 events, with the 100 freestyle the only exception.
“In swim meets, things can go real quick and energy can change fast, with momentum and confidence along with it,” Jackson coach Drew Whorley said. “When you’re squeaking out wins in events where you’re not sure that you can, the kids coming up right behind that can feed off that, and I think we saw a little bit of that today.”
Entering the meet, Jackson was 5-0 and Shorewood 6-0, but both teams were coming off lengthy breaks from competition due to winter break.
Jackson’s last competitive outing was four weeks ago, beating Edmonds-Woodway and Mountlake Terrace on Dec. 11 and Shorewood’s beat the same two schools on Dec. 18, for a three-week gap.
Whorley knew that his team would have to refocus in a big way against a talented Thunderbirds squad.
“The first meet out of break is always telling,” Whorley said. “With the amount of time kids were missing, we just wanted to get everyone back together. It just so happened that we were matched up with good competition after a period of down time, and I talked to the kids about having to raise the bar a little bit and to really shake out the cobwebs and be ready to race. I thought they did a great job with that.”
Jackson got momentum on its side of the pool right off the bat, as the Timberwolves’ Maceo Hoyla out-touched Shorewood’s Kevin Lee to capture a narrow victory in the 200 medley relay, and set the tone for the meet.
Jensen Elsemore claimed another close victory for Jackson in the 50 freestyle, out-touching Shorewood’s Jack Brodersen at the wall, and even though Brodersen returned the favor to give the T-birds a victory in the 200 freestyle relay, Jackson won the final three events to close things out.
“I think up top we were pretty closely matched, but I think we had a little bit more depth at the bottom (of the lineup),” Whorley said.
Jackson’s Justin Limberg posted 4A state qualifying times in victories in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke for the Timberwolves.
Ryan Reid won the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle, and Bennett Vana took the 100 freestyle for Shorewood.