Jackson’s Jon Cook swims the final leg to victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay race during a meet against Kamiak on Tuesday at West Coast Aquatics. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Jackson boys swimming team hands rival Kamiak just 3rd loss since 2008

MILL CREEK — The Jackson boys swimming and diving team won its first nine meets of this season by an average of 87 points.

That’s why the Timberwolves were looking forward to Tuesday’s meet with Kamiak. Jackson knew that it would receive a stiff challenge from the Knights, and it received one, at least early on. But the Timberwolves pulled away late, and went on to post a 98-72 win at West Coast Aquatics.

The Knights’ loss was just their third since 2008. The other two defeats also came against Jackson, in 2015 and 2016.

“It was easy for the guys to get excited about this one,” said Jackson coach Drew Whorley. “They’ve been waiting for an opportunity to swim in their best events and go head to head against a really good team, a team that will be there at state. We’ve been on the upswing the last two years, but (Kamiak) has proved to be more consistent over time. We knew coming in that they’d fight for it. This was a good first test for us.”

“For a number of years, they were trying to beat us, and now the situation has (reversed), and now we’re chasing them,” said Kamiak (12-1 overall, 6-1 Wesco South) coach Chris Erickson. “Sure, (it’s a rivalry). Why not? That’s how competition works. In the district and state meets, the motivation is built in, but in dual meets, if there’s not a team to really battle with, it can be hard to stay motivated. Rivalries help to keep you motivated.”

Timberwolves star Jon Cook swam the 200-yard freestyle for the first time this season Tuesday and won the event in 1 minute, 43.17 seconds. Cook also won the 100 free (47.59) and was a member of Jackson’s winning 200 free and 400 free relays.

Erik Anderson also won two events for the Timberwolves (10-0, 8-0) — the 500 free (5:04.77) and 100 backstroke (59.17). He was also a part of Jackson’s winning 200 medley relay team. Jeremiah Tien (200 individual medley) and Bryan Phung (100 breaststroke) also won events for the Timberwolves.

“I was happy with all of the relays,” Whorley said. “Jon was about the fastest we’ve seen this season. We did just about what we’re capable of doing, which is where we should be at this point in the season.”

Kamiak’s Maxwell Fang continued his standout freshman campaign, winning the 100 butterfly in 53.60. Teammate Brian Park, another freshman, won the 50 free in 23.20.

“We were able to hang with them for a bit, but the wheels feel off a bit at the end,” Erickson said. “Max had a good swim (in the 100 fly), and it was fun for him to go up against Jon Cook (in the 200 free). But some of the guys have looked flat the last couple of weeks. Hopefully we’re done with that. We are a young team.”

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