FEDERAL WAY — On a night of big moments, Jackson’s Jon Cook came up with perhaps the two biggest moments of all.
Cook, a sophomore sensation, won the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 breaststroke, both in All-America automatic times, and was named the “Swimmer of the Meet” at the Class 4A state swimming and diving championships Saturday at the King County Aquatic Center.
“He’s one of those swimmers that a coach is fortunate to work with, and you’re really not sure what his ceiling is,” said Jackson coach Drew Whorley. “He’s just got all the physical and mental gifts, and it’s a real honor to be able to coach him.”
In Whorley’s long career at Jackson, Cook is the first boy swimmer to clock two All-America automatic times at the state meet.
“He’s got such an incredible attitude and work ethic,” said Whorley, who on Saturday was named Class 4A Coach of the Year. “At his age, to be the leader that he is and the presence that he carries on our team, and the amount of respect that he has just based on what he does day in and day out in the pool … it’s really impressive.”
In the team standings, Jackson finished sixth with 153 points. Lake Stevens was 14th with 70 and Kamiak was 17th with 51.
In the 200 IM, Cook was second to Issaquah’s Jason Klein after the opening two legs of butterfly and backstroke. But on the breaststroke leg, Cook’s specialty, he took command with a blistering time of 31.42, gaining open water on Klein. The final 50 yards, the freestyle, was smooth sailing for Cook who reached the wall in 1:49.55, nearly two seconds better than Klein, who finished second.
Cook’s time was not only the third fastest in Class 4A state meet history — and just .25 seconds shy of the 4A state meet record, set in 1988 — it bettered the All-America automatic standard. The time also trimmed more than three seconds off Cook’s best time of the season, 1:53.64 at the district meet a week ago.
Wesco rival Henry Limm of Kamiak placed fourth in 1:55.25.
In the 100 breaststroke, Cook won a thriller that went down to the final few strokes. At the wall, which he touched in 56.08, he was just ahead of Inglemoor’s Reid Anderson in 56.30 and Wenatchee’s Jared Vargas in 56.76.
Cook also swam legs on Jackson’s 200 freestyle relay, which finished fourth, and the 400 freestyle relay, which finished fifth.
In the 4A 50 freestyle, Cascade’s Travis Spitzock came within a whisker of snagging a state championship. Spitzock, a senior assigned to Lane 6, seemed to have a slight lead in the final stretch, but was just out-touched at the wall by Maksim Dolbinin of Heritage. Dolbinin’s time was 21:46, Spitzock’s 21:51.
In the 200 butterfly, Kamiak’s Limm got out quickly and was in good position after the first 50 meters. But over the second 50 meters Bothell’s Andrew Oh came on strong to edge Limm by roughly a half-second, 50.46 to 50.91.
In the 500 freestyle, Carter Walles of Lake Stevens had a strong showing, finishing second to Camas standout Mark Kim, who also won the 200 freestyle. Mark touched in 4:38.54, Walles in 4:41.30.
In the Class 3A meet, Glacier Peak diver Connor May moved into first place in Friday’s preliminary round and built on that lead in Saturday’s final round to win the championship by a large margin. May, who executed an inward dive, a reverse double and a front triple twister for his three final-round dives, finished with 461.05 points, well ahead of the runner-up total of 409.55.
“I liked my front triple twister, and my inward dive after that,” said May, who finished 11th at state a year ago.
“I felt pretty good (on Saturday),” he added. “It wasn’t my best diving, but I did pretty well. I’m happy … with my finals.”
Glacier Peak also got a second and a tie for fifth from Nick Lavigne in the 100 butterfly and the 50 freestyle. Shorewood had no event winners, but ended up with 122 points to tie Interlake for fourth place in the team standings.
Shorecrest’s Grant Heisey closed his high school career in fine fashion, winning two individual events, helping one relay team to a first-place finish and another to a second-place finish, and receiving the “Swimmer of the Meet” Award. Heisey won the 200 freestyle in 1:43.20 with a margin of 2.66 seconds over the runner-up, and won the 500 freestyle in 4:39.57. Heisey also swam the leadoff leg on the Scots’ winning 200 freestyle relay team and the final leg on Shorecrest’s runner-up 400 freestyle relay team.
“I’m feeling pretty good about my times,” Heisey said. Winning twice, he added, “is pretty nice, especially since it’s my senior year.”
Gunnar Rudd won the 50 freestyle (21.75) for Shorecrest, which finished second in the team standings with 207 points. Anacortes won the 2A championship with 2311/2 points.