That’s what standing on the medals podium at state for the first time was for three Jackson standout swimmers.
Junior Jimmy Rogers, senior Robbie Burns and junior Elijah Pleasant led Jackson to a ninth-place finish at the state 4A swimming and diving championships Feb. 16-17.
Rogers earned medals in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 backstroke, Burns picked up medals in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly and Pleasant earned a medal in the 500 freestyle.
“It’s hard to not feel good about it,” Jackson coach Drew Whorley said. “They’ve been competitive and confident.”
Jackson scored 93 team points en route to a top 10 finish. Snohomish won the team title with 266.5 points.
Before Saturday’s finals, Whorley challenged his swimmers to improve on their placing in the preliminaries.
“I challenged them to move up one spot,” Whorley said. “Eight of nine swims moved up one spot.”
Burns started off Saturday’s finals with a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle. His time of 1 minute, 46.17 seconds was slower than his preliminary time of 1:45.71 but he moved up a place.
Burns also placed sixth in the 100 butterfly with a time of 53.96.
Burns credited his Stingray Swim Club coach Ben Olszewski with helping him shave about 13 seconds off his butterfly time from last year.
“He’s the man behind the swim … He totally changed my strokes,” Burns said. “He’s really good.”
Meanwhile, Rogers shook off nerves to take sixth in the 200 individual medley in 2:02.17.
“I was a little surprised I was able to make top eight,” Rogers said. “With all the hard work I’m really happy.”
Rogers placed seventh in the 100 backstroke with a time of 56.71, shaving nearly a second off his preliminary time.
“It felt pretty smooth,” Rogers said. “(The) start was pretty good, it felt pretty solid from there.”
Last year Rogers was the only Jackson swimmer to even make the consolation finals.
Pleasant outstroked two swimmers in the final 50 yards to take sixth in the 500 freestyle in 4:54.51. Pleasant’s rise in the event impressed Whorley since he wasn’t even swimming a state qualifying time until he hit districts.
Pleasant battled some illness coming into the meet, but said, “you have to have a good attitude no matter what the circumstances are.”
Jackson’s 400 freestyle relay won the consolation finals and took ninth in 3:20.32. Rogers, Pleasant, junior Andrew Ramos and Burns swam the event.
Ramos also scored points for the Timberwolves in the 100 breaststroke, finishing 12th in 1:03.34.