Timberwolves return plenty of talent

  • David Pan<br>Enterprise sports editor
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 11:42am


What the Jackson boys swim team needs right now is simply time in the pool.

A hectic preseason filled with canceled practices (due to the snow) and a postponed first meet (due to a faulty pump at their home pool) has disrupted the Timberwolves’ preparation for the season.

In spite of all the distractions, Jackson opened with a strong effort in its first dual meet against Kamiak. The Knights prevailed 103-80 in the Western Conference South Division clash Dec. 7 at Kamiak High School.

Jackson finished first in six events with senior Robbie Burns a double winner in the 100- and 200-yard freestyles. Burns’ time of 1:51.80 was under the state time qualification standard.

“(It’s) great to start the meet off like that,” Jackson head coach Drew Whorley said. “He’s going to be knocking on the door in pretty much whatever events he chooses to swim. … Whatever events he decides to swim, he’ll have a chance to qualify for state.”

Burns is seriously thinking that the 100 freestyle might be one of the events he focuses on this season.

“The 100 freestyle is hopefully going to be a good event for me,” he said.

Other state returners include Jimmy Rogers, Elijah Pleasant and Andrew Ramos.

“We’ve definitely got the guys up top who can win events,” Whorley said. “Now we’ve got to put together some of the depth. It’s always about those fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place finishes.”

Rogers won the 200 individual medley (2:08.85), while Pleasant finished first in the 500 freestyle (5:08.35).

The 400 freestyle relay team of Burns, Pleasant, Rogers and Grant Livingstone also captured first place (3:31.89).

“That was a great swim by those four guys,” Whorley said.

“The team did really well,” Rogers said. “We’re a very deep team. We had a lot of guys step up.”

Rogers wasn’t as happy about his 100 backstroke, though he said his 200 individual medley time was decent.

“My 100 back wasn’t good,” he said. “I think I have to get more endurance. The 200 IM was pretty close to where I want it to be right now. I think my fly is getting better.”

At last season’s state meet, Rogers advanced to the 100 backstroke consolation finals.

“I’m trying to make it at least to the consolation finals of the 200 IM at state this year and the finals for the 100 backstroke — top eight,” Rogers said.

Rogers ran cross country in the fall, which he said helped build up his endurance and leg strength.

“It’s just really fun,” he added. “I like it a lot.”

The younger swimmers have a lot of potential, Burns said.

“As a team we’re just kind of getting a plan together,” Burns added. “The whole team is getting used to what they’re going to have to do to start winning meets.”

The disrupted practice schedule meant that Whorley didn’t really have much time to evaluate his team before its first meet.

“We could have done some things differently as far as the lineup is concerned,” he said.

The Everett District’s diving program, which has started up this season after a lengthy absence, should make a difference in dual meets later on this season. Knowing that the Wolfpack won’t have to spot a team 13 or 14 points will help to reshape the meet, Whorley said.

“I’m really impressed with our guys,” Whorley added. “We’ve got a lot of talent. We’re got a lot of speed. We’ve got great leadership. All the variables are there. It’s kind of on me from a coaching standpoint to get everything lined up.

“All we need is time in the water. With that I think we’re going to be a much better team in a couple of months.”

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