FEDERAL WAY – It was a banner night for the Kitsap swim teams at the 2A state meet.
Seven state championships were won by Kitsap County swimmers Feb. 16-17 at the King County Aquatic Center; five 2A state meet records were broken. Although the Buccaneers were unable to defend their 2A state crown from a year ago, they took home third place with Olympic just behind in fourth. North Kitsap finished seventh.
“This was absolutely going to be a slug fest, this whole meet. I knew it coming in to it,” Kingston head coach Mark VanHuis said. “In this kind of meet, if you finish on the podium as a team, that’s a good meet.”
The 2018 meet could not have gotten off to a better start for Kingston. Setting the tone for the night, the 200-yard medley relay team of Tim Gallagher, Aron Markow, Quincy Walker and Ethan Fox shattered the meet record with a time of 1:33.55, besting the old mark set by Interlake in 2011 by nearly four seconds.
Gallagher went four-for-four in his events, capturing state titles in the 100-yard backstroke and the 200-yard individual medley, as well as part of the 400-yard freestyle relay team along with Fox, Walker and Bryce Hoffer.
Gallagher’s 49.42 performance in the 100 backstroke broke his own state meet record and earned him automatic All-American status. His 1:50.10 in the 200 individual medley also set a new 2A state meet record (1:50.10) and gave him All-American consideration.
Fox finished second to Gallagher in the 200-yard individual medley and pulled off a surprise third place finish in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 47.07 after qualifying in seventh place in the preliminaries. Despite the third place finish, it was announced his time was the fourth best in 2A state meet history.
Markow had a strong swim in the 100-yard breaststroke. His 57.15 gave him All-American consideration and a second place finish to Josh Bottelbergher, who broke his own state meet record in the event. Markow’s time is now the third best ever at the 2A state meet.
“Every one swam really well,” said Gallagher. “Dave Andersen in that 200 free relay really pushed it, really swam well. Ethan, Quincy, Bryce, Aron, he swam really well in the 100 breast. They all did everything they could.”
Kingston finished third with 236.5 points, just 4.5 points behind Liberty. Anacortes took the team title with 249.
“I can’t be more proud of how they showed up to swim today,” VanHuis said. “They were ready to go, they wanted it, and anytime you get on that podium as a team, even if it’s third place or fourth place, you know your team has come to throw down and we did. We did an amazing job. I couldn’t be more proud of these guys, the way they swam today. I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever and I know they don’t have any either.”
Making a splash at his first 2A state meet was Olympic freshman Dietrich Meyer, who captured two state championships and broke the meet record in the 100 freestyle with a time of 46.56. Meyer also won the 50 free in 21.50, just out-touching Steven Froehle of Steilacoom by .03.
Ross Burchell was the winner in the 500-yard freestyle, taking home the top prize with a time of 4:33.46, earning him All-American consideration. Burchell also came in fourth in the star-studded 200-yard individual medley.
And they nearly pulled a dramatic upset in the the 200-yard freestyle relay. Haakon Meyer, Tiernann Shelton, Ross Burchell and Dietrich Meyer swam the race in 1:28.71, which would have been new meet record had they not finished behind a foursome from Columbia River.
In the end, Olympic took fourth, finishing just 5.5 points behind Kingston.
“I’m so proud of them,” Olympic head coach Paul Henderson said. “They worked really hard and they got everything they deserved today.”
Henderson himself also received some recognition, earning Coach of the Year from the Washington Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association, though he was quick to deflect any praise onto his swimmers.
“I’m not the coach of anything if they’re not doing what they’re doing. It’s all about them,” Henderson said.
But his contemporaries poolside were quick to dish out the admiration and respect.
“Every kid I have interacted with on that team is a class act, and that is a direct reflection of their head coach,” VanHuis said. “It’s an honor to share the deck with that man.”
Bremerton’s Nathan Rubie took home third in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 51.12 and finished sixth in the 200-yard individual medley.
Nathan Ramey had a solid day for North Kitsap, finshing second in the 200-yard freestyle (1:42.33) and third in the 500 free (4:39.53). Brandon Anderson finished fourth in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 51.99.
Klahowya’s 200-yard medley relay team of Mason Heaman, Connor Swaney, Braden Robinson and Sam Cook finished tenth in the 200 medley relay, but set a new school record in the process with a time of 1:46.27.
Final team standings: 1. Anacortes, 249; 2. Liberty, 241; 3. Kingston, 236.5; 4. Olympic, 231; 5. Columbia River, 191; 6. Pullman, 146.5; 7. North Kitsap, 124.5; 8. Steilacoom, 122; 9. Selah, 76; 10. River Ridge, 75.5; 11. Archbishop Murphy, 72; 12. Lindbergh, 65; 13 Sehome, 64; 14. Klahowya, 46; 15. Sammamish, 43.
Top local finishers
200-yard medley relay: 1. Kingston (Gallagher, Markow, Walker, Fox), 1:33.55 (2A meet record); 4. Olympic (R. Meyer, H. Meyer, Ry. Burchell, Shelton), 1:39.84; 8. North Kitsap (Anderson, Stefanski, Chapman, Ramey), 1:43.80; 10. Klahowya (Heaman, Swaney, Robinson, Cook), 1:46.27.
200-yard freestyle: 2. Nathan Ramey, North Kitsap, 1:42.23; 6. Ryan Burchell, Olympic, 1:47.35; 10. Bryce Hoffer, Kingtson, 1:51.62.
200-yard IM: 1. Timothy Gallagher, Kingston, 1:50.10 (2A meet record); 2. Ethan Fox, Kingston, 1:52.33; 4. Ross Burchell, Olympic, 1:54.90; 6. Nathan Rubie, Bremerton, 2:00.63; 10. Alex Stefanski, North Kitsap, 2:05.67.
50-yard freestyle: 1. Dietrich Meyer, Olympic, 21.50; 4. Mason Heaman, Klahowya, 21.75; 6. Aron Markow, Kingston, 22.09; 6. Brandon Anderson, North Kitsap, 22.09.
100-yard butterfly: 3. Nathan Rubie, Bremerton, 51.12; 4. Brandon Anderson, North Kitsap, 51.99; 6. Quincy Walker, Kingston, 53.28.
100-yard freestyle: 1. Dietrich Meyer, Olympic, 46.56 (2A meet record); 3. Ethan Fox, Kingston, 47.07; 8. Haakon Meyer, Olympic, 48.56; 13. Bryce Hoffer, Kingston, 50.44.
500-yard freestyle: 1. Ross Burchell, Olympic, 4:33.46; 3. Nathan Ramey, North Kitsap, 4:39.53; 5. Ryan Burchell, Olympic, 4:43.47.
200-yard freestyle relay: 2. Olympic (H. Meyer, Shelton, Ro. Burchell, D. Meyer), 1:28.17; 4. Kingston (Walker, Andersen, Hoffer, A. Markow), 1:31.07; 13. Klahowya (Swaney, Robinson, Cook, Heaman), 1:35.65.
100-yard backstroke: 1. Timothy Gallagher, Kingston, 49.42 (2A state meet record); 6. Haakon Meyer, Olympic, 54.76.
100-yard breaststroke: 2. Aron Markow, Kingston, 57.15; 8. Alex Stefanski, North Kitsap, 1:01.53; 9. Connor Swaney, Klahowya, 1:02.62.
400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Kingston (Fox, Hoffer, Walker, Gallagher), 3:12.91 (2A state meet record); 4. Olympic (D. Meyer, Ry. Burchell, R. Meyer, Ro. Burchell), 3:16.63; 7. North Kitsap (Anderson, Chapman, Stefanski, Ramey), 3:24.80.
– Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.