North Kitsap tops Kingston in final regular season meet

POULSBO — It’s been quite some time since the North Kitsap boys swim team bested their district rival, but the Vikings came out on top in their final regular season meet on Thursday.

North Kitsap won nine of 11 events against Kingston to pull out a 111-59 victory, securing a second place finish in the Olympic League, one game behind Olympic. The Vikings’ last regular season league win over Kingston came on Jan. 22, 2015.

“It’s definitely been a few years,” said North Kitsap head coach Greg Braun.

The Vikings and the Bucs combined to post six state times. Isaac Beers and Ian Stefanski picked up two each for North Kitsap. Beers (1:51.33) and Stefanski (1:52.20) finished second and third respectively to Rocco Velie in the star-studded 200-yard freestyle, but the times were good enough to qualify for the state meet.

Stefanski also won the backstroke with a state-qualifying time of 57.23. Beers picked up another state time in the 100-yard butterfly (56.05) in which he again finished second to Velie.

“There were some cool races out there,” Braun said.

James Correll won two events for the Vikings, taking home victory in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke. Correll was painfully close to finally picking up a state time in the breaststroke, finishing just a few hundredths of a second short of the state standard.

Kitsap swimmers still have two chances to qualify for state. The league meet, which takes place on Friday at Olympic High School, and the district meet at Hazen High School on Feb. 15.

“I know he’s going to get the time at districts, and he will be in the top six and he will move on to the state championship,” Braun said.

Spencer Grubb, Mac MacKinnon, Gage Hendryx, each won one event for North Kitsap.

Velie picked up Kingston’s only two first place finishes. He swam terrific races in the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.84) and the 100-yard butterfly (53.99). The 200-yard medley relay team of Charlie Near, Alex McCollum,Velie and Evan Yamane was neck-and-neck with North Kitsap most of the way and finished just three seconds behind.

Yamane, Near, Velie and Zawadi Leon combined to finish less than a second behind the Vikings in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

It was also Kingston’s Senior Night at the North Kitsap Community Pool on Thursday. The Bucs have a young program this year after having teams heavy on experience for the past few years and had just two seniors to send off with a celebration — Near and McCollum. Both cited last year’s regular season win over the eventual 2A state champions, Olympic, as highlights from their high school careers.

North Kitsap 111, Kingston 59

Individual results (top 3 times)

200-yard medley relay — North Kitsap “A” (Stefanski, Correll, Grubb Markow), first, 1:48.59; Kingston “A” (Near, McCollum, Velie, Yamane), second, 1:51.72. North Kitsap “B” (Henry, Prantil, Hendryx, Watson), third, 2:07.32.

200-yard freestyle — Rocco Velie, Kingston, first, 1:47.84; Isaac Beers, North Kitsap, second, 1:51.33; Ian Stefanski, North Kitsap, third, 1:52.20.

200-yard IM — Spencer Grubb, North Kitsap, first, 2:18.64; Charlie Near, Kingston, second, 2:20.60; Gage Hendryx, North Kitsap, third, 2:21.52.

50-yard freestyle — James Correll, North Kitsap, first, 23.64; Sean Markow, North Kitsap, second, 24.33; Tyler Lanning, Kingston, third, 26.29.

100-yard butterfly — Rocco Velie, Kingston, first, 53.99; Isaac Beers, North Kitsap, second, 56.05; Spencer Grubb, North Kitsap, third, 1:01.86.

100-yard freestyle — Mac MacKinnon, North Kitsap, first, 56.70; Zawadi Leon, Kingston, second, 59.33; Tyler Lanning, Kingston, third, 59.98.

500-yard freestyle — Gage Hendryx, North Kitsap, first, 5:33.46; Charlie Near, Kingston, second, 5:51.75; Andrew Parry, North Kitsap, third, 6:23.74.

200-yard freestyle relay — North Kitsap “A” (Markow, Correll, MacKinnon, Beers), first, 1:36.60; Kingston “A” (Yamane, Leon, Near, Velie), second, 1:37.59; Kingston “B” (Smith, Eudeline, Longbons, Upton), 1:53.18.

100-yard backstroke — Ian Stefanski, North Kitsap, first, 57.23; Nikodemus Watson, North Kitsap, second, 1:13.52; Benji Eudeline, Kingston, third, 1:13.56.

100-yard breaststroke — James Correll, North Kitsap, first, 1:04.59; Sean Markow, North Kitsap, second, 1:07.64; Alex McCollum, Kingston, third, 1:15.33.

400-yard freestyle relay — North Kitsap “A” (Beers, Grubb, Hendryx, Stefanski), first, 3:43.79; North Kitsap “B” (MacKinnon, Prantil, Henry, Watson), second, 4:01.95; Kingston “A” (Lanning, Leon, Eudeline, Smith), 4:11.53.

Charlie Near finished second in the 500-yard freestyle. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Charlie Near finished second in the 500-yard freestyle. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)