POULSBO — Talk about starting out on the right foot.
The North Kitsap boys’ swim and dive team hasn’t even started its season yet one of its swimmers has likely already achieved a state berth.
Sophomore Jeffrey Reeves, competing at a South Kitsap meet for his club team, the Poulsbo Piranhas, hit a 100 backstroke time that beats the state qualifying time for school competition.
On a team that is focusing on its relays and individual times, Reeves has set a competitive pace without making even a splash in the pool for school meets.
“We start the season with somebody going to state and that’s pretty exciting,” said swim coach Greg Braun. “The goal is to take some of the new guys and move them along as well.”
The team of 18 swimmers is a mix of experience and potential, as many freshman and sophomores who tried out for the squad are new to the sport.
“That means that we have chances for relays to go pretty far,” said junior and team co-captain Brian Parrott. “And individually, I’m pretty sure that we’ll be getting some guys to state.”
Many of the new team members are cross-country runners for North, which means they already have the athletic ability — but not yet the skills.
“They’re coming in really aerobically fit,” coach Braun said. “So the goal is to better the strokes.”
Team competition, as it was last year, will not be a priority on a squad that will be 13 points in the hole versus any school with a full diving contingent. North doesn’t have a diver to its name but that is not discouraging the team, Braun said.
“Are we going to fill all the events? Probably not,” Braun commented. “Diving puts us behind but it’s been a mixed bag. Some teams have them, some teams don’t.”
Regardless, there’s no time to lose for North’s swimmers, who will compete in five of their nine season meets in the month of December.
“We’ve got two meets a week before Christmas without much practice,” Braun said.
But there are those swimmers on the team, who have been preparing all year for the chance to make a league and state run. Reeves’ brother Mikal also has the potential to make a state run in multiple events.
“My plan is to train harder than I ever have before,” said Mikal Reeves, who is also a co-captain on the team. “Even if I have to train every day and every night before state — if that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes.”
Aside from the Reeves brothers, the Vikings’ Krister Seaberg, Josh Jones, and Parrott are poised to make league runs individually and in relays. Coach Braun said that he’s also not ruling out the potential of the newcomers, who could make some surprisingly strong times.
“If they believe it can happen, then anything’s possible,” Braun said. “And that’s the trick.”