Swimmers lose close match with PA

Trevor Pyle/ Staff Photo A swimmer leaps out of the water at practice on Thursday. North lost a close match to Port Angeles on Tuesday.

“Two points means difference for NK. POULSBO – The North Kitsap High School swimming team lost a close meet, getting dropped by Port Angeles Tuesday by two points. The Vikings held a lead toward the end of the match, but watched as it shrank, then vanished. Port Angeles won the meet 93-91 – a difference that one swimmer could have changed. The two teams balanced out one another, said coach Greg Braun. They have holes (in their play), just like we do, he said. Some of their strengths are our weaknesses. Examples, Braun said, include the breaststroke, where PA is strong and NK is not; and backstroke, butterfly, and diving, where NK has the advantage. The divers helped the cause, Braun said, by placing first, second, and fourth – those places being achieved by Patrick White, P.J. Tesi and Kolby Hoover. The two teams traded scores early. Port Angeles took a lead by winning the afternoon’s first event, the 200 medley relay. After seeing Port Angeles’s lead grow to as much as 13 team points, North stormed back after the superb showing by the team’s divers. Jake Leeper’s second-place showing in the 100 fly, with second and third place being snagged by Josh Corneil and Jason Gartner, brought North within two, and they eventually took the lead after taking first and third in the 200 free relay. After that event, North’s lead was 82-72, the team’s biggest lead of the meet. But now it was Port Angeles’s turn to come back from behind. And they did. After placing first, second, and third in the 100 breaststroke they tied North. That was tough to watch that happen, Braun said. After the meet was tied, it came down to the final event, the 400 free relay, which Port Angeles won. That was it, Braun said. It was win it and win, or lose it and lose. The swimmers weren’t down after the meet, Braun said. They weren’t disappointed. They knew it was going to be a close meet, he said. I think they felt like they swam pretty well. It was a close one, and they got beat. Swimmer Jason Gartner agrees. Gartner is proud of his own showing, placing fourth in the 100 fly, an event he was racing for only the second time. It went pretty good. Despite losing by two points, we had a good meet, Gartner said. We have a lot of new guys who are working hard. It was tough, Gartner said, pitting the Vikings’ relatively inexperienced team against the veterans of Port Angeles. It was intense, he said of the final few minutes, and is sorry the Vikings ended up with the lower score on the scoreboard. That score, coach Braun said, may help the team improve. They’re staring to see the importance of all the places – not just first, Braun said. They’re starting to see the importance of all their teammates. “

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