Seven Sequim swimmers are state-bound following last weekend’s West Central District 3 2A meet.
Eric Prosser qualified in the 100 meter backstroke in an exciting race, said coach Linda Moats.
He dropped one second off his best time in the preliminary rounds and then bettered that by 0.02 seconds in the finals (1:04.16 seconds). This is his first trip to the 2A state meet in Federal Way.
Two divers, Austin Clement and Cameron Harrison, both return to state as divers. They qualified for state earlier in the year at an 11-dive meet with scores of 306 and 298. To make state, a diver must score 280.
Prosser qualified for districts in diving but opted not to compete with a 252 score.
Moats said Clement struggled during his first eight dives and was unable to better his best score while Harrison dove well but struggled toward the end.
After the meet, the Wolves learned they’d also be sending two relay teams, the 200 meter medley — Steve Dewey, Jon Donahue, Doug Dunbar and Prosser — and the 400 meter freestyle — Donahue, Dewey, Prosser and Kiano Stoppani.
Moats said the relay teams earned a wild card for their state berths.
“The 400 free relay was the story today,” she said.
In the preliminaries, they were seeded eighth but dropped two seconds off their best time to finish seventh and in the finals dropped six more seconds to finish seventh. All of the swimmers dropped time from their personal bests in either preliminaries and/or finals.
“Eric (Prosser) swam his fastest time ever with a 55-second 100 free. This is a lot of time to drop off a 100 free in such a short time,” Moats said.
Dunbar just missed the finals for the 50 meter freestyle and placed 14th; he holds a second alternate spot for state. Dewey placed 16th in the 500 free.
The state-bound 200 meter medley relay team finished 10th and the 200 meter free relay team finished eighth.
This year’s team featured 11 seniors, the most ever for the Sequim boys swim team.
Moats said many of the seniors joined for fun and to support their friends and that many of the players came in without much swimming know-how.
She’s worked with many of the swimmers for four years building their knowledge each year on how to swim, developing form, increasing speed and then fine-tuning their abilities.
“We have a lot of kids on the team for four years but it’s unfortunate that they’ve made the 2A qualifying times harder,” she said.
Dunbar, a four-year swimmer, said the experience has been rewarding for him.
He said some swim for more experience but he joined after listening to a voice of reason.
“My grandpa told me I should do it because I have the right body type,” he said.
Clement and Harrison dove for the team all four years and their coach, Mark Pincikowski, said they’ve gained much more confidence and strength in their time with him.
“Last year they came short of their expectations (Clement placed ninth and Harrison 11th at state), so we’re definitely looking for a higher placement,” Pincikowski said.
“We’re hoping for the top six. They definitely have the ability. The sport itself is about balance, confidence and waking up having a day where you feel centered.”
Clement said he’s definitely gotten a lot higher in his dives and he’s thrown harder dives into his routine.
“I’ve seen a lot of progress from my freshman year,” he said. “The rewards at state are always worth it (the effort).”
Harrison said he’s become more consistent over four years.
“I realized what dives I could do and nail it,” he said. “I have a solid six dives I have been crashing down on. Hopefully the other five will fall into place.”
But through the hard work, Harrison said, being on the team is about being with friends, too.
“You’ve just got to have fun,” he said.
Once the duo graduates, only two divers remain on the team.
“Diving is a wonderful opportunity that you can only get in high school,” Pincikowski said. “You learn muscle control, balance and poise. There are a lot of life lessons in that.”