Sports

Shore Club completes season undefeated, Beach Club continues rise in Midlakes Division I

Above, Ryan Moline swims in the 8-and-under 100-yard medley relay for the Beach Club.  Left, Riley Simpson swims the third leg of the boys 11-12, 200-meter medley relay for the Country Club swim team. The Midlakes championship meet will be held this Saturday at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way. - Chad Coleman/ Mercer Island Reporter
Above, Ryan Moline swims in the 8-and-under 100-yard medley relay for the Beach Club. Left, Riley Simpson swims the third leg of the boys 11-12, 200-meter medley relay for the Country Club swim team. The Midlakes championship meet will be held this Saturday at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/ Mercer Island Reporter

Two seasons ago, the Mercer Island Beach Club swimmers competed in division II of the Midlakes swim league and were awaiting the remodel of their home pool.

The 2008 Midlakes season came to a close on July 8 when the Mercer Island Beach Club defeated the Mercer Island Country Club 428-279, giving the team its best Division I regular season finish in more than a decade.

“Our stars don’t really stand out because we have so many good swimmers,” said MIBC coach Grant Garcia. “The thing we have really stressed is good sportsmanship. We don’t get out of the pool until the last swimmer touches the wall.”

The victory brings the Beach Club’s record to 3-2, third in the division.

“That is the highest in 10 or 15 years,” said Garcia.

The only losses this season came against Edgebrook and four-time defending Midlakes champs, Mercerwood Shore Club. But the biggest difference was the team’s win against Newport Hills.

“I think we have really set the wheels turning,” said Garcia. “The biggest difference is that we have kept kids swimming.”

During the meet, depth played a big part in the Beach Club’s win, as they won 15 of 20 relay races.

During individual swims, the Beach Club had 20 different swimmers reach the wall first.

The Deiparine family registered seven of those first-place swims as Noah, Danielle and Jimmy all earned two victories and Lauren earned one.

Beach Club swimmers Sofija Raisys, Sabrina Steinhauer, Haley Beuthel, Caitlin Cox and Ian Caldwell all registered individual wins.

The Country Club continues to struggle, but the team had some strong individual performances against its Island rival.

Andy Wingerson and Parker Simpson both won three separate individual races, while Blake Nelson, Melanie Bantle, Ethan Hallowell and Lauren Poli all took two first-place finishes.

“We have had a lot of vacations this year, and we just don’t know who is going to show up for these meets,” said Mercer Island Country Club coach Chris Simpson. “We have eight kids gone today. But the kids were excited for the meet because they get to swim against their friends.”

The next meet will be held at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way on Saturday, as all the Midlakes teams will compete for the season’s championship.

The favorite to win the meet, for the fifth year in a row, is the Mercerwood Shore Club. The Manta Rays finished the season on July 8 with a dominating 422-188 victory over Samena of Bellevue to finish the season with a 5-0 record and extend its win streak to 30 meets.

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