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KingCo swim sinks, Islanders dominate
By Matt Phelps
The boys swimming 3A KingCo title meet has only been around for four years. Thanks to 375 points and that trademark Mercer Island depth on Saturday at Mary Wayte Pool, the team has won every one of them.
``They have swam well even if they weren't ready to swim,'' said Mercer Island head swim coach Jeff Lowell. ``I think this gives them a lot of confidence for next week.''
Saturday, the Islanders will take the No. 1 seed into districts at the University of Washington's Hec Ed pool.
Being the only team to ever win the KingCo meet title was a source of pride for many Islander swimmers.
``It means a lot to win KingCo,'' said Islander senior Eugene Hsaing. ``It gives us a lot of confidence heading into districts.''
No other team was even close to Mercer Island as Newport took second, 112 points away.
Mercer Island's display of dominance was never more prevalent than during the 200-yard individual medley, as the team had four of the six swimmers competing in the finals. Tad Homchick (2:03.18) took first during the race, beating out Voit (2:04.81). Jordan Olson (fifth) and Hsaing (sixth) were the other Islander finishers.
``It is just great to have four of the top six guys be from M.I.,'' said Homchick. ``It is a great advantage to have the support of these fans.''
The team's relays continue to be a strong point. Bill Gorin, Ian Kaminski, Mike Smith-Bronstein and Homchick teamed up to take first in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:21.36. Smith-Bronstein, Homchick, Eddie Carden and Voit also took first in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:31.80).
``There is always a certain amount of pride that goes along with continuing a tradition,'' said Islander Jay Voit. ``We really wanted to keep it going and just keep pushing ourselves.''
The Islanders were just one second off Bellevue's pace in the 200-yard medley relay. George Stanton, Kai Swenson, Kaminski and Gorin finished in a time of 1:44.80.
During the 100-yard freestyle, Smith-Bronstein led a three-swimmer contingent to some powerful points. Smith-Bronstein finished second (51.34), Voit was third (52.10), with Stanton taking fourth (52.46) for the Islanders. Stanton also took fourth in the 100-yard backstroke.
Homchick finished second in the 100-yard butterfly (54.30), while Kaminski finished sixth (59.57).
The 50-yard freestyle was another big source of points for the Islanders, as Gorin (52.60) barely finished second, Kaminski (23.38) fourth and Swenson (24.03) sixth. Swenson also took third in the
100-yard breaststroke, while Dennis Wang finished sixth.
``This is the reason I swim,'' said Gorin, who is a senior. ``I just love to race. ``I thought I could beat him but I guess I will have to do it at districts.''
Islander Jeff Benca (1:52.52) took second in the 200-yard freestyle while Smith-Bronstein finished sixth (1:57.08).
The 500-yard freestyle saw Sterling finish third and George finish fourth.