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Swim, Knights even in KingCo
By Matt Phelps
It was simple last week for the Islander boys swim team: Just win. This week it is still simple, but maybe not as easy.
The Mercer Island victory over Bellevue, 130-56, Thursday, coupled with Newport's win against Bellevue Jan. 18, set up the biggest showdown thus far in 3A KingCo boys swimming. Mercer Island and Newport, which both call Mary Wayte Pool home, will face each other for the KingCo dual meet title Thursday. Both teams are undefeated in the KingCo league, with Newport at 5-0 and Mercer Island at 4-0.
The Islanders got warmed up for the showdown with an important non-league meet against Seattle Prep Saturday at Mary Wayte. The Islanders won the contest 93-90 in a close battle of two teams that will compete at state this season.
Mercer Island's depth was the key to victory, as none of the Islanders' individual swimmers earned a first-place finish. But the team's two relay victories and a sweep of the diving event put Mercer Island over the top.
The Islanders began the meet with a victory in the 200-yard medley relay. Islanders George Stanton, Kai Swenson, Ian Kaminski and Mike Smith-Bronstien took first with a state time of 1:45.68, a little less than nine seconds ahead of the nearest Prep team. Islanders Ryan Young, Dennis Wang, Ryan Hammond and Eddie Carden took second, four seconds ahead of the third place Panther team.
The Islanders again took first in the 200-yard freestyle relay, but in a much closer race. Bill Gorin, Kaminski, Smith-Bronstien and Tad Homchick won by a second-and-a-half with a state time of 1:31.28.
The Islanders finished with seven individual second-place finishes, including two by Gorin in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle. Islander Jay Voit took second in the 200-yard individual medley and third in the 500-yard freestyle. Homchick (100-yard butterfly), Stanton (100-yard backstroke) and Smith-Bronstien (100-yard breaststroke) had second-place finishes.
The Islanders' dive team gave the team 13 important points. Islander Russell Turner finished first with 160.90 points with Mike Camp (145.35) and Alex Harvey (92.95) in second and third places.
The Islander team dominated Bellevue with 10 first-place finishes on the night, including a sweep of the relay events. Homchick, Gorin and Voit all finished with three first place victories. Homchick won the 200-yard individual medley (2:01.69) and the 100-yard breaststroke (1:03.34). Voit took first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:51.57) and the 100-yard butterfly (56.26). Gorin won the 50-yard freestyle (23.13) and the 100-yard backstroke (1:00.24).
The relay team of Homchick, Swenson, Kaminski and Gorin beat out Bellevue by three seconds in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:44.62. Islanders Jeff Benca, Voit, Smith-Bronstien and Homchick took first in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:27.27 defeating the next closest, which was a team from Mercer Island, by a full 15 seconds.
Benca, Voit, Smith-Bronstien and Kaminski also teamed to take first in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:34.42.
Smith-Bronstien rounded out the first-place finishes with a victory in the 100-yard freestyle (51.59).