State dive champ takes talents into swim lanes

The Mercer Island boys swim team destroyed two more opponents this week, including 4A school Lake Washington on Jan. 20, and Roosevelt, Friday.

The defending state champion in one-meter diving, Islander Beau Riebe, competed in both meets, taking first each time. And while the senior has broken the school record for points scored in a six-dive meet twice this season, one of his biggest achievement might be in the swimming lanes.

“This year, I am swimming some,” said Riebe. “It has let me spend more time with my teammates, which is really nice.”

Riebe’s scores have been a big part of the team’s success, despite only seeing him at meets prior to this year. But being able to swim has brought Riebe closer to his team.

“They are really accepting of the divers,” said Riebe. “But this has been great.”

Riebe’s adventures in swimming have not just been for camaraderie with his teammates or for something to do. Riebe has earned a district time in the 100-yard breaststroke. Although he feels like he is a ways away from a state qualifying time, he would be excited for the opportunity to swim at his final high school swim meet before heading to college to dive.

“I think it would be cool and a lot of fun,” said Riebe, who also competes in the 200-yard medley in the breaststroke leg. “It was one of my goals to qualify for districts, and I did within the first couple of meets.”

Riebe also earned bragging rights when he beat state swimmer Tyler Benster in a head-to-head race, for which Riebe teases his teammate.

“He is a really good athlete,” said Islander coach Jeff Lowell. “He practices hard and takes direction really well.”

With just one regular meet left in the season, Riebe has a limited amount of time to get a state time. Winning the race at districts would also be an option if he gets a chance to swim in the district meet.

But Riebe’s swimming exploits have not taken away from his diving or desire to defend his title at state.

“He has improved a ton this year,” said Lowell. “He is a lot more relaxed.”

That relaxation turned into frustration following his new school record for a six-dive meet two weeks ago, when he scored 295.

“That really made me mad,” said Riebe. “I wanted to break 300. I thought I brought it, but I have to do it. We have one more home meet, but getting that close really made me mad.”

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