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Mercer Island boys swim wraps up regular season with close win over Inglemoor
In a season filled with blowouts and wins by a hundred points or more, the last meet of the regular season for the Mercer Island boys swim team came down to the wire. The Islanders beat Inglemoor 103-83 to hold onto their undefeated season. With the tricky win under its belt, the team can now really focus on what it has been waiting for all season: the postseason.
So far the team has approximately 20 members qualified for state events, meaning Mercer Island isn’t content to rest now that the regular dual meets are finished.
“We’re definitely where we want to be as a team,” said senior captain Brian Williamson. “We’ve really come far in bonding and camaraderie. An undefeated dual meet season is great, and I think we have the right mindset going forward.”
Williamson is qualified to race in the 200 freestyle and 100 freestyle events at state.
“Our strengths are the relays and the freestyle events,” he said, which was where the Islanders were able to pull away from Inglemoor.
“In the 200 freestyle relay, we got our minds back into it — it showed when we need to, we can get where we need to be,” he said.
Williamson’s focus for the next several weeks leading up to the state meet is to continue to help push his teammates and himself.
“I’d like to make top eight in both my events, and I’d like everyone to drop a lot of time and have a great state meet,” the swimmer said.
That encouragement of other team members is likely why head coach Chauntelle Johnson listed the senior class as one of the team’s biggest strengths. She said that overall they have stepped up this season, a year when many counted the Islanders down after losing so many of their top guys to graduation last spring.
“The seniors really stepped up, and it’s been great to watch,” said Johnson.
Pushing himself in the pool to capitalize on his times is another senior captain, Robbie Homchick, already qualified for state in the 50 freestyle.
“It feels good,” he said of the season. “Everyone is getting fast, and the team is strong. It’s fun to see what we can do.” Homchick said he is focusing on his sprints in practice, in preparation for an attempt to qualify in the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle races.
Overall, with about a month remaining in his high school swimming career, Homchick said it would be “really cool” if the team could win the national power points contest again, an award given based on relay times, and to fill the state roster with Islanders.
Senior Duncan Howard qualified in the 50 and 100 freestyle races, and hoping to add the 200 freestyle to his list, he said he feels the team is dead-on with meeting the team goals outlined at the beginning of the season.
“We’re right on with our team goals. I think a lot of people have done a really great job of stepping up and showing we’re just as good as ever,” said Howard. He said within the team they are competitive against themselves, pushing each other at practice and meets to do better.
“We’ve got depth, and we get into that competitive spirit,” he said. At the same time, Howard said the team continues to work on remembering that sometimes sacrifices must be made, such as swimming an event that is not a personal favorite because it is best for the team.
“Personally, I’d love to see people who make finals if they haven’t yet,” Howard said of the postseason meets. Individually, he hopes to make the finals in his events at the state meet.
With the KingCo league meet on Saturday, Feb. 6, at Mary Wayte Pool and the Sea-King meet the following weekend, prior to state, Johnson said the focus is the little things in practice.
“Starts, turns, the mechanics, just cleaning things up,” she said. Her one problem right now is that too many team swimmers are fast enough to qualify, and she only has so many spots to fill.
“It’s pretty much the best weakness you can have,” she said.
Mercer Island 103, Inglemoor 83
200 medley relay – 1, Inglemoor (Kyle Komlodi, Carl Olsson, Andy Chapman, Michael Postetter) 1:44.89; 2, Mercer Island (Andy Wingerson, Ian Fisk, Duncan Howard, Taylor Seidel) 1:45.68. 200 free – Eric Benca, 1:50.85. 200 IM – Sam Billet, Inglemoor, 2:09.07. 50 free – 1, Wingerson, 22.37; 2, Kyle Moline, 22.90. Diving — Spencer Moore, Inglemoor, 176.80. 100 fly – Komlodi, Inglemoor, 55.36. 100 free – Olsson, Inglemoor, 50.23. 500 free – Wingerson, 4:54.96. 200 free relay – Mercer Island (Jimmy Deiparine, Sam Chong, Dan Simons, Fisk) 1:31.63. 100 back – Komlodi, Inglemoor, 57.20. 100 breast – Fisk, M, 1:04.41. 400 free relay – Mercer Island (Deiparine, Homchick, Howard, Wingerson) 3:24.14.