Jakson Winn is the Ironman, a Mercer Island High School (MIHS) senior swimmer who has nailed state-qualifying times in all eight individual events.
It’s a tough task to achieve, said head coach Jennie King, adding that the talented, well-rounded athlete and leader set his mind to it and emerged from the pool on senior night with his final two events — the 100 breaststroke and 500 freestyle — to complete the iron list.
“Once I got the first couple, I was like, ‘You know, I really want to do this,’ so it feels really good to be able to say that I have all eight state cuts,” said Winn, who will swim the 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle, along with the 400 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay, at state.
At post time, the Islanders have amassed 27 individual state-qualifying times, the most amongst Washington schools. A bevy of MIHS athletes will compete at the 3A state championships in the individual events and relays on Feb. 17-19 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
“These guys are internally super motivated, they hate to lose,” said King, whose team won the state crown in 2020. “They’ve wanted to be successful as a team all year. It shows in our team record and then they all have wanted to be successful individually.”
Islander state top seeds at post time are junior Matt Williamson in the 200 and 500 freestyles, junior Evan Liu in the 200 individual medley and junior Emmett Ralston in the 100 breast.
Other MIHS state cuts at post time are: sophomore Colin Carmichael in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly; Liu in the 100 fly, 100 free and 100 breast; senior Brandon Peterson in the 200 free, 100 fly and 100 back; Ralston in the 200 IM and 50 freestyle; junior Matthew Shield in the 200 free, 50 free and 100 free; junior Joe Torky in the 200 free; Williamson in the 200 IM; and Winn in all eight. (See times below.)
MIHS shredded the competition at the 3A KingCo swim and dive championships on Feb. 4-5 with a first-place mark of 428 points, well ahead of second-place Bellevue with 246.
Local individual victors at Highline High School were: Shield in the 100 and 200 frees; Winn in the 50 free and 100 back; Williamson in the 500 free; Ralston in the 100 breast; the 200 MR of Winn, Ralston, Peterson and Shield; the 200 freestyle relay of Ralston, Liu, junior Coy Hounsell and Carmichael; and the 400 FR of Carmichael, Williamson, Shield and Winn. (See times below.)
Peterson, who captains the team along with Winn and fellow seniors Christopher Chechitelli and diver Alex Levin, will swim the 100 back and 100 fly at state plus some relays.
He said the 100 fly is a challenging event, one which he’s been tackling for about 11 years. It’s an exciting race that goes by in a blur, he added.
“It’s been a lot of fun this season so far, but I’m looking forward to state. We won state my sophomore year, and that was probably the most fun I’ve ever had swimming,” Peterson said.
Chechitelli is gunning for a state time at the district meet and said MIHS — which blasted through its dual-meet season with a 9-0 record — has a good shot at winning districts and state.
“We’re extremely deep, we have a lot of really fast guys. We’re very lucky to have as many fast people as we do. While other teams might have one person that’s really fast, we’ll have all four who are taking all the points — that’s why we’re scoring so much,” said the captain, adding the he enjoys the team camaraderie and spirit. “You make a lot of good friends here and that’s the most important part, in my opinion.”
200 MR: Winn, Ralston, Peterson and Shield, 1:34.25
200 free: Shield, 1:44.28
50 free: Winn, 21.55
100 free: Shield, 47.81
500 free: Williamson, 4:40.01
200 FR: Ralston, Liu, Hounsell and Carmichael, 1:28.01
100 back: Winn, 50.89
100 breast: Emmett, 58.75
400 FR: Carmichael, Williamson, Shield and Winn, 3:10.50
INDIVIDUAL STATE CUTS
Carmichael: 200 IM (2:00.09); 100 fly (52.77)
Liu: 200 IM (1:57.53); 100 fly (52.48); 100 free (48.67); 100 breast (59.43)
Peterson: 200 free (1:44.87); 100 fly (51.11); 100 back (54.23)
Ralston: 200 IM (1:58.49); 50 free (21.66); 100 breast (58.75)
Shield: 200 free (1:44.28); 50 free (21.98); 100 free (47.65)
Torky: 200 free (1:47.53)
Williamson: 200 free (1:46.62); 200 IM (1:59.81); 500 free (4:40.01)
Winn: 200 free (1:47.73); 200 IM (2:00.84); 50 free (21.55); 100 fly (52.73); 100 free (48.28); 500 free (4:49.60); 100 back (50.89); 100 breast (59.74)