Defending champ Lakeside edged Mercer Island 274 to 271, and Kennedy swimmers Thane Maudslien and Tommy Thach destroyed meet records.

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FEDERAL WAY — Sally Mingarelli wore a huge smile even before the culminating 400-yard freestyle relay began at the Class 3A state boys swim championships.

A year ago, her Lakeside Lions needed a huge performance in the day’s final event to dethrone six-time defending team champion Mercer Island.

On Saturday at the King County Aquatic Center, all Lakeside’s relay needed to do was finish in the top half of the championship final to keep the team title. The Lions finished third in the relay and nipped Mercer Island, 274 points to 271.

“This team has major heart,” said Mingarelli, the Lakeside coach. “They really care about each other. They care about the team title. They all become something bigger than they are when they get here.”

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Just a week ago, Lakeside lost the district title to the Islanders by more than 50 points. After Friday’s prelims, the Lions faced a 52-point deficit.

But Lakeside junior Hugh Jacobsen was beaming after his third-place consolation finish in the 100 breaststroke helped Lakeside take a 242-231 lead into the final race.

“I’m ready for the relay,” Jacobsen said. “I have so much energy right now.”

Mingarelli just smiled.

“Safe starts. We need safe starts,” said the former Sally Rupert, who got married over the Christmas break. “We don’t need to win.”

But when Carter Jacobson led as he hit the wall to end the third leg of the 400 relay, most of the Lions behind the Lane 3 starters block were hopping up and down with excitement.

Mercer Island won the event in 3 minutes, 9.57 seconds, but fell just shy of reclaiming the title the Islanders owned from 2006 to 2011.

A young Mercer Island team peaked at the end of the season but couldn’t quite maintain its momentum on the season’s final day.

“I tell our guys all the time, all that matters is how you finish,” Islanders coach Chauntelle Johnson said.

On Saturday, Lakeside finished just a little better.

Lakeside wasn’t the only school that had a big day in the pool. Kennedy Catholic’s Thane Maudslien and Tommy Thach helped the Lancers’ medley relay shock the favorites to win in 1:36.56.

Ten minutes later, Thach, a sophomore, set 3A and overall state-meet records while defending his title in the 200 individual medley with a blistering swim of 1:49.22. The 3A record was set in 2009 by Lakeside’s Owen Wurzbacher (1:50.26). The overall state-meet record, Andy Lloyd’s 1:49.30 for Mercer Island, had stood since 1988.

“I went 1:50 last year, so this is my all-time best,” Thach said. “It hasn’t really gotten to me yet. I’m still just soaking in the atmosphere here.”

Thach also won the 100 free (45.47).

Maudslien, trying to become just the seventh swimmer in state history to win a title in the same event four times, accomplished just that while winning the 100 butterfly again in 49.76.

Maudslien had qualified second to O’Dea’s Grant Neil on Friday. But the Lancers senior wasn’t denied on Saturday.

“I was definitely excited for this race,” Maudslien said. “It feels good.”

He later won the 100 backstroke in 48.56, a 3A meet and overall state-meet record and his seventh career individual title. (He was disqualified from the 200 IM as a freshman, denying him a chance at eight). Maudslien broke Wilson swimmer Evan Martinec’s overall state record in the 100 back, 48.59 in 2000.

Four of a kind

KENNEDY’S THANE MAUDSLIEN joined an exclusive group of four-time winners in one event. Two divers, Lakeside’s Lucas Brower (1994-97) and Bellevue’s Zach Wilcox (1998-2001) have also done it.

1985-88: Steven Herron (4A Lake Washington), 500 free.

1991-94: Trevor Gray (4A Kentridge), 100 back.

1992-95: Wes Oliver (4A Sammamish), 500 free.

1995-98: Brett Tannhauser (3A Bishop Blanchet), 500 free.

2007-10: Garren Riechel (4A Snohomish), 100 breast.

2008-11: Ethan Hallowell (3A Eastside Catholic), 100 free.

2010-13: Thane Maudslien (3A Kennedy Catholic), 100 fly.

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