The Islanders had a productive Day 1 at the state championships as they try to take the Class 3A team title back from Lakeside.
FEDERAL WAY — Andrew Weiss came to the state championships last year hoping to help extend Mercer Island’s string of boys swimming state titles to seven.
But Lakeside won the title, and Weiss, now a junior, is trying to help the Islanders get back to the mountaintop.
With solid contributions in the preliminaries on Friday at the King County Aquatic Center, Weiss and the Islanders are in good position to do so.
“It felt bad going into the offseason,” Weiss said. “It was a little rough. But we are feeling good about what we can do in the finals. It felt good getting the district title back, so it would be that much sweeter if we can take back the state title tomorrow.”
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Weiss qualified for Saturday’s Class 3A finals in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle. He is the top seed in the 50 after a prelim time of 21.43 seconds. In the 100, he was 1.5 seconds behind Tommy Thach (46.06) of Kennedy Catholic. Thach also swam the fastest time in the 200 individual medley, 1:52.87.
Bellevue is also in the title hunt after three top qualifying times, including an automatic All-American time from Todd McCarthy in the 100 backstroke at 50.31.
“Todd McCarthy did everything we expected him to do, and that’s just being a boss,” said Bellevue coach Andy Hay.
Kennedy’s Thane Maudslien qualified second in the 100 back (51.40) and second in the 100 butterfly (51.46), behind O’Dea’s Grant Neil. Maudslien is an Olympic qualifier and three-time defending state champ in the fly. Only six boys have won four state titles in four years in one event.
No Lakeside swimmers had top qualifying times, but the Lions will have plenty of firepower in the finals, including Abrahm Devine (500 free, 200 IM) and Henry Stolz (100 fly, 500 free).
“We are just super excited that we got the guys into the finals that we needed to,” said Lakeside coach Sally Rupert.
But perhaps no team is in better shape than Mercer Island.
“We are in a good spot, but the score of the meet is 0-0,” Islanders coach Chauntelle Johnson said. “I don’t want to say I feel any better than I did yesterday, but I’m happy with our performances today. We still have a lot of work tomorrow.”
Archbishop Murphy has 8 top swims in 2A
Archbishop Murphy senior Alec Barnard had top swims in the 50 free (21.92) and 100 fly (52.03). He’s trying to finish his career with six individual state titles.
The Wildcats from Everett had top swims in eight of 12 events and have a chance to dethrone Sehome of Bellingham as team champ.
“That’s about as solid as you can get,” Archbishop Murphy coach Mike McClosky said. “It feels like the only thing that could keep us from taking first tomorrow are disqualifications at this point.”
Four of a kind
KENNEDY’S THANE MAUDSLIEN, defending 3A champ in the 100 butterfly, is trying to join an exclusive group of four-time boys winners in one event.
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.