MERCER ISLAND – One, two, three.
One, two, three.
The refrain was familiar at the Sea-King 3A District boys swimming meet on Saturday at Mary Wayte Pool. The teams producing that cadence were the three favorites to be at or near the top of next week’s state meet, as well.
Mercer Island won its second consecutive district title, 329-272 over runner-up Bellevue. Lakeside, the two-time defending state champion, was third at 183.
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“This was a really good meet for our guys,” Islanders coach Chauntelle Johnson said. “I’m happy for our seniors. They came away with a team win in their last meet at Mary Wayte.”
Led by Noah Deiparine, Mercer Island produced its own 1-2-3 in the 100-yard freestyle. Deiparine won the event in 47.20 seconds, adding that victory to his earlier 50 free win. He was followed by teammates Andrew Weiss (47.37) and Ian Caldwell (48.41).
“This is exactly how we expected it to go,” Deiparine said. “We didn’t get a lot of our state cuts until this meet last year. This year, we’re doing it again.”
The Islanders weren’t the only ones, though.
Bellevue and Lakeside also got double winners.
Todd McCarthy won the 100 butterfly in 51.33 seconds, then added the 100 backstroke title in an All-America consideration time of 51.38 seconds for the Wolverines. Abrahn DeVine scored wins in the 200 individual medley (56.19) and 500 free (4:43.48) for the Lions.
“We’re right where we need to be,” McCarthy said. “We’re trying to peak for next week. I think we’re in good position.”
In fact, no other team won an event other than the top three team finishers on Saturday.
“It wasn’t necessarily about points,” Bellevue coach Andy Hay said. “This meet was all about these athletes catching fire, and building momentum for the state meet. Success breeds success, and I am looking forward to some success next week.”
From the first event, the three favorites served notice that this would be a hard-fought meet.
Bellevue’s 1:37.26 swim in the 200 medley relay broke the Wolverines’ meet record from a year ago of 1:37.95. Mercer Island and Lakeside? Both also swam under the previous record, with the Islanders finishing second in 1:37.52 and the Lions third at 1:37.84.
Mercer Island then won the two freestyle relays, with Bellevue and Lakeside finishing right behind them each time. The Islanders’ swim of 3:10.21 in the 4×100 relay also was a new meet record, breaking the mark of 3:11.40 set by the 2003 Mercer Island squad.
“Everything coming into this meet was pretty much the same as last year,” Lakeside coach Sally Mingarelli said. “Our superstitious boys think that’s pretty good. This is always an off meet for us, so we use it as a tune-up.
“I think Mercer Island is just a great team. We have a ton of respect for them. It’s why we strive to beat them.”