Bellevue has won the past two titles at the state meet, but if the Wolverines want to get their third in a row they’re going to have to go through a young, hungry Bainbridge team in Saturday’s finals at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
Bellevue has won the past two team titles at the Class 3A boys state swim-and-dive meet, but if the Wolverines want to get their third in a row they’re going to have to go through a young, hungry Bainbridge team.
Bainbridge and Bellevue battled throughout the night Friday in the 3A state preliminaries at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. The two teams combined to hold the No. 1 seed in eight of the 12 events going into Saturday’s championship finals. The Wolverines have 14 individual swimmers in the top final while Bainbridge has 15 — including freshman diver Kiernan Liberman.
Both schools also have teams among the top-three seeds in all three relay races.
“I just got done telling these guys we’ve got to make sure we’re eating our oatmeal tomorrow and getting plenty of rest because we’re in for the biggest test that this program’s seen in a long time,” said Bellevue coach Andy Hay.
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Bainbridge shined in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 breaststroke with three swimmers — all freshmen and sophomores — in the top eight in both events.
Bellevue put three swimmers in the championship final in the 50 freestyle and two apiece in the 200 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke.
“We expected a really competitive meet, and it looks like a really competitive meet,” said Bainbridge coach Karen Segerson.
Bainbridge got off to a fast start, clinching the top seed in the first event of the day, the 200 medley relay, with an All-American-consideration time of 1:33.11 — which was also a state-meet record. Bainbridge surpassed the previous record by almost a second.
That record was set by Bellevue in 2014.
Bainbridge’s Kevin Houseman swam an automatic All-American time in the 100 breaststroke (55.64).
“They’re just a really talented squad,” Hay said of Bainbridge. “They’re young. They want it pretty bad. I think they showed that (Friday). It’s going to come down to who wants it most.”
Bellevue junior Andrew Boden finished first in the 200 freestyle (1:41.22) and third in the 500 freestyle (4:43.68) along with swimming on a pair of relay teams.
• A few swimmers were able to break the Bellevue-Bainbridge chain and earn top seeds for Saturday’s individual events. In the 100 freestyle prelims, Shorewood senior Andrew Butcher took the No. 1 spot with a time of 46.57. Roosevelt’s Emmett Wayte had an All-American-consideration time of 50.71 in the 100 backstroke. Wayte, a senior, also finished with the second-best preliminary time in the 200 individual medley.