Bellevue still held off Metro League champion Bainbridge, 273-263, to continue a two-year streak in which the Wolverines have not lost a single meet of any kind. The defending 3A state champions are the favorites again for the title when the state meet begins.

Share story

MERCER ISLAND — Bellevue was disqualified from the 200-yard freestyle relay during the prelims of the 3A Sea-King District 2 swim meet on Friday when one of its swimmers left the blocks early, costing the Wolverines a potential 40 points in their quest to repeat as district champions.

It didn’t matter.

Bellevue still held off Metro League champion Bainbridge, 273-263, to continue a two-year streak in which the Wolverines have not lost a meet of any kind. The defending 3A state champions are the favorites again for the title when the state meet begins Friday at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

“When the possible doesn’t seem like it will work, you’ve got to do the impossible,” Bellevue coach Andy Hay said.

The relay DQ was the first in five years for Hay. The Wolverines had two individuals disqualified at state a year ago, but until the prelims at districts this week never had lost a relay team.

Relay points count double for team scores, making them premier scoring opportunities. The other two relay events were just that again for Bellevue on Saturday at Mary Wayte Pool in Mercer Island.

The Wolverines reversed the results from prelims to open the finals with a victory in the 200 medley relay over Bainbridge. The Spartans had swum the fastest prelim time, but were edged in the championship final, 1:37.23 to 1:38.16.

Bellevue broke its 2014 meet record of 1:37.26 in the process, swung six points back immediately, and the Wolverines were off and running.

“That’s the way to start a meet,” Bellevue captain Chase Johnsen said.

The Wolverines added the 400 freestyle relay win in 3:12.32 to close the meet and secure the title.

In between, both Bellevue (early) and Bainbridge (late) moved up places.

Thomas Eggenberger won the 200 individual medley out of Lane 5 in 1:56.67 for the Wolverines. Zack Rossman followed by rising from second to first in the 50 free (21.64).

A first- and fourth-place finish from Kevin Houseman and Carter Hall in the next-to-last race, the 100 breast stroke, got the Spartans within four heading into the 4×100 free relay, 241-237. But Bellevue held on.

Franklin’s Dean Nguyen got his two district titles for the second straight year, winning the 100 free in 46.80 seconds and the 200 free in 1:43.47.

“I was just getting my times today,” said Nguyen, who admitted he hadn’t tapered for this meet nor will he for state next week.

“The state meet is a great setup for sectionals after that. And personally, I feel if I rest, I don’t swim as well.”