FEDERAL WAY — Mercer Island proved the epitome of what is high-school swimming — a team sport consisting of a dozen individual events.
The Islanders overwhelmed the Class 3A state boys field at the King County Aquatic Center this weekend, winning three individual championships, adding two second places, winning all three relays and scoring points in every event except diving to capture the school’s ninth team title since 2004 with 367.5 points, well ahead of runner-up Lakeside at 258.
“It was really important for the boys, to win all three relays,” Mercer Island coach Jennie King said. “It put an exclamation point on our season. Winning all three relays is really hard to do.”
Going into the final 100 yards of the 4×400 relay, Mercer Island trailed Lakeside by just under two seconds. But anchor Colin Carmichael ignited the crowd and reeled in Ayden Tan to take the meet’s final event in 3 minutes, 8.13 seconds.
“We had to spread out our guys, so we didn’t have the best relay in each race,” King said. “So, it was a nail-biter. I know the meet was decided there, but it was so important. I know the boys wanted to win that.”
SeaKing District teams swept the top seven spots, with Bainbridge finishing third at 210.5.
Mercer Island entered the state meet with 18 qualifying swims in the top 16 of the eight individual events (not including diving), and when Coy Hounsell jumped from the 21st best qualifying time in the 100 yard freestyle to 15th during Friday’s prelims, added a 19th for the finals.
Senior Jakson Winn was a double winner individually for Mercer Island with victories in the 100 free and a comeback win in the 100 back, the final race of his high-school career. Winn reeled in Bellevue’s Aaron Klym over the final 10 yards to get the win in the back.
“Some of the most painful swimming I’ve ever done,” Winn said. “All the adrenaline I’d used in that first 25, and it was just pure muscle and pure training. I’ve worked really hard over the last couple of years. My sophomore year, I didn’t actually even make state. Since junior year, I’ve just really tried to prove myself to the swimming world and to my teammates.”
The only other double winner of the meet was Bellevue’s Brian Lee, who provided the most electrifying individual swims. Lee started his Saturday with a victory in the 50 free in 20.69 before lowering the state and meet record in the 100 butterfly with a 47.60 to earn the swimmer of the meet award.
Lee beat the Class 3A meet record of 48.55 set by Mercer Island’s James Richardson in 2019, and dropped the overall state mark of 47.81 held by Richland’s Cody Roberts since 2009.
“Definitely something I was going after,” said Lee, a senior. “The meet record, my best time was like two seconds lower coming in. I definitely knew I’d be making records, and I gave it my all since this is my last year.”
Mercer Island won six consecutive state titles from 2006-2011 and have gone back-to-back again. The Islanders outscored runner-up Bainbridge 313-289.5 the last time this championship meet was held in February 2020.
All state playoffs were erased during the 2020-21 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Islanders kicked off the swimming finals with a loud announcement in the 200 medley relay, going 1:32.42 to reset the meet and overall state record by eclipsing Bainbridge’s 1:32.64 mark that was set in 2017.
Williamson followed with his 200 free win in 1:41.08, Evan Liu and Colin Carmichael added 30 points with second and sixth place finishes in the 200 individual medley, the Islanders scored 32 points with three total swims in the 50 free and the rout was on.
Anacortes outpaces Pullman in 2A
Anacortes scored points in all 12 events to deny runner-up Pullman a state swimming sweep, 280-271. The Greyhound girls won the Class 2A title back in November.
Sammamish checked in with 196 points to place fourth. Senior Zuriahn Yun earned a second in the 100 breast (59.38) and a third in the 200 IM (1.58.31) to lead the Redhawks.
North Kitsap senior Isaac Beers followed up his meet-record 45.81 from Friday’s 100 free prelims with a finals victory in the event in 45.98. He added a victory in the 100 back in an All-America Consideration time of 49.88 to earn the wwimmer of the meet award.
Beers was the only individual double winner in the 2A meet. He helped lead the Vikings to a third-place team finish.