Former gymnast leads Spartan swimmers to win over Mustangs

January 25, 2011

By Christopher Huber

Skyline High School sophomore Max Levy quit club gymnastics and picked up diving just five months ago. By mid-season, he had qualified for the state diving meet and has thus far broken the school record three times, according to coaches and teammates.

“He’s going to do real well,” said Skyline head coach Susan Simpkins.

David Jett takes a breath in the 100-yard freestyle event Jan. 18 at the Julius Boehm Pool. By Christopher Huber

Levy scored six points for the Spartans swim and dive team when he beat Redmond’s Phillip Klassen 205.4 to 204.2. Skyline ultimately won 115.5 to 69.5, improving to 5-4 in dual meets on the season. Although it was a low-key meet, numerous Spartan swimmers shaved time off of their previous bests and a couple set KingCo- and district-qualifying times in their respective races.

“I think the kids, with finals and everything coming up, I think they did a really good job,” Simpkins said.

The Skyline boys won 10 of 12 events against the Mustangs. Among the meet’s top performers were David and Paul Jett, Alec Raines, Alex Carey and Ashton Powell.

After Levy won the diving competition, Skyline won the 200-yard medley relay, finishing in 1 minute, 48.38 seconds, about four seconds off the state-qualifying mark.

Powell then beat Redmond’s Nicholas Kodati by less than a quarter-second in the 200-yard freestyle race, coming in at 1:59.14. He cut about two seconds off his previous district-qualifying time.

While some swimmers took the meet lightly, Simpkins said others put in extra effort to get that last-minute KingCo-, district- or state-qualifying time.

“They’re finally figuring out it’s toward end of the season,” she said. “They’re stepping it up a little bit.”

In the 200-yard individual medley, Raines won in 2:14.09, more than nine seconds ahead of Redmond’s Tucker Russell. Raines, a freshman, is headed to districts in that event.

“Alec Raines always does a really good job,” Simpkins said.

Raines also swam to victory in the 500-yard freestyle race, finishing in 5:08.96. His 5:02.18 earlier this season qualified him for the state meet.

“I’m really excited for state,” he said after the race. “It takes a lot of determination.”

He said to cut time against the state competition, “I’ll probably have to go out faster and pace better.”

Senior Alex Carey took second in the 50-yard freestyle event, finishing in 24.86 seconds, good enough to compete at districts. This meet was one of his first times back in the water since the winter break, he said. Redmond’s Kevin Creekmore won with a time of 24.67 seconds.

In the 100 butterfly, Julian Lim took second for Skyline in a district-qualifying time of 1:02.93. Junior David Jett won the 100-yard freestyle in 52.69 seconds, good enough for districts. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Skyline took first place in 1:39.88, about six seconds off of the state-qualifying mark.

Skyline’s Ryan Collins also won the 100-yard backstroke. He finished in a time of 59.54 seconds, a little slower than his season-best, but enough to qualify for the district meet.

Paul Jett, a freshman, won the 100-breaststroke in a district time of 1:08.96. He said he’s hoping to make it to state in the butterfly event.

Skyline wrapped the meet up with a big win in the 400-yard freestyle relay. It finished in 3:40.56, beating Redmond by about 11 seconds.

Simpkins acknowledged the good chances of sending more athletes to districts after the KingCo meet.

As of now, “we’ll have a very young team, she said.”

Christopher Huber: 392-6434, ext. 242, or Comment at

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