Liberty swimmers battle Mercer Island
December 13, 2011
For many years, when the Liberty High School boys swimming team met perennial power Mercer Island, the latter team yawned and used the meet almost like a warmup.
But that was not the case Dec. 6, when the Patriots grabbed first place in nine of 12 events and almost upset the defending 3A state champions. Mercer Island prevailed, 95-90, but the Islanders got one tough battle from the Patriots in the Julius Boehm Pool.
Mercer Island’s depth was the difference in the meet. While Liberty grabbed the most first places, the Islanders captured the majority of the runnerup places.
Liberty had nine state-qualifying times in the meet. Senior Logan Briggs and freshman Nick Klatt each won two events in state-qualifying times.
Briggs captured the 50-yard freestyle in 22.40 seconds and won the 100 freestyle in 48.32. He also swam as a member of two winning relays that had state-qualifying times. Klatt won the 200 freestyle in 1:49.75 and the 500 freestyle in 4:59.44. He also swam as a member of a winning relay team that had a state-qualifying time.
Luke Duschl, of Liberty, had two first places. He won the 100 individual medley in a state-qualifying time of 2:04.32 and captured the 100 backstroke in 57.98.
Liberty’s Raymond Ha won the 100 breaststroke in a state-qualifying time of 1:01.90. He finished second in the 100 butterfly in 56.58, just missing the state standard of 56.0.
Kevin Hays, of Liberty, was second in the 100 breaststroke in a state-qualifying time of 1:03.08.
Liberty showed Mercer Island it was for real by winning the first event of the meet, the 200 medley relay. Duschl, Ha, Briggs and Hays made up the relay team, which had a state-qualifying time of 1:41.76. It was a fast race as Mercer Island’s A and B teams finished second and third, respectively, with state-qualifying times.
The Patriots closed out the meet by winning the 400 freestyle relay in a state-qualifying time of 3:22.50. Briggs, Connor Biehl, Klatt and Duschl made up the relay team.
The loss evened Liberty’s KingCo Conference 3A/2A record at 1-1.