Skyline edges evenly matched Eastlake in swimming opener

December 13, 2011

By Christopher Huber

Max Levy, a Skyline High School sophomore, executes a dive Dec. 6 at Redmond Pool. By Christopher Huber

At the rate Skyline and Eastlake high school swimmers qualified for state events in their first meet of the season, there might not be much room for other 4A competitors at the championship this season.

In each team’s first dual meet of the 2011-12 boys swim and dive season, Eastlake qualified a swimmer in three events and Skyline had one swimmer who finished fast enough for a state time. Ultimately, Skyline edged out Eastlake, 96-90, Dec. 6 at Redmond Pool.

“I look forward to see what they do at state,” said Kate McCary, Eastlake’s second-year head coach.

In some of the day’s fastest races, Eastlake’s Edward Kim, the state champ in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events as a freshman, won the 100-yard butterfly in 52.75 seconds, almost two seconds faster than needed to get to state, and ahead of Skyline sophomore Paul Jett (57.41 seconds). In the 100-yard backstroke, Kim finished in 52.51 seconds, nearly five seconds faster than the state 4A standard.

Teammate Zach Alleva qualified for state with a winning time of 1 minute, 2.64 seconds in the 100 breaststroke. Skyline’s Alec Raines, also a top performer at state last year, took second to Kim with a time of 58.25 seconds.

Raines, a sophomore, qualified for the state meet in the 500 freestyle event, hitting the wall in 4:56.42 and beat Eastlake’s Jackson Berman by nearly 13 seconds.

“He’s a workhorse,” Paul Doran, Skyline assistant coach, said. “We can put him anywhere.”

Despite Eastlake losing by six points, McCary was enthusiastic about performances from her younger swimmers, like Berman, a freshman, who won the 200-yard freestyle race in 1:56.84. He also helped the Wolves win the 200 medley relay (1:45.90) and the 400 freestyle relay (3:43.54).

“That was awesome,” McCary said, responding to his 200 freestyle time that was about six seconds shy of the 4A state standard.

The Wolves tied for fifth place at state in the spring and lost only one impact swimmer to graduation. In adding a handful of swimmers to the roster — it’s now at about 30 members — Eastlake looks to win a few more regular-season meets with a bit more depth overall, McCary said.

While Kim and Alleva (2011 state champ in the 100 breaststroke and runner up in two relays) may be the strongest and most consistent for Eastlake, senior captains Henry O’Neil and Antoine Signoretty will add points in events like diving and the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays. Signoretty scored a 183.8 in the diving competition against Skyline, while O’Neil placed second in the 100 freestyle (54.84 seconds).

“We’ll have a strong performance at state again, for sure,” McCary said.

The ever-growing Skyline team is young this year, too. After earning its best representation ever at the state meet in the spring, Skyline placed 23rd as a team and saw first-year diver Max Levy take second place. Alex Cary was the only swimmer to graduate from last year’s team, so the Spartans bring back more experience, in addition to increasing its roster to 47 swimmers.

Levy is back, and with help from Raines (500 freestyle and 100 backstroke) and sophomore Paul Jett (200 IM and 100 fly), looks to lead more Spartans to state.

Head coach Susan Simpkins said she hopes the Skyline relay teams will contend better this year. However, both she and McCary said it’s hard to gauge how well their teams will do after just the first meet.

“It’s wait and see, but they’re already looking good and strong,” Simpkins said.

Christopher Huber: 392-6434, ext. 242, or chuber@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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