Skyline swimmers fall to Redmond, Eastlake in season opener

December 11, 2012

By Lillian O'Rorke

Skyline junior Matt Haynie wins the 500-yard freestyle race Dec. 4 at Redmond Pool with a time of 5 minutes, 35.54 seconds. By Greg Farrar

With more than a dozen of its 63 competitors missing, the Skyline High School boys swim team took to the pool Dec. 4 for its season opener dual meet, eventually losing 96-87 to Redmond and 101-84.5 to Eastlake.

“The boys still did really, really well. We are really pleased with them,” Skyline coach Susan Simpkins said. Athletes must have at least 10 practices before they can compete. “I think when we get all our kids qualified to swim, after the 10-practice thing, we will have a well-rounded team.”

This year, she added, the team’s leadership in terms of experience comes from a strong group of juniors: Paul Jett, Matt Haynie and Nick D’Alo.

Those three, along with several others, helped the Skyline Spartans grab several victories.

After starting out head-to-head with Redmond and Eastlake in the 100 free, Jett pulled ahead for the win. His time of 52.45 also bought him a ticket for districts. By the time freshman Nick Nava dove in the water for the second leg of the 200 free relay, his Skyline team, also made up of D’Alo, Tucker Russell and Sam deMers, was already ahead of the pack. The boys held on to that lead all the way to the end, winning the race in 1:41.17, three seconds ahead of Redmond and four seconds ahead of Eastlake.

Dec. 4 marked Nava’s first high school swim meet ever, and before the night was over he had already qualified for districts in two individual events: the 200 IM with a second-place swim of 2:17.20 and the 100 fly with a third-place swim of 1:03.35.

“He was very excited about that. We were very excited about that,” said Simpkins, adding that the freshman earned the team’s “swimmer of the meet” award.

Also putting in a solid effort for the Spartans was Haynie. When he started out, pulling through the water in the first lap of the 500 free, he was right in line with Eastlake’s Kuroshe Mahak and Redmond’s Ryan Haper. After seven lengths, he was ahead by two or three feet, doubling that after 11 trips across the pool. By the final stroke, Haynie had beat Harper by a second and a half and Mahak by 6.3 seconds, qualifying for districts with a time of 5:35.54.

“You just have to pace yourself, really. I’ve had quite a bit of time with the 500 to figure out what speed I need to go to be able to make it the entire way,” Haynie said. He has been swimming the 500 in pretty much every high school meet for the past two years. “There has been a lot of times where I either went too fast or too slow and had energy left over.”

Haynie also qualified for districts in the 200 free, where he took third with a time of 2:05.46. But freestyle aside, he is actually eyeing the 100 fly. Hoping to swim the event at the state championships, Haynie said he is working a lot this year on his butterfly stroke.

Skyline not only scored in races but diver Max Levy blew the competition away. His final score of 220.05 was more than 32 points higher than any other competitor.

New to the team this year are 15 athletes who are also new to the sport. Those 15 helped Skyline pack the 50 free with 32 Spartans in 12 heats.

“We let them experience what the 100 free is,” Simpkins said. “They’ve never done it and this was a good meet to do it in because we have a lot of time.”

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