Consistency proves key for Sehome, Squalicum

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDFebruary 15, 2014 

ANACORTES - Stealing the show is overrated.

Neither Sehome nor Squalicum boys' swimming won a single event at the Class 2A Bi-District finals, rather relying on consistency in nearly every event to send several swimmers to the state championships next weekend.

Anacortes won the Bi-District championship with 233 points. Lake Washington came in second with 213 points, the Mariners were in third with 198 points and the Storm finished fourth with 192 points on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Fidalgo Pool in Anacortes. Bellingham's 129 points earned it a sixth-place finish.

And in a meet that largely lacked a dramatic race, the final event - the 400 freestyle relay - provided an electric come-from-behind finish with two of the top swimmers from Whatcom County, Sehome's Isaiah Grambo and Squalicum's Rowan King.

Both Grambo and King anchored their respective relay teams, with King entering the final 100-meter leg 1.34 seconds ahead of Grambo. What followed was simply a show of force from the Mariner junior.

Grambo swam a 48.3-second final leg, catching and surpassing King in the final 25 meters to take second behind Anacortes in the 400 freestyle relay. The second-place finish for Sehome earned it third overall in the meet, slightly edging Squalicum.

"I've done 49 (seconds) in a relay before, and I am halfway through my taper. I said to myself, 'We can beat Squalicum. I'm going to go 48,'" Grambo said. "I was trying to picture it in my head. I was like, 'I don't know if it's going to be 48.99 or what.' I just went hard. ... I got in and I just felt fast.

"I saw him out of the corner of my eye, and I was catching him. I didn't see him after the flags, but I was like, "He's right next to me. I got to kill him on the turn," Grambo added."

Storm coach Randy Elsner, standing opposite of Sehome's camp in the crowded pool, new Grambo was going to get the better of King when he saw the final turn.

"Isaiah had Rowan on the turns. I saw it. He had to win it," Elsner said. "If we won that heat, we would have beaten Sehome."

Squalicum's team of Neall Koetje, Andi DeKoster, Lucas Roberts and King, despite coming in third, all finished with personal times of less than 52 seconds per leg, Elsner said, a bright spot considering the team qualified for state in the 400 freestyle relay.

Grambo's performance in the final leg wasn't his only solid performance of the day. He finished second in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.64, and his teammate, Josh Larson, finished third with a time of 22.68 - both state qualifying times.

Precious time was lost for Grambo in the race, though, as his start was less than ideal.

"I think if my start had been faster, I could have won," Grambo said. "I know that I gained .10 seconds (on first), and based on my other swims I could have definitely dropped that."

The junior also qualified for state in the 100 butterfly with a time of 54.48, half a second faster than his previous season best during district prelims.

Larson, who swam the opening leg of the 400 freestyle, earned a second state berth in the 100 freestyle as he swam a time of 50.98.

"We had excellent swims and best times for almost everyone," Sehome coach Don Helling said.

King brought Squalicum its best individual performance when he swam a 1:05.70 in the 100 breaststroke, losing to Lake Washington's Nick Reeves by 2.56 seconds. The Storm freshman also qualified for state in the 200 individual medley when he placed third behind Archbishop Murphy's Stephen Boden and Anacortes' Elliott Hofferth.

"This is next level," said Elsner of the environment, and his swimmers overcoming fatigue after the first day of districts.

Sehome's Colin Hakeman and Bellingham's Martin Sloley both qualified for state in the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle. The Red Raiders' Gabe Travers swam a 1:07.00 in the 100 breaststroke, finishing fourth at districts and earning a state berth.

Reach Alex Bigelow at alex.bigelow@bellinghamherald.com or call 360-715-2238. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for other Whatcom County sports updates.

CLASS 2A BI-DISTRICT FINALS

FIDALGO POOL

1. ANACORTES 233; 2. LAKE WASHINGTON 213; 3. SEHOME 198; 4. SQUALICUM 192; 5. ARCHBISHOP MURPHY 159; 6. BELLINGHAM 129; 7. SAMMAMISH 68; 8. LYNDEN 68; 9. SEDRO WOOLLEY 44; 10. BURLINGTON-EDISON 34; 11. BLAINE 12

200 medley relay: 1. Lake Washington (Kris Singstad, Sasha Oelsner, Austin Lashley, Connor Gerth) 1:45.80; 2. Sehome (Calvin Richan, Patrick Lisosky, Isaiah Grambo, Joseph Adams) 1:46.07; 4. Bellingham (Logan Dozal, Gabe Travers, Brisen Pearson, Christian Buhler) 1:49.16; 5. Squalicum (Ryan Harris, Nathan Kamkoff, Bobby Iverson, Hans Kogan) 1:49.92; 200 freestyle: 1. Austin Barnard (Archbishop Murphy) 1:47.77; 3. Martin Sloley (Bellingham) 1:51.58; 4. Colin Hakeman (Sehome) 1:55.43; 5. Andi DeKoster (Squalicum) 1:57.28; 6. Trevor Nims (Sehome) 1:59.59; 200 individual medley: 1. Stephen Boden (Archbishop Murphy) 2:01.81; 3. Rowan King (Squalicum); 5. Kean Rouse (Blaine) 2:13.75; 6. Logan Dozal (Bellingham) 2:15.96; 50 freestyle: 1. Austin Lashley (Lake Washington) 22.42; 2. Isaiah Grambo (Sehome) 22.64; 3. Josh Larson (Sehome) 22.68; 6. Hans Kogan (Squalicum) 23.33; Diving: 1. Elliott Forde (Archbishop Murphy) 413.60; 4. Griffin Korby (Squalicum) 313.20; 5. Wilson Dierdorff (Squalicum) 296.40; 8. Chad Chelelin (Bellingham) 263.30; 10. Gabe Kamkoff (Squalicum) 234.60; 11. Trip Jackson (Bellingham) 234.30; 13 Koe Hanks (Bellingham) 186.40; 100 butterfly: 1. Austin Lashley (Lake Washington) 53.42; 3. Isaiah Grambo (Sehome) 54.48; 6. Brisen Pearson (Bellingham) 57.92; 100 freestyle: 1. Eric Olsen (Anacortes) 49.00; 3. Josh Larson (Sehome) 50.98; 6. Neall Koetje (Squalicum) 51.84; 500 freestyle: 1. Stephen Boden (Archbishop Murphy) 4:53.79; 3. Martin Sloley (Bellingham) 5:04.10; 4. Colin Hakeman (Sehome) 5.11.66; 6. Andi DeKoster (Squalicum) 5:30.43; 200 freestyle relay: 1. Lake Washington (Elijah Singstad, Sasha Oelsner, Nick Reeves, Austin Lashley) 1:31.34; 3. Sehome (Trent Olson, Joseph Adams, Trevor Nims, Josh Larson); 4. Squalicum (Hans Kogan, Bobby Bruce, Neall Joetje, Rowan King) 1:33.93; 100 backstroke: 1. Conrad Karwal (Sammammish) 58.30; 100 breaststroke: 1. Nick Reeves (Lake Washington) 1:03.24; 2. Rowan King (Squalicum) 1:05.70; 4. Gabe Travers (Bellingham) 1:07.00; 5. Nathan Kamkoff (Squalicum) 1:07.91; 6. Joseph Adams (Sehome) 1:08.10; 400 freestyle relay: 1. Anacortes (Elliott Hofferth, Blake Norton, Danny Schleh, Eric Olsen) 3:22.44; 2. Sehome (Josh Larson, Trent Olson, Trevor Nims, Isaiah Grambo) 3:25.08; 3. Squalicum (Neall Koetje, Andi DeKoster, Lucas Roberts, Rowan King) 3:26.45; 6. Bellingham (Logan Dozel, Michael Leishman, Griffin Ellis, Martin Sloley) 3:43.13.

STATE QUALIFIERS

CLASS 2A

200 MEDLEY RELAY

Sehome

Squalicum

200 FREESTYLE School

Martin Sloley Bel.

Colin Hakeman Seh.

200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY School

Rowan King Sq.

50 FREESTYLE School

Isaiah Grambo Seh.

Josh Larson Seh.

DIVING School

Griffin Korby Sq.

Wilson Dierdorff Sq.

100 BUTTERFLY School

Isaiah Grambo Seh.

100 FREESTYLE School

Josh Larson Seh.

500 FREESTYLE School

Martin Sloley Bel.

Colin Hakeman Seh.

200 FREESTYLE RELAY

Sehome

Squalicum

100 BREASTSTROKE School

Rowan King Sq.

Gabe Travers Bel.

400 FREESTYLE RELAY

Sehome

Squalicum

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