Squalicum's 200 freestyle relay team highlighted the preliminary round of the Class 2A Boys' State Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday, Feb. 21, at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
The relay team - featuring Rowan King, Neall Koetje, Bobby Bruce and Hans Kogan - swam a time of 1 minute, 32.57 seconds, a Squalicum school record, to have the best time in the preliminaries and grab a good spot in the finals, which will take place Saturday, Feb. 22.
The team benefited from Squalicum coach Randy Elsner's change of order. He switched Hans Kogan to anchor and Rowan King to lead and it paid off, he said in a phone interview.
"They were sitting next to the top seed, Lake Washington, and I told them to go out there and race - beat them at the start, beat them at the turns," Elsner said. "I turned to my parent volunteer and said, 'That was a great time,' and I look up and they're the No. 1 seed. And then I look at the school record time, and they had beat that. It was just one lift after another."
The Storm came in less than 0.2 seconds ahead of Lake Washington, but now know it can compete with anyone. Squalicum's 400 freestlye relay also moved onto the finals with a sixth-place finish.
Sehome's relays were also impressive on day one, taking eighth (200 medley), fourth (200 freestyle) and fifth (400 freestyle), respectively. With the top eight teams moving on to the finals, Sehome is in good position.
"We had a good, solid meet," Sehome coach Don Helling said in a phone interview. "We were the only team to place all three relays in the top eight, and that's quite an accomplishment. I'm proud of that."
The relays' successes are the product of the competitive nature of the team and the season it experienced, Helling said.
"This is a team that gets along really well. They're all very close," Helling said. "When we get in a close race, they get pumped and up and they really dig deep and are able to rise above when it gets to those close races."
Other Whatcom County swimmers to take in the finals on Saturday include Bellingham's Martin Sloley (200 freestyle), Squalicum's Rowan King (200 IM, 100 breaststroke), Sehome's Isaiah Grambo (50 freestyle, 100 butterfly) and Sehome's Josh Larson (50 and 100 freestyles).
Swimmers and relays making it to the consolation final (eighth through 16th place) included Squalicum's 200 medley relay, Bellingham's 200 medley and freestlye relays, Bellingham's 400 freesyle relay, Sehome's Colin Hakeman (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle), Blaine's Kean Rouse (200 IM), Squalicum's Hans Kogan (50 freestyle), Bellingham's Brisen Pearson (50 freestyle, 100 butterfly), Squalicum's Neall Koetje (100 freestyle), Bellingham's Martin Sloley (500 freestyle), Lynden's Michael Johnson (100 backstroke), Sehome's Joseph Adams (100 breaststroke), Bellingham's Gabe Travers (100 breaststroke), Squalicum's Nathan Kamkoff (100 breaststroke) and Squalicum's Jonathan Hegeberg (100 breaststroke).
WHATCOM COUNTY RESULTS
200 MEDLEY RELAY Swimmers Time (Pl.)
Sehome Calvin Richan 1:46.45 (8)
Squalicum Ryan Harris 1:48.92 (11)
Bellingham Logan Dozal 1:49.37 (13)
Lynden Michael Johnson 1:51.70 (17)
200 FREESTYLE School Time (Pl.)
Martin Sloley Bellingham 1:52.66 (7)
Colin Hakeman Sehome 1:55.87 (14)
Trevor Nims Sehome 1;57.53 (17)
200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY School Time (Pl.)
Rowan King Squalicum 2:07.55 (8)
Kean Rouse Blaine 2:13.16 (16)
Logan Dozal Bellingham 2:16.40 (19)
Patrick Lisosky Sehome 2:21.87 (24)
50 FREESTYLE School Time (Pl.)
Isaiah Grambo Sehome 22.36 (7)
Josh Larson Sehome 22.57 (8)
Hans Kogan Squalicum 23.06 (12)
Brisen Pearson Bellingham 23.31 (13)
Neall Koetje Squalicum 23.55 (17)
Trent Olson Sehome 23.97 (21)
DIVING School Score (Pl.)
Christian Herzberger Squalicum 236.45 (6)
Griffin Korby Squalicum 217.70 (8)
Wilson Dierdorff Squalicum 213.50 (10)
Chad Cheldelin Bellingham 177.25 (15)
Gabe Kamkoff Squalicum 157.70 (20)
Trip Jackson Bellingham 88.8 (24)
100 BUTTERFLY School Time (Pl.)
Isaiah Grambo Sehome 53.91 (5)
Brisen Pearson Bellingham 57.74 (15)
100 FREESTYLE School Time (Pl.)
Josh Larson Sehome 50.31 (7)
Neall Koetje Squalicum 50.80 (9)
Trent Olson Sehome 54.70 (24)
500 FREESTYLE School Time (Pl.)
Martin Sloley Bellingham 5:07.82 (9)
Colin Hakeman Sehome 5:13.13 (11)
Andi DeKoster Squalicum 5:30.45 (18)
Grant Williams Lynden 5:30.62 (20)
Trevor Nims Sehome 5:31.27 (21)
200 FREESTYLE RELAY Swimmers Time (Pl.)
Squalicum Rowan King 1:32.57 (1)
Sehome Josh Larson 1:33.35 (4)
Bellingham Brisen Pearson 1:37.47 (9)
100 BACKSTROKE School Time (Pl.)
Michael Johnson Lynden 59.95 (11)
100 BREASTSTROKE School Time (Pl.)
Rowan King Squalicum 1:04.65 (5)
Joseph Adams Sehome 1:06.65 (10)
Gabe Travers Bellingham 1:07.43 (12)
Nathan Kamkoff Squalicum 1:07.54 (13)
Jonathan Hegeberg Squalicum 1:08.26 (16)
Patrick Lisosky Sehome 1:08.87 (17)
400 FREESTYLE RELAY Swimmers Time (Pl.)
Sehome Josh Larson 3:25.87 (5)
Squalicum Neall Koetje 3:28.45 (6)
Bellingham Logan Dozal 3:42.85 (16)