For dinner Saturday night, Brisen Pearson said he planned to stop at Shari’s Cafe, where Bellingham swim coach Matt Buckmaster had to settle a bet with the Red Raiders senior and buy him a pie.
Pearson then planned to go to Red Robin for his first red meat in more than a week.
If anybody earned a meal like that, it was Pearson, who won Class 2A state titles in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly Saturday during the second day of the State Swimming Championships at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
“It was a dream for me, but I knew it was a dream I could accomplish if I set my mind to it,” Pearson said.
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The dream began to take shape during last weekend’s bidistrict meet, when he turned in a sub-52-second performance in the butterfly. It was after that meet that Buckmaster said he’d buy Pearson a pie if he could either break 21 seconds in the 50 free or 51 seconds in the butterfly.
“I told myself I could do it,” Pearson said. “I’ve been eating healthy all week, and I’ve been getting good motivation from my coaches. I worked hard and I did it.”
Though he won the 50 freestyle Saturday, he didn’t quite have a pie-worthy swim, turning in an impressive time of 21.19 seconds – 34 hundredths of a second faster than second-place Tyler Goodspeed of Highline.
“In my mind, I knew I had it at my turn,” said Pearson, who signed to swim for Southwestern Oregon Community College earlier this month. “I felt so good flipping and coming off the wall; I knew I had the lead.”
Pearson was even more impressive in the butterfly, claiming not only a second championship medal but a well-earned pie from his coach with a time of 50.41 – more than a second faster than Goodspeed’s second-place time.
“It’s my favorite event,” Pearson said of the butterfly. “A little background, I had never swam that event before a meet a little before the district meet my freshman year. I swam a pretty good time, and I liked it. ... This year, I’ve been working on my technique and getting my legs in the right kicking position, and I thought I could get a sub-51, and I did it.”
Sehome finishes ninth
Led by two top-six finishes in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, the Mariners finished ninth overall with 99 points. Kingston won the 2A team title with 225 points.
David Leung, Alexander Evans, Rudi Berry and Brian Whitney finished fourth in the 200 free relay in 1:31.86, and Ean Chalfie joined Berry, Leung and Whitney to place sixth in the 400 free relay in 3:25.20.
Whitney also placed fifth in the 50 freestyle in 22.43 seconds.
“Definitely, with how we did coming out of district, we were happy with the time drops we got at state,” Sehome coach Don Helling said. “We had some kids that swam up, especially in the relays.”
Bellingham’s Brennan Drew was the only other Whatcom County competitor to place in the top eight in Saturday’s 2A meet, as he finished third in diving with 331.20 points to help the Red Raiders finish 12th with 63 points.
Class 3A: Squalicum’s Wilson Dierdorff placed sixth Saturday night with a score of 341.00 points before coming in 14th in the 100 butterfly.
Saturday’s Whatcom County state swimming results
Diving: 6. Wilson Dierdorff (Squalicum), 341.00.
100 butterfly: 14. Franz Allendorfer (Squalicum), 54.57.
200 medley relay: 11. Sehome (Dean Kim, Christopher Lo, David Leung, Brian Whitney), 1:46.27.
200 freestyle: 15. Payton Johnson (Sehome), 1:55.34; 16. Ean Chalfie (Sehome), 1:57.04.
50 freestyle: 1. Brisen Pearson (Bellingham), 21.19; 5. Brian Whitney, 22.43.
Diving: 3. Brennan Drew (Bellingham), 331.20; 10. Koa Hanks (Bellingham), 270.65.
100 butterfly: 1. Brisen Pearson (Bellingham), 50.41; 11. David Leung (Sehome), 54.16.
100 freestyle: 15. Rudi Berry (Sehome), 51.83.
500 freestyle: 11. Payton Johnson (Sehome), 5:03.94.
200 freestyle relay: 4. Sehome (David Leung, Alexander Evans, Rudi Berry, Brian Whitney), 1:31.86.
400 freestyle relay: 6. Sehome (Rudi Berry, Ean Chalfie, David Leung, Brian Whitney), 3:25.20.