Sports Blog

Sports Blog: District boys’ swimming preview

The postseason for boys’ swimming begins on Friday, Feb. 13, at Fidalgo Pool where some of the top schools in the state will face off in the District Tournament.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the top competitors in each event, according to the psych sheet:

200 Medley Relay

Sehome (Calvin Richan, Joseph Adams, Isaiah Grambo, Trevor Nims); Anacortes (Chris Bowlin, Ryan Estrada, Jack Harrigan, Elliott Hofferth); Shorecrest (Steven Zhu, Evan Deiparine, Matthew Creagan, Samuel Devos) — The Mariners are the fastest team in the state so they should win this handily. However, the Seahawks did look good against Sehome in the last dual meet of the regular season and will keep the Mariners swimming their fastest. Shorecrest, seeded only .4 seconds slower than Anacortes could challenge for a second-place finish.

200 Freestyle

Grant Heisey (Shorecrest); Austin Barnard (Archbishop Murphy); Zach Shenkin (Sehome) — All three of these swimmers are seeded within one second of each other. It should be an exciting race, and one of the closest of the day, between the senior from ATM, the junior from Shorecrest and the Mariners’ freshman. Barnard is the reigning state champ at the 2A level.

200 Individual Medley

Stephen Boden (Archbishop Murphy); Rowan King (Squalicum) — The reigning state champion in the 200 IM, Stephen Boden, is the heavy favorite, as he holds a three-second seeding time lead over King, who should slide in comfortably into second.

50 Freestyle

Isaiah Grambo (Sehome); Nathan Mathes (Anacortes); Gunnar Ruud (Shorecrest); Brisen Pearson (Bellingham) — All four of these swimmers are seeded with times in the 22-second range. Grambo topped Mathes in an exciting race a couple weeks ago in a dual meet and that will likely be what it comes down to again.

100 Butterfly

Zach Shenkin (Sehome); Aaron Zevenbergen (Shorecrest); Austin Barnard (Archbishop Murphy); Elliott Hofferth (Anacortes) — The Sehome freshman comes in with the top time but has a tough field with experience to contend with. Zevenbergen placed 14th at state at the 3A level last year, Barnard placed second at the 2A level and Hofferth placed seventh. All four are within a second of each other in seeding times so it should be a great race.

100 Freestyle

Nick Turgeon-Orbe (Sedro-Woolley); Nathan Mathes (Anacortes); Eric Olsen (Anacortes); Isaiah Grambo (Sehome) — Mathes, Grambo and Olsen had a great race just two weeks ago with Olsen pulling away with the win by a fingertip. Throw in the top-seeded Nick Turgeon-Orbe and this gets even better. It’s really up for anyone to snag it.

500 Freestyle

Grant Heisey (Shorecrest); Stephen Boden (Archbishop Murphy) — Heisey and Boden are seeded two seconds faster than the next closest competitor. Heisey should win handily, especially with the experience of a second-place state finish under his belt at the 3A level. Boden, though, is a state champ at the 2A level.

200 Freestyle Relay

Shorecrest (Samuel Devos, Daniel Zevenbergen, Trent Jones, Gunnar Ruud); Sehome (Isaiah Grambo, Josh Larson, Trevor Nims, Zach Shenkin); Anacortes (Ryan Estrada, Elliott Hofferth, Brett Johnson, Mikey Laws) — This is going to be extremely close. The three teams are seeded within .1 second of each other so it’s really a toss-up on who will win.

100 Backstroke

Nick Turgeon-Orbe (Sedro-Woolley); Andrew Hansen (Burlington-Edison) — While the Tigers’ freshman isn’t totally out of the picture in winning this, Turgeon-Orbe is the heavy favorite. He comes in with a four-second quicker seed time.

100 Breaststroke

Rowan King (Squalicum); Martin Sloley (Bellingham); Eric Olsen (Anacortes) — Another heavy favorite in this one, as King is seeded two seconds faster than Sloley. King finished fourth at state last year as well.

400 Freestyle Relay

Anacortes (Ryan Estrada, Elliott Hofferth, Brett Johnson, Mikey Laws); Shorecrest (Gunnar Ruud, Trent Jones, Aaron Zevenbergen, Grant Heisey); Sehome (Zach Shenkin, Rudi Berry, Trevor Nims, Josh Larson) — Anacortes is a three-second favorite over Shorecrest and are looking to repeat as state champs in two weeks. Hofferth is the only returning member of the state champion team from a year ago though. Shorecrest is likely a clear second, as they’re seeded six seconds faster than the Mariners.

Team Scores (minus diving)

Just going by the seeding of each individual and calculating the top 12 placers, which will earn points, here are the team results. This is not accounting for diving, which is unseeded.

Sehome 274, Anacortes 228, Shorecrest 204, Archbishop Murphy 141, Bellingham 127, Squalicum 105, Burlington-Edison 66, Sedro-Woolley 54, Lynden 51, Blaine 8 — On paper, it looks like the Mariners are well on pace for the district title. A slip here or there could cost and everyone has to be on their A-game. Anacortes and Shorecrest could each challenge the Mariners, but Don Helling’s squad should be prepared and ready to go. The strength of the Mariners’ freestylers are just too much, as the Mariners are projected to get 136 of their points from individual freestyle events.