“Record-setting” and “landmark” were two descriptions Skyline coach Susan Simpkins used when describing her boys swim and dive team’s showing at Saturday’s 4A state championship finals.
Her Spartans certainly did their part to deliver a special finish.
Skyline placed second overall at the state meet Saturday at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
The Spartans rallied to edge Issaquah in the meet’s final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, to secure their second-place finish. Camas High won the meet with 302 points. Skyline was runner-up with 206 and Issaquah was third at 197.
The second-place showing was a program best for the Spartans.
“We have never, ever, ever been on the podium before, so getting second is absolutely a big deal,” Simpkins said.
Skyline’s 400 free relay team of Will O’Daffer, Joseph Spaniac, Rehaan Bhimani and Jacob Leahy edged Issaquah by five-hundredths of a second to win the final relay with a time of 3:11.03. Heading into the event, the Spartans were only two points better than third-place Jackson High and three points ahead of fourth-place Issaquah.
Leahy swam the winning anchor leg of the 400 free relay. He said his primary goal in the final event was to catch Issaquah opponent, Brandon Leu.
“It’s all in the mental game,” said Leahy, who also won the 100 free with a time of 46.24. “If you think you can swim fast, you will swim fast. So if you take it out as hard you can, you’ll come back faster than you can think. It comes down to working hard and being ready to race.”
Issaquah kicked off the meet edging Skyline in the 200 medley relay by just over one-tenth of a second. The team of Kyle Millis, Will Crewe, Christopher Leu and Brandon Leu won with a record time of 1:35.42. Skyline’s Leahy, Jeremy Kim, Ryan Kinnear and O’Daffer were right behind them at 1:35.55, which was two-hundredths of a second better than the previous record set by Inglemoor in 2015.
In individual competition, Leahy was runner-up for the Spartans in the 100 back (51.02). O’Daffer placed fourth in the 200 IM (1:54.69) and fifth in the 100 fly (52.35). Spaniac finished seventh in the 500 free (4:52.91) and was eighth in the 200 free (1:49.14).
Skyline also placed in the top eight in the 200 free relay, with the team of Bhimani, Kim, Colin Huynh and Kinnear finishing seventh with a time of 1:29.88.
Millis wins 100 back title for Eagles
Kyle Millis had a big day for the Issaquah swim team.
Millis won two 4A state titles on Saturday, one with Issaquah’s record-setting 200 medley relay team and the other in individual competition, winning the 100 back with a time of 50.25.
“It felt great,” he said of winning the 100 back title. “I’ve been working for that for a year now and it felt great to actually have it happen.”
Millis also placed fourth in the 50 free (21.42) and was a member of Issaquah’s 400 free relay team, along with Christopher Leu, Crewe and Brandon Leu. The team finished runner-up to Skyline with a time of 3:11.08.
Crewe placed third in both the 100 fly (51.81) and 100 back (52.95) for the Eagles. Brandon Leu was fifth in the 100 free (47.7) and seventh in the 200 free (1:46.73). Trey Gevers placed 12th for Issaquah in the one-meter dive with a score of 292.6.
Issaquah coach Laura Halter said she was thrilled with her team’s third-place finish, which was a repeat of last season’s showing at state.
“The highlight of the meet really was the medley relay to start out. It was just a great way to start,” Halter said. “We knew the 400 free relay was gonna be the tightest race and just as exciting as the medley [relay]. Five-hundredths of a second, what can I say? They all swam great.”
Eastlake swimmers reach medal stand
Eastlake had two swimmers reach the medal stand at the 4A boys state swim and dive championships.
Brandon Yue placed fourth in the 100 breast with a time of 57.47 and was fifth in the 200 IM at 1:56.07. Nolan Van Nortwick placed sixth in the 100 breast at 58.8.
As a team, Eastlake placed 16th overall with 44 points.
This story was updated to include Skyline’s 400 free relay time.