Boys swimming: DeRego will join South Kitsap diving contingent at state meet

Damien DeRego calls himself the lone wolf.

By the end of the West Central District III swim and dive championships Saturday at Rogers High School in Puyallup, the sophomore was the only South Kitsap swimmer left standing in the race for state.

DeRego’s sixth-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke resulted in an allocation to the state meet, Feb. 18-19 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Regardless, he wasn’t totally satisfied with his performance. He swam the 100 breast in 1 minute, 05.77 seconds, and finished last in the consolation final of the 100 freestyle, in 51.75 seconds.

“It wasn’t as good as yesterday,” he said. “I was tired; I definitely had more energy (in the prelims).”

Still, South Kitsap coach Cliff Rousell said that DeRego turned in his best performance of the season.

“That was a great swim,” he said. “He’s at his peak at the right time. There are always some things to tweak and turn, but he has a couple weeks to practice.”

Being the lone South swimmer to represent isn’t a foreign concept to DeRego – but he never anticipated being the one in that position.

“I’m just glad I made it,” he said. “I’m just trying to get my endurance up.”

DeRego said the Wolves were hard pressed to send more than one swimmer to state several years ago before Taylor Rousell and Brandon Dravis joined the program — and made multiple state appearances.

“I’m just trying to keep our school known a little bit,” he said. “And I’m having fun.”

Rousell acknowledged that the trip to state can be a lonely one.

“It’s about individual growth and effort,” he said. “When that happens, you’ve got to celebrate the success.”

Also providing something to celebrate was South’s diving contingent, which will join DeRego at state. Led by senior Joe Rose, whose 415.25 points were the highest scored of the competition, the Wolves took first through fourth place at districts.

Senior Kelvin Waterman took second, junior Jesse Labeda-Sutton, third, and senior Preston Soete was fourth.

“It’s a real rare occasion when any team does that well with diving,” Rousell said. “It’s like having the winning lotto ticket.”

Rousell noted that Soete received a state allocation while the other three had automatic qualifications. “He went from 11th to fourth by working hard.

“It’s a big victory to not only sweet, but for Preston to take the trip with them.”

Rose attributed their success to their different skill sets.

“You have a lot of people with different backgrounds, which makes us stronger,” he said.

The divers helped the Wolves finish in ninth place in the team standings, with 64 total points. Fifty-two of them came from the quartet.

“There isn’t a team in the state who wouldn’t have loved that — 52 points — not just the divers, but the coaches, too,” Rousell said.

West Central District III swim and dive championship results

Rogers High School

Team standings: 1, Todd Beamer 193; 2, Kentridge 152; 3, Central Kitsap 140; 3, Gig Harbor 140; 5, Mount Rainier 136; 6, Stadium 133; 7, Kentlake 116; 8, Curtis 92; 9, South Kitsap 64; 10, Tahoma 57; 11, Puyallup 51; 12, Rogers 25; 13, Shelton 16; 14, Kent-Meridian 15; 14, Auburn Riverside 15; 15, Kentwood 14.

Individual results (top three)

200 medley relay: 1, Todd Beamer 1:40.64; 2, Central Kitsap 1:41.08; 3, Mount Rainier 1:41.91. 200 freestyle: 1, Bart Wanot (TB) 1:43.93; 2, Brendan Weiner (CK) 1:46.05; 3, Devon McMenimen (GH) 1:50.08. 200 individual medley: 1, Logan Rysemus (STAD) 1:57.14; 2, Cole Um (TB) 2:01.31; 3, Brian Woodbury (CUR) 2:01.87. 50 freestyle: 1, Cameron Whiting (KR) 22.41; 2, Chase Bublitz (KR) 22.49; 3, Jade Feigert (TB) 22.65. 100 butterfly: 1, Wanot 51.29; 2, Tanner Keeling-Garcia (KL) 54.25; 3, Weiner 54.57. 100 freestyle: 1, Bublitz 49.06; 2, Will Frame (GH) 49.63; 3, Tyler Hirata (CK) 50.08. 500 freestyle: 1, Ryan Gansneder (MR) 4:54.29; 2, Dillon Webster (MR) 4:55.83; 3, Whiting 4:56.90. 200 freestyle relay: 1, Central Kitsap 1:31.17; 2, Todd Beamer 1:32.71; 3, Kentlake 1:32.75. 100 backstroke: 1, Rysemus 52.73; 2, Dakota Moist (GH) 54.15; 3, Woodbury 54.65. 100 breaststroke: 1, Keeling-Garcia 1:01.87; 2, Um 1:01.99; 3, William Ikeda (MR) 1:02.01. 400 freestyle relay: 1, Todd Beamer 3:15.94; 2, Kentridge 3:22.34; 3, Gig Harbor 3:22.44.

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