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BOYS SWIMMING | DeRego, teammates vie for postseason cuts
team is taking a slow-but-steady approach this season.
And while the Wolves don’t anticipate taking a bevy of swimmers to the state meet, they do plan to make a showing in the postseason.
Senior Damien DeRego made the state cut for the 50-yard freestyle last week at Curtis with a time of 22.66.
Wolves coach Cliff Rousell was pleased with a positive outcome against a strong challenger.
“Oly’s got a lot more club support than we can recognize,” he said, referring to Tuesday’s 118-64.
DeRego said that the competition wasn’t his concern, though.
“It was better than I thought with all of the eating I did during the break,” he said.
DeRego hopes to swim the 100 freestyle at the state meet — “I’m more familiar with it” — and get at least one relay team qualified.
“We’re going to shoot for an allocation,” he said.
Rousell said he looks forward to “getting over the hump” and said that DeRego is within striking distance of a state qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly.
“Part of the challenge for Damien is he hasn’t had the competition to push him a little bit,” he said. “There’s so much you can do, but when you have someone pushing you, you can do a little bit more.”
“There’s no question the cut is there waiting to come out.”
Meanwhile, the Wolves continue to build upon their qualifying times for the Narrows League and District meets.
“We’ve been working on some technique items with a few guys,” Rousell said, adding that his team amassed one state, two districts and seven league cuts last week. “I think the pattern has been picking up with more Narrows League cuts every week.”
Rousell said he also expects all three relays to qualify for districts.
“It’s important to get all of the relays in because if we have guys who are fast, but not quite fast enough to swim individual events, we definitely want to take them along and have them enjoy the experience,” he said.
Among the individual swimmers headed to the postseason is junior Tristan Martin, who will swim the 100 breaststroke at districts. His freestyle sprint has also picked up this season.
“He’s got really good and fast times in the league in the 100 and 50,” Rousell said. “There’s a lot more room for him to drop time with some more technique work.”
South graduated reigning state diving champion Jesse Sutton-Laboda, but has a quartet of underclassmen who show definite promise despite being new to the sport.
“It’s kind of exciting,” Rousell said. “Coach Dennis Anderson does such a great job, and having four divers has allowed him to give a lot of one-on-one focus.”
When it comes to competition, Rousell said his team has been left to “hunt on its own” because all of the Tacoma schools except Stadium dropped down to Class 3A this year.
“When you’re only looking at four or five 4A schools, there’s not many meets,” he said.
Still, he said, this group has strong chemistry.
“What matters to me is that these guys can look back 10 years ago and remember how they felt,” he said.
Olympia 118, at South Kitsap 64
200 medley relay-1, Olympia (Tim Ward, Andrew Wright, Garrett Carson, Wes Murray) 1:47.95. 200 freestyle-1, Jordan Goldstein (O) 2:01.49. 200 individual medley-1, Damien DeRego (SK) 2:07.92. 50 freestyle-1, Carson (O) 23.55. Diving-1, Stephen Jimenez (SK) 118.05. 100 butterfly-1, Alex Ericson (O) 1:01.94. 100 freestyle-1, Carson (O) 50.6. 500 freestyle-1, DeRego (SK) 5:36.1. 200 freestyle relay-1, Olympia (Ward, Randy Jones, Murray, Ericson) 1:38.12. 100 backstroke-1, Ward (O) 59.44. 100 breaststroke-1, Wright (O) 1:05.94. 400 freestyle relay-1, Olympia (Carson, Coleton Welsheimer, Ericson, Wright) 3:37.54.