Sports

Wolves win first NL Bridge Division title

After handily defeating Olympic 95-73 and wrapping up an undefeated season in the Narrows League (7-0) Thursday afternoon, the South Kitsap High School boys swim team gathered for pizza that evening with some serious issues to tackle.

Despite the success as a team this year, the goal of qualifying swimmers for state has yet to be accomplished.

“We’re getting close,” Anderson said. “I think we’ll get some guys in.”

Anderson’s dilemma is figuring out which events his swimmers should compete in at sectionals Feb. 1-3.

Anderson said his biggest goal is getting his 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay teams to state.

“Both relays missed (the state qualifying mark) by nine one-hundredths of a second,” Anderson said. “I think the 200 free relay could challenge for the school mark.”

Anderson’s decision mainly rests with how to use Mercer, a freshmen do-all swimmer who logged SK’s sixth-fastest time in the 200-yard freestyle against Lincoln Tuesday.

Swimmers are allowed to compete in two individual events and two relays.

Mercer is a lock to compete on the two freestyle relays and the 200-yard free, but he’s also just two seconds off the state qualifying mark in the 500-yard freestyle.

But the 200-yard free relay comes right after the 500-yard free, which could leave Mercer a little weaker than if he were going fresh into the 200 free relay.

Junior Chris Smith is another 500-yard free swimmer who competes on the 200 free relay team.

“There’s going to be a lot of thinking going on tonight,” Anderson said. “One of the big questions is, can they come right back (after the 500 free) because I really want that 200 free relay to go to state.”

Anderson said putting together the best lineup will be decided on statistics and intuition.

“We take results from last year and see where the swimmers’ best chances are to place. Then we go by our gut feeling and what they feel good about.”

One swimmer Anderson is feeling good about is Evan Edgecomb, who is as close as one can get without earning a state berth.

The senior is less than three-tenths of a second away from qualifying in the 50-yard free and two-tenths of a second away in the 100-yard free.

Senior Andy Knowlton is just a second off in the 100 free, and it is expected for senior diver Scott Andreason to make it to state.

Against Olympic he scored 215 points on six dives. The state qualifying mark is 310, but that’s with 11 dives at sectionals.

Anderson said he anticipates his state hopefuls to make it to state after tapering for the next eight to 10 days.

“What you do is lower the yardage a little bit and lower the intensity of the workouts so their muscles can start recovering,” Anderson said. “The theory is they’ll keep their cardiovascular endurance while resting their muscles.”

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