Wolves close on a roll as post-season meets loom

The South Kitsap boys swim team wrapped up its dual-match schedule in style Thursday afternoon, extending its hot streak with a 105-68 win against Port Angeles.

The win, coupled with a 111-75 loss to Curtis on Tuesday, leaves the Wolves at 5-3 for the year heading into next week’s divisional and district meets. After a slow start, South won five of its last six dual meets.

“We don’t have a lot of guys going to districts,” South coach Dennis Anderson said. “But the guys I have going are quality, and they’ll score a lot of points.”

Anderson said to this point the Wolves have qualified just about everyone they intended to for the class 4A state meet next month, led by Greg Mercer. But Thursday’s meet belonged to Corey Smith and Nick Dargel.

Smith, one of three juniors to return from last year’s team that placed ninth at the state swim meet, took advantage of the season’s final dual meet to qualify for the 100-yard freestyle by winning that event with a time of 50.02 seconds.

Dargel, who has yet to qualify for state in any event yet, posted solid times in the 200 free and 100-yard backstroke.

“Nick Dargel swam pretty good today,” Anderson said. “He had a good 100 backstroke and Corey swam a (48-second leg) in the 400 relay, which is a lifetime best. He had a real good meet today.”

While Dargel, who also competed in the state meet last year, has yet to qualify, Anderson expects him to at next week’s district meet. That meet is the last chance to post a state qualifying time.

Anderson said Dargel should get in with times in the 200- and 100-yard free and 100-yard backstroke.

One final obstacle for the Wolves is getting its 400-yard freestyle relay tandem qualified. The times have been close all year but the group can’t seem to get it together at the same time.

“We can’t seem to get over the hump on our 400 free relay,” Anderson said. “It’s always three guys swimming hot, and then one guy being off and it’s always a different person that’s off. We can’t get those four guys to all swim fast at the same time. But they’ll get it.”

That group consists of Mercer, Dargel, Smith and Greg Porter. They finished first against Port Angeles with a time of 3:32.56.

“Corey is swimming a lot faster now at this point now than he did last year — by far” Anderson said. “Greg isn’t, and I’m not sure what’s going on there.”

Anderson said getting that relay qualified next week is important for the whole team, not just the four swimmers.

“That’s why we’ve tried to qualify in three relays with those four guys,” Anderson said. “Then we can put in some alternates, give some other guys a chance to go to state.”

One other participant at the state meet will be Joe Brace, a transfer student who has been making waves with his diving scores. Brace easily won the diving competition at his last two dual meets.

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