Swim and Dive: South Kitsap seniors hoping to end prep careers with a splash

It will be the final meet for South Kitsap’s record-setting seniors.

Brandon Dravis, Taylor Rousell and Justin Slezak all have participated on the relay teams that broke two school records last year.

They will depart after the Feb. 19-20 state swim and dive championships at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, along with coach Tami Lester-Dame, who will resign four years after replacing Leah Gilland.

Lester-Dame and her husband, assistant football coach Joey Dame, are foster parents to a 3-year-old and a 6-month-old. She said the time commitment of raising two young children makes it too difficult to continue her coaching duties.

“I’m a little bit burnt out,” Lester-Dame said. “The kids deserve 110 percent. You want that for your kids.”

It also marks the end for one of the Wolves’ most notable swim families. Rousell, whose sister, Madison, won four state championships in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle from 2004-06 and now competes at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, will swim those same events at state.

Rousell considered swimming the 100 butterfly, but now is locked into the freestyle events because he competed in them at districts.

“I think if I do those two events, I have a better chance of placing high at state,” Rousell said. “I’m feeling really confident in the 50 and 100 free.”

Along with Danny DeRego and Zac Joachim, both whom since have graduated, and Dravis, the Wolves placed fifth at state and set a school record in the 400 freestyle relay in 3 minutes, 16.89 seconds last year.

South’s team of Dravis, Slezak, Danny DeRego and Rousell also stroked to a fifth-place finish in 1 minute, 40.32 seconds at state last year in the 200 medley relay.

“That one is pretty much the same people,” Rousell said. “I think we can come pretty close to the record.”

But Lester-Dame said the other two lineups might be altered this year. She said freshman Damien DeRego and Slezak likely will compete in all three relays — South also is qualified in the 200-freestyle relay.

She said senior Joe Beverage could be part of the 200-freestyle team and sophomore Michael Idle on the 400-freestyle squad. Lester-Dame said the rest of the lineup will be filled by Dravis and Rousell.

Dravis will compete in the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke. He had the third-best time in the individual medley (2:02.84 seconds) and was fourth in the backstroke (55.58 seconds) at Saturday’s West Central District meet at Rogers High School in Puyallup.

Lester-Dame said Dravis was sick during the meet and she believes that affected his performance.

Slezak, who recently was sick, had the eighth-best time in his only individual event, the 100 breaststroke. Only the top six placers in each event automatically qualify, but Slezak will advance to the King County Aquatic Center because his 1:03.84 time made the state cut.

Lester-Dame said she pulled him out of the 200 freestyle relay at districts to help him to help him focus on making state. She said Slezak appeared “stunned” when he looked at the board and realized he finally achieved a state time.

“I was really happy for him,” she said.

In addition to those swimmers, junior divers Joe Rose and Kelvin Waterman also will make a showing at state. Rose finished second at districts with 249.4 points — Todd Beamer senior Ludomir Wanot won the event (252.35) — and Waterman was fifth (224.5).

Lester-Dame, who said her team, which finished sixth among 23 teams, with 112 points, began to taper Tuesday and will continue that until state begins. Gig Harbor won the district meet with 211.5 points.

Rousell, who added that there will be a lot of turnover within the program, hopes to finish well.

“All good things must come to an end,” he said. “I’m really anxious to go out on a good note.”

West Central District Meet results

Friday and Saturday at Rogers High School (Puyallup)

Team scores: Gig Harbor 211.5, Todd Beamer 164.5, Wilson 148, Central Kitsap 125, Stadium 125, South Kitsap 112, Curtis 99, Decatur 75, Kentridge 55, Kentlake 45, Auburn Riverside 35, Rogers 35, Tahoma 26, Puyallup 20, Kentwood 18, Emerald Ridge 18, Olympia 13, Mount Tahoma 13, Jefferson 12, Shelton 12, Auburn 11, Kent-Meridian 7, Foss 2.

(Top six to state)

200 medley relay: 1, Wilson (Chris Woods, Drew Viehmann, Mason Hill, Zach Kaija) 1:40.72*; 2, Central Kitsap (Jason Soria, Jeremy Torres, Brendon Weiner, Tyler Hirata) 1:41.16*; 3, Todd Beamer (Bart Wanot, Cole Um, Shane Clare, Jade Feigert) 1:41.39*; 4, South Kitsap (Brandon Dravis, Justin Slezak, Damien DeRego, Taylor Rousell) 1:45.0; 5, Curtis (Joel Pryor, Skyler Loth, Christian Bateman, Zac Baker) 1:45.2; 6, Gig Harbor (Dakota Moist, Brian Collins, Evan Indahl, Will Frame) 1:45.88.

200 freestyle: 1, D’Voreaux Cann (Sta) 1:44.0*; 2, Spencer Neff (GH) 1:44.25*; 3, Weiner (CK) 1:47.31*; 4, Andrew Lackman (Sta) 1:51.41; 5, Devon McMenimen (GH) 1:51.9; 6, Joey Denstaedt (Cur) 1:54.17.

200 individual medley: 1, Clare (TB) 1:58.85*; 2, Pryor (Cur) 2:02.76*; 3, Dravis (SK) 2:02.84*; 4, Moist (GH) 2:03.82*; 5, Torres (CK) 2:04.27*; 6, Tanner Kuestermeyer (ER) 2:05.51.

50 freestyle: 1, Tyler Kaslik (GH) 21.86*; 1, B. Wanot (TB) 21.86*; 3, Kaija (W) 22.27*; 4, Frame (GH) 22.43*; 5, Rousell (SK) 22.5*; 6, Matt Nordlie (Aub) 22.74*; 7, Kyle Parnell (O) 22.78*; 8, Soria (CK) 22.83*; 9, Tanner Brotherton (D) 22.85*.

100 butterfly: 1, Cann (Sta) 51.4*; 2, Weiner (CK) 55.07*; 3, Clare (TB) 55.14*; 4, Thielsen Keeling-Garcia (KL) 55.19*; 5, Stephen Shin (Tah) 55.4*; 6, Viehmann (W) 55.99.

100 freestyle: 1, Kaslik (GH) 48.05*; 2, Rousell (SK) 49.28*; 3, Frame (GH) 49.46; 4, Brotherton (D) 49.89*; 5, Hirata (CK) 50.23; 6, Parnell (O) 50.36.

500 freestyle: 1, Neff (GH) 4:54.51*; 2, Indahl (GH) 4:56.41*; 3, Lackman (Sta) 5:00.86*; 4, Christian Barrett (R) 5:07.8; 5, Matt Bailey (KM) 5:08.77; 6, Tyler Pushckor (MT) 5:11.18.

200 freestyle relay: 1, Gig Harbor (Kaslik, Frame, McMenimen, Neff) 1:29.92*; 2, Central Kitsap (Soria, Torres, Weiner, Hirata) 1:32.27*; 3, Todd Beamer (Costner McKenzie, Ludomir Wanot, Um, Feigert) 1:32.94; 4, South Kitsap (Dravis, Joe Beverage, DeRego, Rousell) 1:33.08; 5, Kentridge (Bryan Lam, Trent Davis, Tim Berquist, Kyle Wilson) 1:33.09; 6, Decatur (Sean Sobus, Alex Prokopchik, Noah Johnson, Brotherton) 1:33.63.

100 backstroke: 1, B. Wanot (TB) 52.53*; 2, Moist (GH) 54.81*; 3, Soria (CK) 55.58*; 4, Dravis (SK) 55.58*; 5, Erik Fulmer (KL) 57.08*; 6, Simon Boyer (P) 57.16*.

100 breaststroke: 1, Kaija (W) 1:00.61*; 2, Viehmann (W) 1:00.77*; 3, Torres (CK) 1:01.98*; 5, Um (TB) 1:02.98; 5, Pryor (Cur) 1:03.61*; 6, Jordan Gaspay (J) 1:03.76*; 7, Keeling-Garcia (KL) 1:03.82*; 8, Slezak (SK) 1:03.84*; 9, Ryan Atwood (AR) 1:03.89*.

400 freestyle relay: 1, Gig Harbor (Kaslik, McMenimen, Moist, Neff) 3:17.74*; 2, Stadium (Cann, Logan Rysemus, Nico Desteunder, Lackman) 3:20.11*; 3, Todd Beamer (Clare, Dylan Chase, McKenzie, B. Wanot) 3:21.11*; 4, Curtis (Bateman, Baker, Denstaedt, Pryor) 3:25.87*; 5, Kentlake (Fulmer, David Dougherty, Keeling-Garcia, Kyle Koon) 3:28.57; 6, Wilson (Tanner Malley-Suepke, Woods, Carson Eddy, Kaija) 3:29.68.

* denotes state-qualifying time

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