Marysville-Pilchuck boys knock off Sehome

The Tomahawks placed 1-3 in diving. Derek Kent performs a reverse finish, adding to his third-place finish. - Travis Sherer
The Tomahawks placed 1-3 in diving. Derek Kent performs a reverse finish, adding to his third-place finish.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

BELLINGHAM — Marysville-Pilchuck did something that nobody has been able to do in nearly two years — beat Sehome in a dual meet.

The Class 4A Tomahawks defeated the defending Class 2A boys state swim champions 98-88, Jan. 6, at Arne Hanna Aquatic Center in Bellingham.

“They are a good, tough team,” said M-P coach Scott Knowles. “They should have no problem winning the 2A state meet again.”

Taking top honors in just five of the 12 events, the Tomahawks showed off their depth, scoring second and third place points if not winning.

“Also, we had some guys swim very fast,” Knowles said. “If they didn’t swim that fast, we wouldn’t have won this one.”

It was a battle of unbeatens, as both teams entered the meet 5-0 in duals.

Highlighting the meet was junior Spencer Girard, who was the top name on the board in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races (1:50.58 and 5:01.73 respectively). He began the day as the second leg in the 200-medly relay and stepped right into the 200-free and finished just 0.8 seconds out of a state-qualifying time. He later raced a state time in the 500 free.

“That 200 IM was a great race,” Knowles said, referring to the relay.”And Spencer swam really well.”

This was a big win for obvious reasons, but it meant a little extra coming on the road, where Knowles said away performances have been lacking.

“In the past, we’ve had some real problems swimming away from home,” he said. “That has been one of our goals this season because we’re not going to do well at districts if we can’t swim well in someone else’s pool.”

For the first time in three years, the District 1 meet will be held away from Marysville-Pilchuck’s pool at Kamiak.

As usual, Oliver Durand took a couple of individual wins in the 200 IM and the 100 freestyle, and Zach Russell was first in diving.

The Tomahawks needed all of those top performances to counter Sehome junior Austin Fish, who has the fastest times in the state in six events at the 2A level. Fish won the 100-yard butterfly, the 100-yard backstroke and was part of the winning 400 freestyle and 200 medley relay teams.

With four meets left, Knowles said his lineup is getting clearer, and attributes that to upperclassmen taking responsibility.

“We’ve had a few step up who haven’t been used to it being on them,” he said. “Now it is and you better start swimming like it.”

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