MARYSVILLE Tomahawks swam the butterfly and stung like a bee.
The 100 butterfly was an good example of how M-P defeated the defending state champion Snohomish team: although Snohomishs Eric Pedack won the event in a state time, M-P finished second, third and fourth in the butterfly, garnering more points overall despite Snohomishs winning more events.
A little strategy and depth of talent gave the Tomahawks an advantage as M-P defeated the Panthers at home, 99-87.##M;[more]##
You couldnt swing a towel without hitting talent in the high-intensity Dec. 13 meet. Eight of the 12 events had at least one swimmer finish in state times.
Snohomish is the defending state champion from the last two years, said M-P coach Scott Knowles. And youre able to do that when you have guys that are able to finish in the top eight at state. When youve got people like Garren Riechel, Eric Pedack, these guys are top eight finishers at state. You kind of have to swim around those guys in a dual meet.
So thats what M-P did. Knowing their 200 medley team probably couldnt take first, they split the usual squad into two teams to secure second and third place. The Tomahawks strategically placed strong swimmers in the meets they could win, and counted on high-caliber performances from the entire team to step up in the second- and third-place slots.
Junior Trevor LeValley nabbed two of M-Ps five first-place finishes in the meet, taking the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle in state-qualifying times of 1:47.93 and 4:55.10 respectively. He was part of a third victory as well, anchoring the 200 freestyle relay of Gabe Lopez, Aaron Goff and Brody Coleman.
Goff gave the Tomahawks a fourth win as he and Lopez went 1-2 in the 50 freestyle, while diver Taylor Gibsons 205.40 score was more than enough to hold off Snohomishs Tim Greenwood for first.
Goff and Lopez did some heavy lifting for the Tomahawks, with multiple second-place finishes to collect team points. Goff swam a leg of the 200 medley relay and district-qualifying 57.81 in the 100 butterfly, while Lopez followed his silver in the 50 with another in the 100 freestyle and a leg of the 400 freestyle relay.
Another measure of the caliber of competition Spencer Girard swam a state time in the 100 breaststroke, but his 1:03.54 time in the event was only good for third place.
Ultimately, with team points awarded to the top five finishers in an event, the meet might have been won in third-place finishes. First and second place were hotly contested M-P took five firsts and seven seconds to Snohomishs seven and five of the same but the Tomahawks took third in 10 of the 12 events.
The success of the meet was a good line-up, and then good execution, Knowles said. The kids really swam hard and they wanted to win bad. Its been a long time since Snohomish has been defeated in league, so the kids were pretty motivated.
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