With a multitude of returning state-participating swimmers and divers, the Enumclaw High team expects to better last season’s Top 20 state finish.
“We look pretty strong this year,” coach Ann Bettencourt said of her group, which heads to Auburn Mountainview Thursday for the league opener.
Again, the Hornets will be paced by school-record holder and two-time state medal winner Bennon VanHoof. The junior led EHS with an eighth-place state finish in the 100-yard breaststroke in February and was sixth his freshman year. He also set the school record with a 1-minute, 01.38-second mark and wants to see that fall this season.
VanHoof was also a state participant in the 200 individual medley.
He is joined by a pod of junior teammates like Thomas Petersen and Will Cooper. Petersen finished 20th at state in the 100 backstroke and Cooper placed 18th in the 500 freestyle.
The trio, joined by Travis Culp, who graduated, were part of the Hornets’ 13th-place state 200 medley relay. Finding a relay replacement may take some shuffling.
Under the tutelage of coach Steve Bannerot, Jesse Skipworth, who turned in a strong state performance in February finishing 13th, also returns, but his sidekick, David Kingman, 12th at state, returns to the Hornets’ wrestling room this winter.
Bannerot said Skipworth spent the offseason in the weight room. “He’s looking stronger than ever,” Bannerot said.
White River will also put four swimmers in the pool. Elijah and River Cory, Seth Rickard and Kyle Smith will train with EHS and compete on their own.