Panthers swimmers drop opening meet to Peninsula

In their first meet of the season, the Bonney Lake High School boys swim team had no answer for perennial powerhouse Peninsula, losing 126-60.

Bonney Lake Coach Jay Paulsen said that though Peninsula is a top team, Bonney Lake also had some ineligibility issues that left approximately 1/3 of the team on the bench, including key swimmers and divers.

The shortage forced the Panthers to swim rookies in several events and to force swimmers to go back-to-back in some events, such as relays, in order to fill all of the lanes.

According to Paulsen, the rookies who swam well and scored varsity points were Ryan Engledow, Riley Miller, Kyle Jones, Ryan McGraw, Skylar Livingston, Lance Burnworth, Dawson Swanbeck, and Enrique Saenz.

On a high note, Paulsen said the team’s 200 medley relay and 200 free relay both notched district qualifying times.

“We’ve never qualified any relays for Districts in the first meet so it was great seeing the boys swim that well this early,” Paulsen said.

Other highlights for the Panthers include junior Josh Weaver winning the 100-yard breaststroke and qualifying for districts in the process. He also finished third in the 200 freestyle, an event he does not usually swim.

“I expect Josh to do very well this year,” Paulsen said. “He’s training very hard and he’s off to a great season.”

Also for the Panthers, senior Cameron Gehrke was second with strong swims in both the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard butterfly. Engledow placed third in the 100 fly and 500 free. Junior Nathan Hurst was third in the 100 free and fourth in the 50 free while sophomore Tyler Tangen placed fourth in both the 200 free and 500 free.

The Panther divers were led by Scott Jackson, who finished in second, whom Paulsen said has a great shot at qualifying for districts later this year.

The Panthers host Lakes at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Sumner High School pool.