Sumner High coach Maari Bennett was nothing but positive following the Spartans’ Jan. 4 swim and dive meet.
The SHS crew had traveled to Olympia – specifically, the campus of The Evergreen State College – and absorbed a 114-56 defeat at the hands of the Olympia Bears. But that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the Spartan coach.
“This was only our second meet of the season and we had a lot of dropped times and first swims,” Bennett said. “It is so gratifying as a coach when first-year swimmers are running up to you with huge smiles telling you how much time they dropped in their races. It didn’t matter that they didn’t place, much less win. They were having fun and were super excited.”
Despite the loss, a handful of Sumner High swimmers qualified for the late-season league and district meets.
Both the 200-yard individual medley and 400 freestyle relay teams turned in times advancing them to district competition. Making up those two crews are Zack Pederson, Erick Johns, Ben Nayler, Lane Bloomquist and Jeremy Friend. Barely missing a district time was a second 400 free relay team; just .06 seconds away from qualifying was the quartet of Garrett Lockhart, Joey Schwendeman, Gabe Ford and Pederson.
Meeting district-qualifying times in individual events were Johns, a senior, in both the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke, along with freshman Bloomquist in the 500 freestyle.
League qualifiers included Friend in the 200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke; Naylor in the 200 IM and 100 freestyle; Pederson in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke; and Schwendeman in both the 500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke.
The Spartan swim and dive team will next see action Thursday afternoon, hosting the Curtis Vikings. The meet begins at 3:30 in the Sumner High pool.