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Depth, quality give BHS boys a shot at 3A swim title
By WILLIE WENZLAU
For the Review
The Bainbridge High boys swim and dive team is looking strong as the Spartans begin to approach their 2012 championship season.
This year’s team has seen a great deal of success in dual meets against both Metro and non-Metro league teams.
Head coach Kaycee Taylor regards this year’s team as the best he has seen in years, and is pleased with the amount of depth that his team of 37 swimmers has developed.
“It’s an exciting year for us … we are going to have a lot of seniors graduating,” said Taylor.
Taylor attributes the team’s increased depth to the number of athletes that have began swimming year-round. He has observed a significantly higher level of fitness in the boys that swim on both the club and high school teams.
Bainbridge has historically had teams that are strongest in the long-distance events, and this year is no exception.
“We have a lot of kids who are distance kids. Both of the McCarthy (Andrew and Todd) boys can swim the longer events really well, it’s what we’re known for,” said Taylor.
According to coach Taylor the team’s aptitude for longer races has proven to be both a strength and weakness for the Spartans.
The team has many individuals who are competitors in the longer events, which has often resulted in Bainbridge swimmers competing against their teammates and a lower level of competitiveness in the quick events.
Taylor would like to see the Spartans diversify and develop strength in as many areas as possible as they continue to grow during the remainder of the season and in years to come.
Among the large group of seniors on the Bainbridge team are captains Andrew McCarthy, Colin Chupik and Jared Bell.
The Spartans have several swimmers with the top times in 3A this year, led by the McCarthys.
• Andrew McCarthy, who won the 500 freestyle race at state last year and placed fourth in the 200 free, has the top 500 free time in the state this year and the best time in the 200 in 3A.
• Todd McCarthy leads 3A in the 100 back and 100 fly races, and ranks third in the 200 free.
• Chupik is third in the 100 free.
• Spencer Alpaugh has the second-best time among 3A swimmers in the 200 individual medley.
• The McCarthys, Chupik and Alpaugh also have the second-best time in 3A in the 400 free relay.
In the Metro League, Bainbridge is the only team that is not coed, with the girls’ team competing in fall.
On Dec. 9, the Spartans swam against Bishop Blanchet, losing the meet 115-207. However, if the meet were scored without the girls’ results, Bainbridge would have won the meet 115-55.
Although it is difficult for Bainbridge to win a meet against a coed team, when solely matched up against the opponent’s boys team the results often favor the Spartans.
Taylor has seen tremendous leadership in the way that these boys run practice and motivate their teammates. He also is aware of the many unseen leaders that can be found at each level of ability, swimmers who aspire to become future captains themselves.
Of the 37 swimmers, many have already qualified for the state championship meet, which will be held at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way on Feb. 17-18.
With important meets this month against some of the teams that will be Bainbridge’s biggest competitors at the state meet, Taylor hopes to see his team continue to bring their times down and qualify as many people and in as many events as possible.
The Spartan were scheduled to compete Thursday in a dual meet against Mercer Island, the Class 3A state champions in 2011. They will have a quick turnaround Friday, facing Eastside Catholic with swimmers hitting the BHS pool at 3 p.m.
They’ll be back in the home pool on Friday, Jan. 13 against Lakeside, and at Liberty on Tuesday, Jan. 17.
Taylor would like to see his 200-yard freestyle relay team earn a state-qualifying time at one of these meets against two of the toughest teams.
Last year the Bainbridge team took fifth place at the state tournament, and this year Taylor and his swimmers are aiming to do even better.