Swimmers take sixth at state meet

Hallett, Clark just miss out on state titles at KCAC Saturday.

FEDERAL WAY – It’s a lot of pressure to be number one and Austin Hallett admitted it so afterward.

“It was all the anxiety of picking out the song (the top seed gets to choose what song they enter to) and it’s 10 o’clock at night and I’m thinking ‘what song should I do?’” he said.

“There’s all that buildup and I was so nervous – I’ve don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous since maybe before my first race at state freshman year.”

The senior co-captain couldn’t shake those nerves as he took third in the 100 freestyle Saturday at the 2A/3A state swim and dive meet at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

After taking the first seed in the event with a All-American consideration time of 47.07, Hallett finished with a time of 47.57.

Eastside’s Catholic Ethan Hallowell was first with a time of 46.81 while Mercer Island’s Murray Longbotham was second with a time of 47.24.

Hallett said that once he hit the wall wrong on his first turn, it messed everything up.

“I started off well but I got so crazy after that first wall,” he said. “I just thought too much – I should have stayed in my own race.”

Cheyne Clark was seeded number two in the diving competition to Mercer’s Beau Riebe coming into Saturday, but what many felt was bad judging was ultimately his downfall.

However, Clark said he screwed up just enough on his last dive – a forward one and a half somersault with two twists – to hold him to second.

He finished with 380.70 points to Riebe’s 397.

“That was the dive I really needed to hit,” he said. “With 17 points between me and Beau, that would have been the difference.”

Head coach Kaycee Taylor felt that Clark performed better than Riebe.

“I don’t know if it was the Beau effect or what, but the last two dives Cheyne ripped them and got marginal scores,” he said. “Beau – not great and he gets (higher scores).

“Judging is so subjective but from my view and a lot of other people, you look at the scores and you say ‘wow,” and you shake your head.”

David Ortyn took fourth in the 100 butterfly with a personal best time of 53.54.

The sophomore said he was nervous, but didn’t get too wrapped up in the hoopla.

The 200 medley relay team of Hallett, Clark, Ortyn and Kevin Brooks took third with a time of 1:39.82 – just .43 of a second behind Mercer’s team.

The 200 freestyle relay team of Hallett, Cooper Ashley, Brooks and Ortyn won the consolation final with a time of 1:31.86.

The 400 relay team of Ortyn, Ashley, Brooks and Hallett took sixth with a time of 3:20.47, with Hallett posting a split time of 46.86.

“The 3:20 was a great time – it was two seconds better than (the prelim time),” Taylor said.

Overall, Bainbridge was sixth with 124 points – just eight points away from a trophy, as Seattle Prep took fourth with 132 points.

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