Spartans put on a show at surprising state swim meet

Kevin Yalung prepares to burst from the block in the 50-yard freestyle. He finished in eighth place. - Brian Kelly / Bainbridge Island Review
Kevin Yalung prepares to burst from the block in the 50-yard freestyle. He finished in eighth place.
— image credit: Brian Kelly / Bainbridge Island Review

In one of the fastest state meets that many could recall, the Bainbridge High Spartans repeatedly swam their way to the medal stand in the Washington State 3A Boys’ Swimming and Diving Championships.

Spencer Alpaugh, a junior, had a remarkable run.

He placed fifth in the

200-yard individual medley. He also finished seventh in the 500-yard freestyle.

In the 200 IM preliminary, Alpaugh broke the record of 1:56.21 that was set by Austin Hallet in 2008.

Alpaugh finished in 1:55.95. His time in the final was 1:56.38.

“I had a little bit of anxiety at finals on Saturday because my goggles broke right before my race,” Alpaugh said.

The equipment malfunction may have been a good thing, however.

“That might have made me more focused and prevented my nerves from getting to me,” he said.

The finals race itself redefined the definition of a barnburner.

Tommy Thach took first in 1:49.22, a new state meet record that clipped the previous state best of 1:49.30, set by Andy Lloyd of Mercer Island in 1988.

Thach, as well as the second- and third-place finishers — Abrahm Devine (1:50.92) of Lakeside and Camero Lindsay (1:51.28) of Auburn Mountainview, respectively — all finished with All-American qualifying times.

The fourth-place finisher, Jaron Hamlik of Prairie, finished in 1:53.24 — good enough for All-American consideration.

Alpaugh’s record-breaking swim was one of two school records to fall at the state meet.

CJ Waite went in as the top seed in the consolations in the 100-yard breaststroke, and won the race for ninth place in almost a minute flat: 1:00.93. His time in the preliminaries was 1:01.52.

The old record was 1:01.19, also from 2008, and also set by Hallet.

Spartan Head Coach Kaycee Taylor said he had an inkling the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke records would fall. Just not this year.

“That was really cool. I knew we would have some good swims this year, but I looked at those records and said, those are going to be next year,” Taylor said.

Now, the records board at the Bainbridge Island Aquatic Center has two empty spaces, those earlier marks having been removed since the state meet.

Taylor recalled how the records board was an idea that Hallet came up with back in the day.

“His goal was to create this record board partly because his name would be all over it,” Taylor laughed.

“After this meet, two of his records were broken. There is only one left on there with his name on it,” the coach said.

Taylor said the two Spartan swimmers immediately knew they had found a place on the board.

“That was exciting. If nothing else, to see the look on their faces when they look at the time. They knew. ‘Yeah, I got it,’” Taylor said.

Overall, the Spartans finished eighth at the state meet with 96 points.

Lakeside won the team title with 274 points, while Mercer Island was second with 271, followed by Bellevue (248).

Taylor said the Spartans finished where they figured to land.

“Going into it we were kind of looking at that seventh or eighth place, so ...” he said. “After prelims, they looked pretty strong.”

“Little surprised that the 400 freestyle relay team didn’t get in, but so happy that everyone else’s swims were really good,” he said.

“Considering how young our team is, the fact that we only had a couple guys in individual events, and then our two relays that made it, I don’t think it could have been a better outcome. And the work that they did to get there, I think really showed,” Taylor said.

“It was a surprise to a lot of the other teams; they weren’t expected us to do as well,” he added.

Other Spartans also brought home medals.

Kevin Yalung earned eighth place in the 50-yard freestyle.

The Bainbridge relay team of Logan McDaniel, Waite, Alpaugh and Yalung won fifth place in the 200-yard medley relay.

In other races, Tonsmann finished in 13th place in the 200-yard freestyle. And the Spartans were ninth in the 200-yard freestyle relay, and 18th in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

The 50-yard freestyle was also a nail-biter.

Grant Neil of O’Dea won in 21.13, mark that earns All-American consideration, but the entire pack of finals swimmers touched the wall within a shred of a second apart.

Yalung has been devoted to whittling down his time in the 50, Taylor said.

“We’ve been working on that time for his 50 freestyle all season long, and to see him as the last seed to make it into finals was great, because he was really trying to tighten it in a competitive field,” Taylor said.

Yalung swam a 21.86 in the preliminaries, 22.13 in the finals.

In the finals, though, the times were marked by gaps measured in the tenths of a second. First, 21.13; second, 21.28; third, 21.32; fourth, 21.64, fifth, 21.80; sixth, 21.87.

Yalung should be proud of his time, Taylor said.

“The fact that you’ve got 21s, 21s, 21s — for crying out loud, any other league, any other place, these things are first place,” Taylor said. “And the fact that he’s eighth place in the state with a great time, that was neat to see, too.”

Taylor liked what he saw from the Spartans relay races. BHS took down a large batch of talent, a contingent that included Logan McDaniel, Waite, Spencer Alpaugh, Yalung; and Sam Alpaugh, Adam Comeau, Marcus Tonsmann and Andrew Callahan in the 200-medley.

In the 200-yard freestyle, the relay team include Yalung, Comeau, Tonsmann and Waite; and Callahan, Nick Williams, Bill Lee and Arthur Bacon.

And for the 400-yard freestyle, the racers were Comeau, Tonsmann, Yalung and Waite; and Spencer Alpaugh, Williams, Callahan and Lee.

The 200 freestyle team did a great job, Taylor said.

The Spartans won the B Final in 1:31.08, with Waite touching the wall first in the final leg.

“We had been working on figuring out how that would mesh. It was not the swimmers, but our relay exchanges and our send offs and everything. And they did a fantastic job,” Taylor said.

The lineup for the 200 medley was undecided going into state, but it soon became clear who would make up the Spartan four.

“That was the one where I was trying to decide; is it going to be Spencer, is it going to be Logan, and I just remembered the day of the prelims, Greg [Colby, Spartan swimming coach] says to Logan, ‘Look, you’re going to go at 26.’ And he hit it.”

The Kennedy relay team won first place with an All-American time of 1:49.22, also a meet record.

One of the big shocks of the meet came during the 500-yard freestyle.

Spencer Alpaugh had a better time in the preliminaries, racing to a 4:44.86.

In the final, he came in seventh in 4:47.58.

“Even seventh at state is still really amazing,” Taylor said.

The jaw-dropper turned out to be the winner, Abrahm Devine of Lakeside, who entered as the last seed in the race with a time of 4:49.63.

But what a difference in the finals: Devine took first in 4:32.65.

“He was in the last lane. He came out of nowhere. He was just so far ahead of everyone else,” Taylor said.

There were plenty of other highlights for the Spartans, as well, such as Tonsmann’s 13th-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle (1:49.52), and his mark in 100-yard butterfly; 18th place in 55.51.

“As a junior and our team captain, he was the only one we had swimming in that [200 free] event against former teammates, as well as people from other schools that we’ve seen year round,” Taylor said. “I think Marcus is going to be really focused on getting into finals for that next year.”

“The excitement of the season - we’re already talking about it,” the coach said.

The familiar face in the 200 freestyle was Todd McCarthy of Bellevue, who won first place. McCarthy swam for the Spartans last year, but found his way onto the Bellevue team after his family moved from the island.

Taylor said Tonnsman was a key part of every Spartan relay team.

His return and that of his teammates — the Spartans will lose only one swimmer to graduation, Yalung — has Taylor hopeful for the future.

“I really like the prospects of this event for us next year,” Taylor added. “Logan is coming back stronger and older. Sam is coming back. I know both of those guys are going to be fighting for that position on the backstroke.

“Everyone’s returning on that one except for Kevin, but then we’ve got some depth with these younger guys to step up,” he said.

Yalung said this year’s state meet went quickly, in more ways than one.

“It was a really fast meet this year,” he said. “I was surprised how fast the finishing times were this year.”

“It was an honor competing with those guys, because they are so talented,” Yalung.

It was a great way to finish the season.

“It was really fun, I had a great time with the team. We had a great group of guys this year, especially for the state turnout,” he said. “I didn’t think we were going to get as many as we did, so I was very happy with that.”

He also swam in four races, the maximum amount, and notched a personal best in the 50 free.

“That was great; I finally got past the 22 marker. I finally got below that. That felt really good - that was a huge accomplishment. It’s been a goal for the past four years.”

Yalung said he took a moment at the end to enjoy the twilight of his time as a Spartan swimmer.

He said he would always remember Coach Colby’s simple words after his last race.

“He just looked me in the eye and said, ‘Great job.’ It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, but because it was my last race, you could tell it was something special. Because, Greg Colby’s firm handshake, it’s classic,” Yalung said.

The caliber of individuals competing was also first-class, he said.

“Being in a place with such great talent is such an honor,” he said.

“Right before I left the pool, I kind of stood behind the block ... and I just kind of reminisced over the past four years I’ve had there and soaked it all in that I’m done. That was a really good feeling, enjoying the last few moments of my swim career,” he said.


3A Boys’ Swim/Dive Championships

200-Yard Medley Relay

A - Final

First: Kennedy, 1:36.56 (Thane Maudslien, Tharm Sribhibhadh, Nick Dorsett and Tommy Thach)

Second: Bellevue, 1:36.62 (Michael Stanchi, Morgan Ciliv, James Doucette and Matt Williams)

Third: Lakeside (Seattle), 1:37.53 (Abrahm Devine, Michael Shum, Kyle Curtis and Brad Fitch)

Fourth: Mercer Island, 1:38.38 (Andrew Weiss, Samuel Chong, Duncan Koontz and Karl MacLane)

Fifth: Bainbridge, 1:39.73 (Logan McDaniel, CJ Waite, Spencer Alpaugh and Kevin Yalung)Sixth: Auburn Mountainview, 1:40.37 (Cameron Lindsay, Colin Lempert, John Kyle Davis and Luke Lavine)

Seventh: Oak Harbor, 1:41.46 (Cedric Cabigting, Josh Jepsen, Caley Powers and Kevin Levy)

Eighth: Hazen, 1:42.10 (Nolan Hoover, Chris Foth, Malcolm Mitchell and Kyle Nelson)


200-Yard Freestyle

A - Final

First: Todd McCarthy, Bellevue, 1:41.02

Second: Grant Gamroth, O’Dea, 1:41.87

Third: William Wertz, Hanford, 1:42.32

Fourth: Nick Klatt, Liberty (Renton), 1:42.95

Fifth: Carter Jacobsen, Lakeside (Seattle) 1:44.55

Sixth: Carter Osborne, Shorecrest, 1:44.94

Seventh: Hugh Jacobsen, Lakeside (Seattle), 1:47.52

Eighth:  Ian Caldwell, Mercer Island, 1:47.61

B - Final

Ninth: Alexander Barbar, Ingraham, 1:48.27

10th: Daniel Prang, Bellevue, 1:48.49

11th: Elliot Schwinn, Eastside Catholic, 1:48.75

12th: Ben Gore, Mercer Island, 1:49.34

13th: Marcus Tonsmann, Bainbridge, 1:49.52

14th: Turner Englehart, Hazen, 1:50.68

15th: Nicholas McMillan, Columbia River, 1:51.33

16th: Chris Flynn, Meadowdale, 1:51.71


200-Yard IM

A - Final

First: Tommy Thach, Kennedy,  1:49.22*AAA

Second: Abrahm Devine, Lakeside (Seattle),  1:50.92 AAA

Third: Camero Lindsay, Auburn Mountainview, 1:51.28 AAA

Fourth: Jaron Hamlik, Prairie, 1:53.24 AAC

Fifth: Spencer Alpaugh, Bainbridge, 1:56.38

Sixth: Caleb Riggs, Peninsula, 1:56.72

Seventh: Tom Hutchison, Lakeside (Seattle), 1:57.42

Eighth: Connor Biehl, Liberty (Renton), 1:57.78


50-Yard Freestyle

A - Final

First: Grant Neil, O’Dea, 21.13

Second: Matt Williams, Bellevue, 21.28

Third: Andrew Weiss, Mercer Island, 21.32

Fourth: Michael Goodwin, Seattle Prep, 21.64

Fifth: Alexander Suk, Mountain View, 21.80

Sixth: Max Peterson, Juanita, 21.87

Seventh: Chris Xue, Mountain View, 22.03

Eighth: Kevin Yalung, Bainbridge, 22.13


500-Yard Freestyle

A - Final

First: Abrahm Devine, Lakeside (Seattle), 4:32.65

Second: Michael Stanchi, Bellevue, 4:34.18

Third: Nick Klatt, Liberty (Renton), 4:36.69

Fourth: Grant Heisey, Shorecrest, 4:38.97

Fifth: Henry Stolz, Lakeside (Seattle), 4:42.29

Sixth: Grant Gamroth, O’Dea, 4:47.14

Seventh: Spencer Alpaugh, Bainbridge, 4:47.59

Eighth: Elliot Schwinn, Eastside Catholic, 4:48.75


200-Yard Freestyle Relay

A - Final

First: Mercer Island, 1:27.30 (Noah Deiparine, Brandt Waesche, Karl MacLane and Ian Caldwell)

Second: Kennedy, 1:27.47  (Thane Maudslien, Alex Ballanger, Skylar Martens and Tommy Thach)

Third: Lakeside (Seattle), 1:27.51 (Brad Fitch, Michael Shum, Hugh Jacobsen and Henry Stolz)

Fourth: Mountain View, 1:28.68 (Michael Suk, Chris Xue, Cody Mouw and Alexander Suk)

Fifth: O’Dea, 1:28.83 (Grant Neil, Dylan Jergens, Sam Nelson and Grant Gamroth)

Sixth: Bellevue, 1:29.28 (George French, Daniel Prang, James Doucette and Todd McCarthy)

Seventh: North Thurston, 1:29.43 (Scott Harn, Matthew Brickey, Nathan Anderson and Tyler Ridgeway)

Eighth: Shorewood, 1:29.58 (Torrey Morales, Galen Kintner, Jonah Hoverson and Andrew Garrison)

B - Final

Ninth: Bainbridge, 1:31.08 (Kevin Yalung, Adam Comeau, Marcus Tonsmann and CJ Waite)

10th: Juanita, 1:31.60 (Mikal Boyer, Kyle Grichel, Mark Stevens and Max Peterson)

11th: Peninsula, 1:31.65 (Donavan Cummings, Casey Cooper, Alex Wenman and Matt Burkey)

12th: Shorecrest, 1:31.66 (Grant Heisey, Axel Wickstrom, Russel Groves and Carter Osborne)

13th: Stanwood, 1:31.76 (David Escobar, Kevin Escobar, Tanner DesJardins and Jacob Land)

14th: Oak Harbor, 1:31.82 (Josh Jepsen, Jerik Bainco, Caley Powers and Kevin Levy)

15th: Auburn Mountainview, 1:33.19 (John Kyle Davis, Colin Lempert, Tyler Arnold and Luke Lavine)

16th: Ingraham, 1:33.27 (Landon Ton, Joseph Bui, Anders Olson and Alexander Barbar)


100-Yard Breaststroke

A - Final

First: Raymond Ha, Liberty (Renton), 57.79

Second: Caleb Riggs, Peninsula, 58.08

Third: Morgan Ciliv, Bellevue, 58.87

Fourth: Dean Nguyen, Franklin, 59.81

Fourth: Bennon VanHoof, Enumclaw, 59.81

Sixth: Michael Shum, Lakeside (Seattle), 1:00.06

Seventh: Noah Deiparine, Mercer Island, 1:00.41

Eighth: Josh Jepsen, Oak Harbor, 1:00.62

B - Final

Ninth: CJ Waite, Bainbridge, 1:00.93

10th: Tharm Sribhibhadh, Kennedy, 1:01.24

11th: Hugh Jacobsen, Lakeside (Seattle), 1:01.31

12th: John McDonagh, Bishop Blanchet, 1:02.59

13th: Jeffery Li, Interlake, 1:03.17

14th: Andrew Peacock, Hanford, 1:03.31

15th: Andrew Fukuda, Mercer Island, 1:03.73

16th: Tanner Martinez, Mercer Island, 1:04.56


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