Sports

Swimmers coast home for easy win

"Tuesday’s match between the Bainbridge and Port Angeles high school boys’ swim-and-dive teams was expected to be a tight, tense affair that would likely determine this season’s Olympic League champion.Instead, Bainbridge blew the class 4A Roughriders out of the water. The Spartans, winning nine of 12 events, coasted to a 119-67 victory at the Ray Williamson Pool.And that was a mere precursor to Thursday’s double-dual meet destruction of Olympic and host Central Kitsap by respective scores of 146-22 and 130-51. With the wins, the Spartans are now 6-1 overall and 4-0 in league competition.“I was surprised at how easily we handled them,” Bainbridge coach Joe Black said of the Roughrider meet. “The scouting report showed that they were stronger than that. They did have one kid missing, but that wouldn’t have made a difference in the final score.“Our kids swam really well. We have a traditional swim rivalry with Port Angeles, and we’d lost the last six times. So there was a certain amount of payback involved.”The meet’s tone was set from the start, with the 200 medley relay quartet of Jeff Bartunek, Dan Davies, Jeff Christensen and Joey Barrett winning in 1 minute, 48.94 seconds. After the Spartans took 1-2-3 finishes in the 200 freestyle (Bartunek, Erik Steinecker and Jacob Whitmore) and 50 freestyle (Barrett, Davies and Nick Rodda), the only question remaining was the final margin of victory.Other first places went to Dan Fisher (1-meter diving, 150.85 points), 100 butterfly (Christensen, 1:00.79), 100 free (Bartunek, 52.78), the 200 and 400 free relays, and 100 breaststroke (Davies, 1:03.38).It was Davies’ win, Black said, that pointed out Bainbridge’s biggest problem – lack of quality competition.“It’s hard to really push yourself when you’re half a pool length ahead,” Black said.Not that he’s complaining.“One of the things that pleases me as a coach are the number of second and third swimmers scoring points in each event. It shows our depth.”It was especially in evidence during the junior varsity meet.“We had just about 100 percent lifetime-best swims against Port Angeles from our JVs,” Black said. “That shows a great deal of improvement and promise for the future.”Thursday, against two rebuilding swim programs, the Spartans were simply dominant, taking 1-2-3 finishes in seven of the 12 events – with many competitors trying their hands at new strokes.The highlight was Davies’ 100 breaststroke time of 1:01.72, the third-fastest time in league competition to date.Freshman Whitmore, normally a long-distance swimmer, dropped down to the 50 and 100 freestyle events, clocking lifetime bests of 24.99 and 56.72, respectively. Bartunek, swimming the 500 free with a touch of the flu, clocked a lifetime best of 5:18.01.“What can he do if he’s healthy?” Black asked.The best part of the meet from his perspective, however, was seeing so many freshmen – notably Blaine Ness, John Rochelle and Lars Lagerloef - make the jump from JV to varsity. One powerful incentive is that teams can enter four swimmers each in individual events, as opposed to the customary three in dual meets."

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