Sports

Rushing to win, full speed ahead

Above: Senior Russell Carroll swims butterfly at practice last week. Below: fellow senior Jacob Whitmore readies for another run on state in the 100 and 200 free. The Spartans finished 19th at the 2A/3A championships last year, a record coach Lynn Wells and the 2002-2003 squad hope to better this season. - ROGERICK ANAS/Staff Photo
Above: Senior Russell Carroll swims butterfly at practice last week. Below: fellow senior Jacob Whitmore readies for another run on state in the 100 and 200 free. The Spartans finished 19th at the 2A/3A championships last year, a record coach Lynn Wells and the 2002-2003 squad hope to better this season.
— image credit: ROGERICK ANAS/Staff Photo

On the cover of the Bainbridge boys’ swimming and diving record book you’ll find a very simple message: “A Winning Tradition Continued.”

Coach Lynn Wells, in her third season overseeing the Spartan program, is challenging her team to live up to that motto with her personal slogan: “Take the Risk – Feel the Rush.”

“We all need to take on challenges in our lives, do things that seem difficult and we’ve never done before,” she said – a conviction she hopes will produce a strong showing at state for the Spartans, who last year finished 19th at the 2A/3A championships.

Spurring the 2002-2003 squad toward that goal are the team’s assertive tri-captains: seniors Matt Colley, Nate Rooks and Tristan Stringer. Adding experience to the team are two other seniors, Jacob Whitmore and Russell Carroll.

Whitmore attended state last season, swimming the 100 and 200 freestyle. Also returning from runs at state is Xander Burmer, who finished sixth in the one meter diving competition, and members of the 200 and 400-meter freestyle relay teams, which placed 11th and 12th in the state meet. Those relays appear even stronger this year, despite the loss of last season’s sole senior squad member, Nick Rodda.

State qualifiers are likely to come from Whitmore (100/200 free), Colley (100 back/200 free), Carroll (100 fly), Stringer in the sprints and Burmer off the board.

But Wells isn’t counting out junior Jake Christensen in the 100 fly and relays, junior Nick Moga in one of many events and sophomore Ryan Myers (500 free).

Looking to the future, Wells is excited to have eight freshmen turing out this season, with Jake Santelli showing early promise. “He definitely has the talent, especially in the 100 back, to make State,” she said. “Yes, he’s that good!”

As for this campaign, Wells sees Metro opponents O’Dea and Seattle Prep – who beat the Spartans in an 84-84 heartbreaker last year – as the teams to beat during the regular season.

Those match-ups come early this season: Bainbridge faces O’Dea on Friday, and takes on Seattle Prep Dec. 19 at the team’s last meet before the new year.

The true tests, however, will come in early February at the Metro League championships in Seattle, followed by the district finals at the University of Washington.

“I believe we have more swimmers capable of state-qualifying times this season,” Wells said. “I’d like to do better in district and state.”

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