3A state swim championship: McCarthy wins 500 free title; Bainbridge places 5th

Bainbridge swimmer Andrew McCarthy finished fifth in the 200-yard freestyle preliminary round with a time of 1:45.38. - Staff Photo / Brad Camp
Bainbridge swimmer Andrew McCarthy finished fifth in the 200-yard freestyle preliminary round with a time of 1:45.38.
— image credit: Staff Photo / Brad Camp

A year after coming in second as a freshman, Andrew McCarthy returned to the 3A state championship and captured the 500-yard freestyle title last Saturday.

“My goal throughout the season was just the All-American consideration time,” McCarthy said. “I didn’t really care if I got first, as long as I got that time. The first place was just the icing on the cake.”

McCarthy racked up the Metro League and SeaKing District titles on his way to the final, and he automatically qualified for All-American consideration with his state championship time of four minutes, 38 seconds Saturday.

“I did find out that I was in seventh after the first 100, but that was expected,” McCarthy said. “I knew I was going to go out slow and the competition was going to go out pretty fast. I wanted to hang out with them in the first bit.”

McCarthy shaved three seconds from his district championship time, and beat the All-American consideration time by a second.

“Just the look on his face when he was laying here on the deck – he gave it his all,” head coach Kaycee Taylor said. “To me, as a coach, that’s how you want your swimmer to look after swimming a race. He didn’t hold anything back.”

The Spartans finished fifth with 165 points – the second-best finish in school history.

Bainbridge’s 400-yard freestyle relay, which won the district title Feb. 13, placed second to state champion Mercer Island (3:15.31). The team of senior David Ortyn, McCarthy, senior Cody Jenkins and sophomore Colin Chupik set another school record with a time of 3:14.88.

“It was an amazing swim,” McCarthy said. “Our relay was really tight. All four of us are really good friends and we get each other pumped up. We’re all pretty good at the 100, so we were kind of hoping to get first because we had beaten Mercer at district.”

Ortyn also set a school record in the 100-yard butterfly race with a time of 51.95.

The senior improved on his 200 individual medley preliminary time (1:57.62) and swam a 1:56.77. Ortyn placed fourth, just three-tenths of a second behind event winner Chase Goulart of Mount Si.

Chupik placed fourth in the 100-yard freestyle, and 10th in the 50-yard freestyle.

“He was a key part to that 400 free,” Taylor said. “His swim on that last leg made that exciting. I think he’s got that competitive drive that sets him apart from other swimmers who are bigger or taller.”

The 200-yard medley relay team – the same squad as the 400-yard freestyle – placed eighth with a time of 1:43.59.

McCarthy finished fifth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:44.82.

The 200-yard freestyle relay team of senior Zach Morrow, senior Jeff Yalung, junior Blake Harper and senior Sam Pollock placed 10th.

The Spartans will graduate five swimmers from their state squad.

“It’s a nice way to cap things off,” Taylor said. “You’ve been working with these guys for four years and you see them improve just as overall young men and see this big finish – especially the relay where the entire crowd is cheering.”

A young group of swimmers will step up and score points for the Spartans next season, Taylor said.

“We have a number of kids who are going to do that,” he said. “Andrew and Collin are going to continue to perform well and some of those kids to fill in spots – Blake Harper, and a couple of sophomores. We’ve got a lot of sophomores, actually, who are going to consider swimming year-round and that will help a bunch.”

Swimmers from the club swim team also show great potential.

“There are eighth graders who could give Andrew a run for his money in the 500,” Taylor said. “Each year we look at and say, ‘Goodbye seniors, it was great having you and the team is going to miss you,’ but we start again in the winter and new people come in and we go forward.”

Complete Bainbridge results

200 medley relay: 8th (1:43.59)

200 free: McCarthy 5th (1:44.82)

200 IM: Ortyn 4th (1:56.77)

50 free: Chupik 10th (22.45)

100 fly: Ortyn 2nd (51.95, new school record)

100 free: Chupik 4th (48.28)

500 free: McCarthy 1st (4:38.71, new school record, All-American consideration)

200 free relay: 10th (1:35.20)

400 free relay: 2nd (3:14.88, new school record)

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