“More swimmers, better resultsCoach Lynn Wells leads an up-and-coming group to a solid start. “

"Spartan swim senior co-captain Jeff Christensen recalls his freshman year, when the team numbered fewer than 20.Now there are 36 and a talented group of sophomores alone nearly equals that total from three years ago.It's great to have all the events filled, Christensen said, noting that there is often keen competition for the three varsity spots in dual meets. Another indication of the team's progress was the extremely narrow, 94-92 loss to perennial 4A power Marysville-Pilchuck earlier this month. North Kitsap also fielded a team in the triple dual meet, but the Vikings were never a factor. "

  • Saturday, December 9, 2000 4:00pm
  • Sports

“Spartan swim senior co-captain Jeff Christensen recalls his freshman year, when the team numbered fewer than 20.Now there are 36 and a talented group of sophomores alone nearly equals that total from three years ago.It’s great to have all the events filled, Christensen said, noting that there is often keen competition for the three varsity spots in dual meets. Another indication of the team’s progress was the extremely narrow, 94-92 loss to perennial 4A power Marysville-Pilchuck earlier this month. North Kitsap also fielded a team in the triple dual meet, but the Vikings were never a factor.Marysville won two close relays on the final touch. And a placing in one of the individual events was determined by exactly one one-hundredth of a second. Change any of those results and the Spartans win.Other highlights included:* The 500 free, in which Jacob Whitmore easily won and Tristan Stringer swam impressively for second. A Marysville swimmer slowly closed the gap and challenged him just past the 250 mark, but Stringer pulled away to gain valuable second-place points. * Erik Steinecker’s double win in the 50 free and 100 back. * Christensen easily won his specialty, the 100 butterfly. His 57.86 was within a second and a half of his all-time best.But Wells isn’t concerned with early season results, viewing them more as a process of experimentation. She’s interested in letting her swimmers play with different events, believing that by season’s end they’ll naturally gravitate to the ones in which they are the most comfortable and have the most potential to generate points at February’s state meet.One of those experiments has already borne fruit, as the 400 relay team swam a fine 3:29.85 on Tuesday against Central Kitsap – a meet the Spartans easily won to remain undefeated in Olympic League competition and heavy favorites to defend last year’s league title – to qualify for state.The guys set a goal and they accomplished it, Wells said. What a great group of young men…every one of them.The ebullient Wells, who has cut back her hours at a local travel agency to serve as coach, is quick to deflect attention from herself, emphasizing the guys and what she terms her great support system including assistant coach Greg Colby. Greg and I complement each other and between the two of us we offer a full spectrum of coaching, she said.Wells runs through the list. Athletic Director Neal White. Pool administrator John De Meyer. Ashley Redfern. Barby Cahill. Danielle Mankis and Jasmine DuPont, who work with the divers. Leslie Wukstitch. Even Forrest Wells and Laurynn Wells, her son and daughter.A former synchronized swimmer, she is particularly cognizant of technique and core body conditioning. An efficient swim is a fast swim, she said. Pounding out yardage isn’t always the answer.We train for the 200 free and the 200 IM. We want to make everyone capable of swimming every stroke. That gives me more options as a coach, and it allows the kids to grow both as swimmers and as people.A bit of growth likely will come Jan. 20 when the Spartans join 23 other teams for the Kentridge Invitational at the King County Aquatic Center. Much of the excitement comes from the fact that the meet provides novice and intermediate swimmers the chance to swim at the state’s premier swim facility, normally reserved for the top swimmers at the state meet.In addition to Christensen, seniors include co-captain Andrew Sperling, Steinecker, Nathan Walker – a diver last year who’s turned to swimming this year – and Daniel Roche, a recruit from the sailing team in his first year of swimming. Other notable swimmers include junior Nick Rodda and sophomores Lars Lagerloef, Matt Colley, Nate Rooks, Russell Carroll, Pete Wagner, Alex Morris, Whitmore and Stringer. Brian Burns and Jake Christensen head an impressive freshman class. Among divers, freshman Alexander Burmer won against M-P, and he and junior Kris Ley have state potential. They’re joined by sophomore Kyle Rohl, competing for the first time.The team resumes action Friday afternoon against Port Angeles at the Ray Williamson Pool. “

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