By SHAWN SKAGER
The Kentwood Conquerors made a splash at last weekend’s South Puget Sound League swim meet at Curtis High, grabbing seventh place in the team competition and snagging two first-place finishes.
“We had a really good day, considering,” coach Sharon Wright said. “Sometimes it’s hard for my district meet guys, who’ve already qualified, to get up for the meet.”
According to Wright she wasn’t sure how the team would react to the pressure of the meet.
“When you walk into the pool, it’s a different feel for the guys that have qualified and the ones that need to qualify,” she said. “But for me as a coach, it’s a gauge for where they are at.”
Wright said she’s feeling confident coming into this weekend’s district meet at Rogers High in Puyallup with 10 swimmers and two divers competing, including Andrew Douglass, who snagged first place in the 200 IM with a 2:09.00 time and Logan Ryan who swam to a first place 1:04.53 time in the 100 breast.
“I didn’t expect it (first place) at all,” Douglass said. “It surprised me a little bit, but I knew I would do good. But I didn’t think I would drop any time. I wanted to finish first, but I didn’t think I was going to.”
The impressive finish was a bit of redemption for Douglass, who had offseason knee surgery and wasn’t able to get into as good as shape as he would have liked.
“He had knee surgery and wasn’t even cleared to get off the blocks when we started,” Wright said. “It’s also been a difficult training season for us.”
According to Wright, problems with the team’s home pool coupled with the inclement weather in December limited the team’s time in the water.
“Usually over the winter break is when you get a lot of practice time in,” she said.
The lack of training didn’t seem to hold back Douglass, who cut three seconds off his 200 IM time at the league meet.
“Andrew had an awesome day,” Wright said. “Hopefully it will give him confidence walking onto the deck at districts.”
Wright said she’s also hoping for big day at the district meet from Ryan, who has already qualified for the state meet in the 100 breast.
“We thought he would win,” Wright said of Ryan’s league championship finish. “Based on his seeding, he was seeded first, so we wanted him to take it out fast. He’s right where he needs to be right now.”
Wright added that she was pleased with performances from John Perko and Travis Mooney, both of whom qualified for districts in the 200 free.
“They both dropped time and qualified,” she said. “John dropped five seconds in the 200 free. It was totally unexpected and incredible.”
SPSL SUB-DISTRICT SWIM MEET
Team scores – 1, Curtis 262; 2, Kentridge 177; 3, Rogers 150; 4, Auburn-Riverside 137; 5, Beamer 136; 6, Puyallup 128; 7, Kentwood 103; 8, Emerald Ridge 60; 9, Decatur 59; 10, Auburn 57; 11, Kentlake 44; 12, Federal Way 41; 13, Jefferson 23; 14, Tahoma 16.
Individual scores – 200 medley relay — Beamer 1:49.14. 200 free — Taylor Noland, Curtis, 1:56.93. 200 IM — Andrew Douglass, Kentwood, 2:09.00. 50 free — Justin Cooper, Rogers, 23.12. 100 fly — Cooper, Rogers, 56.71. 100 free — Christian Bateman, Curtis, 51.17. 500 free — Tanner Keustermeyer, Emerald Ridge, 5:20.78. 200 free relay — Curtis 1:33.78*. 100 back — Simon Boyer, Puyallup, 56.94*. 100 breast — Logan Ryan, Kentwood, 1:04.53. 400 free relay — Curtis 3:28.99.