There’s lots of reason for an optimistic future at DAVIS, where the roster numbers are big and full of young swimmers who are only going to get better — but, because of their inexperience, may not be quite there yet. Of the Pirates’ 23 athletes turning out, only eight are returners, led by fourth-year competitors Timothy Nagle-McNaughton, the breaststroking team captain, and freestyler Bureimoa Binauea. While those two are setting the leadership standard, junior Andrew Sader (back, breast, free, IM) and sophomore Noah Kessler (free, back, fly) may turn out to be the biggest point-producers; each were double winners in Davis’ CBBN meet victory over Eisenhower last week, when sophomore Zack Zontek notched a win in the 100 fly with a time that matched where he was at the end of last season. Seniors Christian Garibay and Carlos Gonzalez Ortega, sophomore Tarik Snow and junior Alex Medina will also be key for the Pirates. There’s also a youth movement across town at EISENHOWER, where there’s only one fourth-year senior (Greg Sybouts) and 10 of the 15 swimmers are sophomores, most of them new to swimming when they turned out last year as freshmen. One of those sophomores, Cole Gilmore, was one of those first-time swimmers last year but he may turn out to be a breaststroke prodigy who could well become a state-meet swimmer. He’s already faster than he was last year, and so are fellow sophs Ryan Boggess (fly) and Ryan Leischner (back). That group will probably comprise three-fourths of the medley relay, with the freestyle leg to come from either Samuel Herr or Edward Uribe.
The five swimmers competing for SUNNYSIDE are all returners, a single senior — versatile Alex Perez (free, breast, fly) — surrounded by a quartet of sophomores in Fox Rodriguez (free, breast), Adrian Moreno (free, back), Mathew Marquez (back, breast, free) and Carlos Lopez (free, fly). The Grizzlies won’t win many meets, but these five have already scored pretty well in early meets this season.
With back-to-back top-nine state finishes, the 200 medley relay has been a source of pride at SELAH, which returns three versatile returners from last year’s district-winning quartet. This season, relay veterans Bailey Perez (butterfly, back), Ivan Lancaster (breast, free) and Nolan Frampton (back, free) figure to be joined in their quest by Jacob Odman, whose versatility — strengths ranging from butterfly to endurance freestyle – matches their own. At WEST VALLEY, coach Jake Kessler must deal with what he calls “a nice problem to have” — finding sufficient pool time and lanes for the Rams’ large turnout (25 swimmers, including 10 seniors), as well as the Class 1A swimmers from Naches Valley and Zillah that train with them. Naturally, all eyes will be on Kian Hausken, who finished second at state in both the 100 free and 100 back, in each case to a now-graduated senior. Hausken and senior Nathan Matthews also swam on the Rams’ top-eight-placing relays (medley, 400 free), each of which returns a third member (Tucker Andis, Dawson Finley). There’s also rising talent among the newer swimmers, including Tucker Andis’ younger brother, Tate. At PROSSER, senior Will Burgett is the biggest name returning, primarily because he was a two-event state runner-up (50 free, 100 breast) who will be shooting to move one step up to the top of the medals table. Fellow senior Tim Bowen, like Burgett a versatile multi-event competitor, and junior individual-medley standout Sam Kawakami are also back, as is senior Ty Hobbick, who’s really stepping up in class in the backstroke and butterfly, in fact even upending Burgett a couple of times over the summer. Freshman Levi Russell (IM, distances) and Camden Baker (breaststroke) are have real promise. GRANDVIEW has its strongest turnout in years, with a dozen swimmers led by state-meet veteran Micah Binfet (breaststroke) and fellow returners Brendon Lynch (back, IM), David Wascenske (freestyle sprints, fly), Brett Harris (free), Malachi Bejar-Garcia (freestyle sprints). Most of the newcomers have summer-team experience, including breaststroke-freestylerTavian Valenzuela and Brett Harris’ younger brother Riley, and German exchange student Sebastian Raucamp also has a background in the sport. Training with West Valley is NACHES VALLEY, for which the talented Whitmore twins, Daniel and David, were both top-eight placers in both diving and individual swim events at the state meet last winter. This season, David will continue to dive and swim, while — for the time being, anyway — Daniel plans to concentrate just on the swimming events. The Rangers also return district 200 free champ Andrew Brewington, junior Justin Stanton and freshman Aaron George, a budding star who has already qualified for state in the 100 back and is knocking on the door in the 100 fly and 100 breast. ZILLAH, also training with the Rangers and Rams, is led by sophomore state-meet freestyle veteran Alex Davalos and freshman Nathan Koerner.