There may not be an overwhelming local contingent heading to the boys state swimming and diving championships this week in Federal Way, but there is plenty of quality in that group.
In the Class 2A-1A event, there are two No. 1 seeds — West Valley’s Kian Hausken in the 100-yard backstroke and Naches Valley diver Daniel Whitmore — five other top-four seeds, and three more seeded seventh in their respective events, with Davis diver Victor Carrasco seeded seventh in the Class 4A meet.
“Now, it’s just a matter if he can hit his taper right and sail off into the sunset,” West Valley coach Jake Kessler said, referring to Hausken, although he could’ve been just as easily talking about any of the high seeds, including Whitmore and his twin brother David, who is just behind his brother as the No. 2 seed.
“The Whitmores are really looking forward to state,” said Kessler, whose team co-ops with Naches Valley.
The quest for state titles begins with preliminaries Friday and finals Saturday, all at the King County Aquatic Center.
And if things match the pre-meet seeding, there will be a host of strong showings by the locals.
That starts with Hausken, who comes in with the 2A-1A’s best 100 back time (54.31 seconds) and he also has the second-best time in the 100 free (49.65).
Kessler is confident the sophomore can improve on his winning district times.
“He only had a day and a half of rest going into district,” the coach said. “He’ll have had a little more rest and I think he can have a better meet at state.”
That’s a similar story for the Whitmores, who are both primed not only for their third straight top-10 state showing, but their best-ever placings. David took third last season and eighth as a freshman, while Daniel was 10th both seasons.
This time, Daniel comes in ranked ahead of David, posting a season-best score of 378.45 for an 11-dive meet, with David not far behind at 363.90.
Both will also compete in a swimming event — Daniel in the 100 butterfly, where he’s ranked 9th, and David in the 100 breaststoke.
Prosser’s Will Burgett is another swimmer with championship aspirations, with the junior ranking second in the 50 free (22.10) and third in the 100 breast (1:02.24). Selah sophomore Nolan Frampton comes in fourth in the 50 free (22.52) and seventh in the 100 back (59.03).
Along with the individual events, schools will be well represented in the three relay events, with West Valley fielding teams in the 200 medley, and 200 and 400 free relays, Selah in the 200 medley and 200 free, Grandview in the 200 medley, and Prosser in the 200 free.
The Rams, who will have a total of 14 swimmers at state, are seeded seventh in the 200 free relay and 10th in the 200 medley event.
Selah has made a habit of getting relay teams to state, with this marking the sixth straight season that the Vikings have qualified its medley relay and at least one free relay squad. And both of these relays are solid, with the medley team ranking eighth and the free team ninth.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Selah coach Ken Yager said, referring to the graduation of several members of last season’s teams. “I was hoping the new kids would fill in the gaps and they’ve done very well.”
In the 4A meet, Davis’ Carrasco has a season-best score of 337.05 and has been steadily improving throughout the season, Davis diving coach Doug White said.
“He’s gotten a PR (personal record) in just about every meet,” White said of the junior, who couldn’t compete last season after transferring from Eisenhower. “He’s got a ton of talent. He’s really strong and has the incentive to work hard. He does well under pressure.”