The Bellevue boys swim and dive team saw its quest for a third consecutive state title come to an end Saturday.
The Wolverines finished runner-up to Bainbridge at the 3A state swim and dive championships at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, ending Bellevue’s two-year title reign.
The Spartans won the meet with 369 points. Bellevue was second with 351 and Mercer Island finished third with 193.
Though it was not the season-ending finish the Wolverines expected, Bellevue coach Andy Hay said he was proud of the effort he saw from his swimmers.
“I got nothing bad to say about how anybody performed in the pool today,” Hay said. “This is a tough season for me because I’ve been at Bellevue for so long now, the better part of a decade, and I’m graduating some of my favorite people in the world. I would’ve liked to send them off with a championship. But we just got beat.”
Bainbridge edged the Wolverines in two of the three relay events, with the Spartans posting record times in both the 200 medley relay (1:32.64) and the 400 free relay (3:05.57). The team of Thomas Eggenberger, Andrew Lee, Sebastian Steen and Nathan Shao finished three-tenths of a second behind Bainbridge in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:32.95, which also broke the previous record of 1:34.09, set by the Wolverines in 2014.
Bellevue won the 200 free relay, with the group of Steen, Lee, Nick Kenny and Andrew Boden finishing with a time of 1:25.52.
Boden won individual state titles in two events for the Wolverines, winning the 200 free (1:41.21) and the 500 free (4:39.29). He called his team’s showing on Saturday a success, saying his teammates gave everything they had.
“I knew that the meet was going to be close coming into today. I scored out the meet yesterday and found that Bainbridge Island was projected to win by 20 points,” Boden said. “So from the beginning of the day, I was really focusing on just everybody moving up in places. I wanted everybody to do their part and I think we did an excellent job of that. I think everybody pulled their own weight and overall, we had a super successful day.”
Bellevue had several swimmers reach the medal stand in individual competition. Nathan Shao was second in the 200 free (21.18) and placed fourth in the 100 free (47.21). Steen was second in the 100 fly (50.13) and finished fourth in the 50 free (21.51).
Jackson Dudley placed second in the 500 free (4:40.69) and was fourth in the 200 free (1:44.55). Thomas Eggenberger finished runner-up in the 100 back (51). Mitchell Eggenberger placed fifth in the 100 back (52.86) and was seventh in the 200 IM (1:58.07).
Lee placed third for Bellevue in the 100 breast (57.66). Kenny placed seventh in the 50 free (21.92) and was eighth in the 100 free (48.65).
Hay tipped his cap to Bainbridge for its championship showing at Saturday’s meet. He acknowledged the general sentiment among his team toward placing second at the state meet showed how far the Bellevue swim and dive program has come.
“When I took over this team, we had just gotten 16th place at state, and now I’m upset over a second-place finish,” Hay said. “I can’t be too mad.”
Chen medals for Saints
Interlake’s Grant Chen reached the medal stand for the Saints at the 3A state championship meet on Saturday.
Chen placed sixth overall in the 200 free, finishing with a time of 1:46.54.
The Saints had two relay teams win their consolation finals. Todor Dimitrov, Johnathan Cassady, Ethan Ling and Richard Liu placed ninth overall in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:40.95. Carter Blunden, Raymond Wang, Dimitrov and Chen placed ninth in the 200 free relay, finishing with a time of 1:30.85.
As a team, Interlake placed 14th with 70 points.