Newport’s boys splashed their way to third place in the team standings at the 4A state swim and dive championships on Saturday.
Powered by three second-place finishes in the 200 medley relay, 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke and a host of other top-eight finishes, Newport stood strong at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way.
Taking second were the 200 medley relay (Kevin Kyi, Dylan Ling, Nathan Lee and Benjamin Liu) in 1:34.91; Lee in the 200 individual medley in 1:52.36; and Kyi in the 100 backstroke in 50.59. Lee took fifth in the 100 back in 51.96. Check wiaa.com for complete results.
Kyi, a sophomore, also took second in the 100 back last year. He said the state experience is stressful because everyone’s eyes are on the athletes.
“I just have a zone, I don’t really think about anything ‘cause I do everything at practice and I trust in the training,” said Kyi, adding that he gets an adrenaline rush when the announcer calls his name before races.
During the last two years at Newport, Kyi has learned about the importance of teamwork and the benefit of having everyone cheering each other on during races.
On the 3A side, Bellevue took seventh in the team standings and received top-five finishes from Gordon Kenny, who was fourth in the 200 free in 1:43.96; and Brian Lee, who tied for fifth with Interlake’s Kenny Nguyen in the 100 fly with times of 51.86.
After cruising through some cool-off laps following the 200 free, Kenny discussed the race.
“I thought it went pretty well, any time being up on the podium feels pretty cool,” he said.
He placed fourth in the 100 back and 10th in the 200 free last year, so he’s stepped up his game a bunch in the latter race.
“I did a lot of work on my stroke in terms of lengthening it out and trying to get good underwaters, especially. I guess in the future, I just have to work on my endurance for the rest of the race,” Kenny said.
In 2A action, Sammamish placed sixth in the team standings and notched top-five finishes in the 200 free relay (Teno Kao, Zongxin Yang, Sidney Dispas and Edmund Davis), which tied for third with Liberty with marks of 1:31.10; 200 medley relay (Jarod Schahrer, Kao, Luke Hanson and Yang) with a fourth in 1:40.06; 100 backstroke with a fourth from Schahrer in 53.0; 200 individual medley with a fifth from Zuriahn Yun in 2:04.14; and the 400 free relay (Davis, Dispas, Schahrer and Daniel Gutzwiler) with a fifth in 3:19.56.
Dispas, a senior, has competed at state three times and said he gets butterflies in his stomach while walking onto the deck and seeing the large pool and the people in the stands. That exciting feeling never gets old, he added.
“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever felt and the energy here is super high. You swim fast because you can hear everyone chanting and it’s an amazing experience,” he said.
Finishing in a tie with Liberty in the 200 free relay was a stellar part of the meet for Dispas.
On how he unleashed a solid performance during his turn of the relay, he added: “Honestly, keeping up with the people around me in my lane and just being aware, touching the wall as fast as you can. We were really psyched. Everyone on Liberty is super cool.”