Shorecrest boys continue reign with 3A district swim crown
- By Evan Wiederspohn
- Sunday, February 12, 2023 1:21am
SNOHOMISH — Labeling one or even multiple performers as reasons why the Shorecrest boys swim and dive team came out on top in the Class 3A District 1 championship meet on Saturday evening would be a tough task to handle.
After notching six first-place finishes at the Snohomish Aquatic Center, the Scots prevailed and stamped their third district title in as many years.
Shorecrest head coach Scott Kelley, who was announced as the Wesco coach of the year at the meet, found it challenging to credit the win to anything but a complete team effort.
Shorecrest outproduced league rival and second-place Shorewood 475 to 386.5, topping a Stormrays team which could have been considered another favorite to win the event.
“It’s really hard to pick out one guy on this team,” Kelley said. “I would say that Sean Neils is one of our top swimmers going into state, Colton Stoecker had a great meet. … We had a couple guys who didn’t rest because they already had state times, so the fact that they performed so well here, (it) points to some hopeful drops at state next weekend.”
Neils, a senior, certainly helped the cause for Shorecrest, logging individual wins in 100-yard freestyle (47.20 seconds) and the 50 free (21.54) to go along with two more-first place finishes in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays.
Stoecker, a sophomore, took home the 500 freestyle with a time of 4 minutes, 43.30 seconds. He also assisted the all-sophomore 400 freestyle relay group, which included Ian Reece, Kason Kirkpatrick (2nd in the 50 free with a time of 22.45) and Tristan Serrano (4th in individual 100 free with a time of 48.78).
“We had veteran seniors and just-coming-into-their-own sophomores,” Kelley said. “A few nice freshman showings too.”
Freshman Zander Muilenburg earned a trip to state competition, which starts next week, by placing fourth in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:07.62. His brother and senior Liam Muilenburg also booked a trip to Federal Way, placing second with a time of 4:53.71.
“We wanna get as high up as we can and find that ladder,” Kelley said of the Shorecrest depth heading into state-level competition. “It’s kinda the perfect storm for us with this senior and sophomore group that we have right now. They’re both pretty elite classes.”
A second-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay for Shorewood, as well as senior Ben Allen’s victory in the 100 backstroke (54.06), kept the Stormrays solidly in second place.
Cascade senior Noah Henderson was key for the Bruins as they stayed towards the top of the pack, finishing fifth with 173 points. With wins in the 200 individual medley (1:57.55) and the 100 breaststroke (58.77), Henderson broke personal bests.
CARLTON BREAKS OWN RECORD
As one of the strongest swimmers in the pool on Saturday, Mount Vernon senior Wyatt Carlton put on an impressive display as the Bulldogs held onto fourth place.
After previously holding the district meet record of 49.68 in the 100-yard butterfly in 2022, he beat the clock for the second year in a row, sifting his way past his own mark with a time of 49.23 to set a new meet record.
In addition, Carlton was the anchor that helped Mount Vernon take third in the 400 freestyle relay, good enough to punch a ticket to state.
“I was really happy with the performance overall,” Carlton said. “I was impressed with mainly Aidan (Hanson) and Will (Johnson), they brought it home in that relay. They went fast and we got a team record off that. We were excited about it.”
The bonus prize was getting a little extra breathing room on his butterfly record.
“I was definitely thinking about it the entire time,” Carlton said. “Since last year I’ve dropped a second off that time, so just really going for that record again, seeing if I could lower it a bit more and I was excited to get that time.”