By Ron Newberry
Special to The Seattle Times
The Kamiak boys swim team continues to spill over with talent.
Two years after winning the Class 4A state title, the Knights are unbeaten in dual meets and could have what it takes to challenge again at the state meet.
“We’re not quite as deep as we’ve been,” Kamiak coach Chris Erickson said. “We’ve got good size. We have a lot of kids for the future who will do well in years to come. We also havea core group between five and eight who could be key players at the state meet. They look pretty good.”
Cornell-bound breaststroker Liam Sosinsky and multiple-event talent John Stupey lead the Knights. Sosinsky is the defending state champion in the 100-yard breaststroke, whereas Stupey is strong in several events.
“He’s got everything except the breaststroke,” Erickson said of Stupey’s state-qualifying times.
Erickson clarified that Stupey also has yet to qualify for state in the 50 and 500 freestyle but figures he’ll have a shot at the 500 Saturday at the Kentridge Invitational.
Stupey, a senior, finished second at the 2012 state meet to Kentridge’s Chase Bublitz in the 100 butterfly and was fourth in the 100 backstroke. He’s also the only returner from Kamiak’s
state-champion 400 freestyle relay.
The Knights are also bolstered by sophomores Even Shumann and Shelby Lee and freshman Henry Limm.
They’ve won 67 consecutive dual meets, dating back to January of 2008.
Shorewood nearly snapped that streak last month, however, Kamiak won the 400 freestyle relay by five one-hundredths of a second to escape with a 92-91 victory. Sosinsky was absent from that meet.
Kentridge Invitational on deck
Outside of the state meet in February, it doesn’t get much bigger than the Kentridge Invitational.
The 22nd running of the state’s top invitational will be held Saturday at the King County Aquatic Center, home to next month’s state championships.
In total, 683 swimmers representing 41 teams are scheduled to participate, including defending champion Creighton Prep of Omaha.
“It’s typically a fast meet,” said Mercer Island coach Chauntelle Johnson, whose Islanders finished second last year and are returning this weekend.
Other top teams scheduled to appear include Kamiak, Issaquah and Kentridge in 4A, Bainbridge, Kennedy Catholic and Lakeside in 3A and Sehome in 2A.
Creighton Prep is bringing a meet-high 37 swimmers, followed by Kentridge (34), Stanwood (30), Kennedy Catholic (30), Bainbridge (29), Lindbergh (25), Kamiak (24) and Wenatchee (23).
Wenatchee is one of nine teams from Eastern Washington scheduled to participate.
Some of the state’s top swimmers will be there, too, including University of Arizona-bound Thane Maudslien of Kennedy Catholic, Sosinsky of Kamiak and Chase Bublitz of Kentridge.
“It’s great competition and one of the best venues in the world,” Kamiak’s Erickson said.
“There are so many kids that every heat almost without exception there’s going to be good competition, where in a dual meet it’s going to be hit or miss.”
Bellevue stays up to speed
Andy Hay is in his second season of coaching the Bellevue boys swim team. And under his guidance, the Knights continue to be a KingCo power.
“I’m extremely optimistic as far as what our potential is this year,” Hay said. “We have a really strong junior class and great senior leadership.”
Bellevue will get the ultimate test Thursday in a road meet against Mercer Island.
Islanders coach Chauntelle Johnson said that Bellevue should be considered a state title threat this season.
The Knights are led by senior captains Casey Lee, James Doucette and Matt Williams.
The addition of junior transfers Todd McCarthy (Bainbridge) and Morgan Ciliv (Turkey) has strengthened the Knights.
“Last year, we were sixth (at state),” Hay said. “This year, we’re hoping to be in the top three.”
A look at top performers over the past week:
– Max Levy, Skyline: Scored 516.20 points in diving at the District 2 qualifier to meet standards for the Class 4A state meet. Other state qualifiers at the meet were Redmond brothers Phillip Klassen (401.40) and Eric Klassen (388.85).
– Mercer Island’s Noah Deiparine, who won the 200 freestyle (1:51.28) and 100 butterfly (57.93) and was part of two winning relays in a 126-57 victory over Bainbridge.
– Shorewood’s Andrew Garrison, who won the 200 Individual Medley (2:12.35) and 500 freestyle (5:17.58) and was a part of two winning relays in a victory over Lynnwood.