By Ron Newberry
Special to The Seattle Times
Sally Mingarelli might have a new name, and some new faces on the Lakeside boys swim team, but one thing hasn’t changed.
The Lions remain a force in the swimming pool.
Coming off the school’s first Class 3A state swim title last February, Mingarelli wasn’t sure what to expect this season. But she’s learning more every week and likes what she sees.
“We did graduate five really strong swimmers,” said Mingarelli, whose last name changed from Rupert after getting married over the holiday break. “We were waiting to see what would happen when the boys returned this year.”
Mingarelli knew what to expect from senior Henry Stolz, one of the team’s leaders last year and only returning member of two powerful relays. What she couldn’t know was how sophomores Abrahm Devine and Carter Jacobsen would step up. Or the impact of senior Michael Shum or junior Thomas Hutchison.
Shum, a team captain, is attempting to qualify for the state meet in all eight individual events this season and only has two to go.
“He’s come back crazy strong this year,” Mingarelli said.
Devine is among the 3A state leaders in the 500 freestyle (4:49.49), 200 Individual Medley (1:58.92) and 100 backstroke (53.63). Shum also is among the leaders in the backstroke.
Lakeside finished third at the state’s showcase regular season meet, the Kentridge Invitational, Saturday at the King County Aquatic Center. The Lions scored 456.5 points to finish behind Creighton Prep of Omaha (750) and Mercer Island (467).
Capturing the fastest times in the state in all classifications in two out of the three relays didn’t go unnoticed by Mingarelli, who know the value of relays at postseason meets.
Lakeside swam the 200 freestyle relay in 1:28.89 and the 400 freestyle relay in 3:16.44.
“I think we’re growing in our confidence,” said Mingarelli, whose team is unbeaten in dual meets this season. “I think Kentridge was a good mid-January test to see where we’re at. It felt really promising to beat Mercer Island in two out of three relays. We are feeling new confidence after this weekend.
“Our goal at the beginning of the season was that we would love to defend the state title, but we’d be happy to be in the top three. After this weekend, the focus is that we really want to defend our title. The boys are excited. They’re getting geared up, I think.”
Kentridge doesn’t disappoint
Traditionally an event that produces eye-opening times, the Kentridge Invitational didn’t disappoint last Saturday at the King County Aquatic Center.
When it was over, Creighton Prep of Omaha easily defended its title, Mercer Island posted the best score among Washington teams and eight state-best times were recorded.
Creighton Prep, the six-time defending Nebraska state champion, won seven of the 12 events, including all three relays.
Kennedy Catholic represented itself well with three Lancers winning four events and setting two meet records. Tommy Thach took the 200 IM (1:53.06, meet record) and 100 freestyle (46.38) titles. Thane Maudslien won the 100 backstroke (51.16, meet record) and Brian Donahue won diving (240.00 points).
The only other in-state winner was Kamiak’s John Stupey in the 500 freestyle (4:40.70).
“This year I decided that we should attend the Kentridge Invitational as a way to motivate the swimmers and cultivate the hard work we’ve been putting in over the winter break,” Kennedy Catholic coach Sean Prothero said. “Heading into the meet, the boys understood that this is one of the fastest pools and most competitive swimming and diving atmospheres they would encounter all season, with the possible exception of the state championships. The competition at this meet is really unlike any other high school meet in the area.”
Milestone victory for Bellevue
It was a big victory to savor, however, Andy Hay wasn’t about to gloat.
Hay, coach of the Bellevue Wolverines, couldn’t remember the last time that Mercer Island had lost a dual meet. Nor could Mercer Island coach Chauntelle Johnson. But it happened last Thursday when Bellevue stunned the Islanders, 97-89, at Mary Wate Pool.
“It might’ve been close to 20 years ago,” Hay said.
“Honestly, I don’t know how long it has been,” Johnson said. “At least six years. That’s how long I have been here.”
Bellevue won every event except diving to win its sixth straight dual meet since losing its opener to 4A Issaquah. Many of the winning times met state-meet qualifying standards.
Matt Williams and Todd McCarthy each won two events and were part of two winning relays for the Wolverines. Bellevue’s 200 medley relay team of Michael Stanchi, Morgan Ciliv, James Doucette and Williams won in 1:38.81, the fastest time in the state of any classification.
“I knew we had a shot going in,” Hay said. “My assistant (Johnny Quackenbush) and I spent way more time (than usual) putting together a lineup and revising a lineup. We were calling each other all hours of the day and night. Way more time spent than on an average dual meet, I assure you.”
Still, Hay said the victory was bittersweet because of his respect for Johnson. She’s led the Islanders to four state titles the past five years.
“Way cooler than beating Mercer Island was watching our guys perform the way they did,” Hay said.
A look at other top individual performances over the past week:
– John Stupey, Kamiak: Won the 500 freestyle (4:40.70) and took second I the 200 IM (1:53.54) at the Kentridge Invitational and also was a part of four winning events, including three relays, in a Wesco meet against Glacier Peak.
– Ben Allen, Newport: Qualified for the 4A state meet in the 500 freestyle (4:59.95) and also swam a leg on two winning relays in the Knights’ 111-75 victory over Roosevelt.
– Morgan Ciliv, Bellevue: Was part of four winning events, including three relays, in the Wolverines’ victory over Mercer Island. He won the 200 IM in 2:01.52.
– Liam Soskinsky, Kamiak: Swam the state’s fastest time in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.17) in a meet against Glacier Peak.
– Chase Bublitz, Kentridge: Took second in the 100 butterfly (50.59) at the Kentridge Invitational.