By Doug Drowley | Special to The Seattle Times
Mission Accomplished for Franco-Munoz
Lindbergh senior Andrew Franco-Munoz completed his return from oblivion at the 2A state boys swim meet on Saturday at King County Aquatics Center.
Suspended from the team over academic issues for all of last season, Franco-Munoz now holds two state individual titles and two state 2A meet records.
Franco-Munoz began his day by swimming 21.17 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle, lowering the previous meet record of 21.45 set by Archbishop Murphy’s Alec Barnard a year ago. Later, the Eagles senior eclipsed the previous 100 free meet record of 47.49 with a blistering swim of 46.60.
“I just can’t put it into words,” Franco-Munoz said of all the hard work. “It paid off. I’m glad I met my goals. I knew this would be my last high school meet ever. I wanted to make sure I perfected every single turn, ever start.”
Franco-Munoz did, especially the final turn of his 100.
Coming to that final turn, Franco-Munoz actually trailed West Valley’s Kian Hausken. But the Lindbergh senior executed a stellar turn and came down the stretch with the lead.
“He was ahead of me yesterday (during prelims), too,” Franco-Munoz said. “I knew I just needed to gear up and sprint to the finish.”
The last finish of his high school swimming career may just be the last finish for Franco-Munoz, period.
The Lindbergh senior doesn’t yet know where he’ll go to college. And even when he gets there, Franco-Munoz said he’s not sure he wants to swim.
That may seem an odd thought for a guy who overcame a year-long suspension just to get back into the pool for his senior season. But Franco-Munoz said he may have accomplished exactly what he wanted – and he’s not sure there is more he needs to do in the pool.
Big Changes Coming for Metro League
The fall will bring more than one big change to the Metro League girls swimming season.
There is the obvious change that comes every two years with re-classification. Three schools will be coming into the Metro, including strong swimming programs from Garfield, Roosevelt and Ballard.
“There is talk of having two eight-team divisions,” Bainbridge girls coach Greg Colby said. “Then the division winners would compete for the league (dual meet) championship.”
A bigger deal for Colby and his program, however, is the recent vote by league schools to finally separate the girls and boys seasons. The Metro, at least in part because of financial considerations surrounding the rental of pool space, has run co-ed league meets during the boys winter season.
That means most Metro girls teams have had just three weeks to prepare for the state meet, with no season prior to the post-season. Colby’s Bainbridge team has opted out of the co-ed season, and has swum against other opponents throughout the regular girls season in the fall.
“Now, we’ll get to have an actual season,” Colby said.
When the state meets finally arrive, all-America consideration times tend to buzz around the King County Aquatics Center like so many flies. Rarer, usually, are all-America automatic swims.
This past weekend, however, saw 3A and 4A competitors not only set several meet and state records. They also posted a total of 18 all-America automatic times.
Bellevue senior Todd McCarthy led the parade.
McCarthy posted four AAA swims. During both the prelims and finals, the Wolverine senior swam under the all-America automatic qualifying marks in both of his individual events – the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.
In 4A, Federal Way’s Thomas Anderson and Kentridge’s Chase Bublitz each swam AAA times – twice – in the 50 free. Anderson won both times, first with a prelim time of 20.55 seconds and then with a finals swim of 20.19. Bublitz went 20.79 and 20.59, all under the all-America automatic threshold of 20.84.
Who’s going where?
Army – Michael Stanchi, Bellevue
Colorado Mines – Parick Giedeman, Richland
Birmingham Southern – Caleb Riggs, Peninsula
Georgia Tech – Brian Woodbury, Curtis
Harvard – Edward Kim, Eastlake
Minnesota – Chase Bublitz, Kentridge
Tufts – Morgan Ciliv, Bellevue
Utah – Benjamin Scott, Steilacoom
Whitman – Keith Nussbaum, Issaquah
Wisconsin – Todd McCarthy, Bellevue
Boise State – Monica Bottelberghe, Columbia River; Emma Chard, Foss
Bowdoin – Mariah Rawding, White Salmon
Cal Poly SLO – Caitlin Cox, Mercer Island; Sage Speak, Inglemoor
Michigan – Carolyn McCann, Gig Harbor
Missouri S&T – Nate Endebroeck, Mead
New Mexico – Morgan Ginnis, Arlington
Northwestern – Anna Keane, Meadowdale
Pomona – Alex Seidel, Mercer Island
Texas A&M – Lisa Bratton, Richland
USC – Hannah Weiss, Mercer Island (did not swim for school)
Utah – Shayla Archer, Bainbridge; Megan Kawaguchi, Mount Rainier
WSU – Hannah Bruggman, Wenatchee
Wheaton College (Ill.) – Kayla Roberson, Inglemoor
Yale – Heidi VanderWel, Monroe
Know a swimmer who has committed to a college? Email Doug Drowley at email@example.com.