It’s the week of the boys swimming and diving state meet, which, for Logan Rysemus, means lighter workouts in and out of the swimming pool.
It also means focusing his mental energies on the task ahead – the Class 4A state championships Friday and Saturday at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
“The day of the meet, I definitely need to stay calm and stay focused on what I have to do for my team,” said Rysemus, a Stadium High junior and the top-seeded swimmer in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 backstroke.
To clear his head, Rysemus might jump in the pool for a quick 25.
“Being in the water calms me down,” he said. “My club coach (Tommy Hannan of King Aquatic Club) taught me that.”
His high school coach, Dave Baughman, is calmed by having the versatile Rysemus to complement a mostly senior group of swimmers who have been part of steadily improving Stadium’s teams each year since coming to the program as freshmen.
The Tigers can be counted among team contenders for the 4A title this year, along with pre-meet favorite Newport, Kamiak and Issaquah, Baughman said.
“For this group of guys, it’s been a very good four-year progression,” he said of his senior corps.
As freshmen, the Tigers lost two dual meets and placed 12th at state; as sophomores, the team won all its dual meets but was beaten by Gig Harbor at the Narrows League meet, then placed 12th at state; and as juniors, the Tigers again went undefeated in dual meets and edged Gig Harbor for the Narrows title, then earned 12th at state again.
This season, the Tigers did one better. In addition to winning all their dual meets and claiming the Narrows crown, they won the West Central District meet for the first time, behind double individual winner Rysemus and a record-setting 200 medley relay.
“This is a very hard-working group,” Baughman said. “They all had to make the decision along the way, ‘How much am I going to swim, and how good do I want to be?’ They’ve all had to put in the hours to be as good as they are.”
Rysemus won the district’s 200 individual medley in 1:54.42, the state meet’s top-seeded time. At state, he’ll be challenged by Curtis High sophomore Brian Woodbury (1:57.72) and Gig Harbor junior Evan Indahl (1:58.59), the event’s Nos. 2 and 3 seeds.
Rysemus also claimed the district crown in the 100 backstroke in 50.38, the top seed again for the state meet. Baughman expects a good race with Edward Kim, an Eastlake sophomore and the No. 2 backstroke seed with a time of 51.01. Woodbury of Curtis is in the mix, too, as the No. 3 seed (53.48).
“He’s a very good technician,” Baughman said of Rysemus. “He does not rely on his strength … he relies on being a very good technical swimmer. He uses the wall better than any kid I’ve ever had.”
Rysemus has been the individual leader, but high school swimming is a team sport, and Baughman has found pieces to plug into the mix from several directions.
One such piece is Brazilian exchange student Mateus Siquiera. Siquiera will compete individually at state in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke, but Baughman is most appreciative of the way the senior filled the key breaststroke slot in the 200 medley relay.
The medley team won the district title in a meet-record time of 1:38.89, the state’s top-seeded mark, with the lineup of Rysemus (backstroke), Siquiera, senior Taylor Wright (butterfly) and junior captain Drew Lackman (freestyle, the stroke for which he’s the No. 4 individual seed at both 50 and 100 yards).
Stadium’s second-seeded 400 free relay time of 3:18.9 was achieved at the district meet by the quartet of senior Cameron Hartwig (a qualifier in the 200 free and 500 free), Stefan Kubeja (qualifier in the 100 free and 100 back), Lackman and Rysemus.
Diver Will Hanson is the state meet’s No. 6 seed.
State swimming and diving championships
When: Friday and Saturday
Where: King County Aquatic Center, Federal Way
Schedule: Friday – 3A prelims, 9:45 a.m.; 4A prelims, 2:30 p.m.; 2A prelims, 6:30 p.m. Saturday – 3A finals, 9:30 a.m.; 4A finals, 2:15 p.m.; 2A finals, 6:45 p.m.
Tickets: Single-day – $9 adults, $7 students/seniors. Every day – $15 adults, $10 students/seniors.