Emerald Ridge boys swimming coach Dave McMullan wasn’t sure if his team got enough points to beat the Puyallup Vikings on Thursday night.
A few minutes later, he knew that wasn’t the case.
Puyallup edged Emerald Ridge 96-90 in a close South Puget Sound League dual meet at the Rogers High School Aquatic Center.
“We were hoping to edge out Puyallup tonight, but they just got us,” McMullan said. “We have some swimmers who are on the cusp of getting the times they want. I’m quite confident that, as we get a few more meets of competition, that the times are going to continue to drop. Hopefully we can win in our next couple of dual meets. We’re all looking forward to it.”
Jaguars swimmers Lucas Swanson, Jake Heckert and Johnny Tyler already have qualified for the West Central District meet. In addition, the team’s 200-meter medley and 200 freestyle relay teams have qualified for districts.
Puyallup head coach Andrea Stammen was thrilled to see her team come out on top.
“It was a good meet for us,” she said. “We were very evenly matched with Emerald Ridge. It was a close meet. To go against a team that you’re so close to in talent level, especially at the beginning of the season, is good. Everyone swims better, and times improve because our swimmers know what is at stake. It makes it a lot of fun.”
Stammen said Aaron Beck, Jake Hodges and Ian Walsh have qualified for districts in their respective events, and she added the depth on the Vikings’ roster works well in duals.
“We’re just an even-keeled team,” Stammen said. “We do have a few standouts, but overall, the team is very well distributed time-wise, which makes it nice for relays.
“We are able to put together several strong relays instead of one strong one and a couple of weaker ones. To be consistently strong across the board gives us an advantage.”