The Peninsula High School boys swim team hasn’t had a swimmer in the Class 3A state swim meet the past two seasons. Senior Jacob Huffer and the Seahawks want to change that this season.
“We really want to do it this season,” Huffer said. “Most of the older guys want to do that. We want to go to state. To do that in my senior year, that’d be really cool.”
Huffer, who swims the 100-yard backstroke and the backstroke on the 200-yard medley relay, was about 3.5 seconds off the state-qualifying backstroke time a season ago. He’s hoping he can make up that difference by the end of the season.
“I mainly work on my starts and turns,” Huffer said. “That’s what takes the most time and it’s kind of what I’m bad at because it takes a lot of technique. I have to work on that the most.”
Huffer said he’s working toward a place in the state meet and knows the road will be tough.
“I think I could do it,” he said. “I think it’ll come down to the end of the season. I’m pretty confident I can do it.”
Longtime PHS swim coach Craig Brown said getting swimmers to the state meet is tough when few, if any, swimmers on the team are year-round club swimmers.
“The times that needed to go to state, these are times that — you have to be a club swimmer to be able to do that,” Brown said. “Right now, we really don’t have solid club swimmers. We’ve got great kids, great attitudes. They like to work. But a lot of them are just starting out, which is exciting. We’re hoping we can get somebody to state. That’s our goal.”
Jonathan Brewster, who swims a variety of events, and juniors Austin Small and Chase Michalke form the core group of upperclassmen for the Seahawks.
“This is a good group of kids,” Brown said. “They get better every day. It’s just that experience — we don’t have that experience that other teams have.”
Peninsula is 1-1 on the year, dropping a close dual-meet to North Thurston, 105-80. The Seahawks toppled Mount Tahoma on the road easily, 146-32. Keeping it close against a strong North Thurston squad gave the Seahawks some confidence going forward.
“It looks like we could be pretty dominant,” Huffer said. “I definitely want more than half of our team to make it to districts. I’d like a swimmer or two to make it to state this year. I’d like to tie North Thurston for league champs or tie them for the league conference.”