High School Sports

What you need to know about the 4A, 3A, 2A high school boys swimming and diving state championships

Olympia High School freshman Tony Ponomarev during boys swim practice at The Evergreen State College pool in Olympia, Wash. on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019.
Olympia High School freshman Tony Ponomarev during boys swim practice at The Evergreen State College pool in Olympia, Wash. on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. toverman@theolympian.com


Friday-Saturday, King County Aquatic Center, Federal Way


Single day — $11 adults, $8 students/senior citizens. Full tournament — $20 adults, $14 students/senior citizens


Friday — 2A/1A preliminaries from 9:45-11:45 a.m.; 3A prelims from 2-4 p.m.; 4A prelims from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Saturday — 2A finals from 9:15-11:45 a.m.; 3A finals from 2:10-4:40 p.m.; 4A finals from 7-9:30 p.m.


4A — Camas

3A — Bainbridge

2A — Anacortes


4A — Skyler Younkin, Hanford, sr. (100 fly)

3A — William Waite, Bainbridge, sr. (200 IM); Kiern Liberman, Bainbridge, jr. (diving); James Richardson, Mercer Island, sr. (100 fly, 100 back); Jude Wenker, Bainbridge, jr. (100 free); Kevin Houseman, Bainbridge, sr. (100 breast)

2A — Tim Gallagher, Kingston, sr. (200 IM, 100 back); Dietrich Meyer, Olympic, soph. (50 free, 100 free); Emmett Moore, Anacortes, sr. (100 fly); Ross Burchell, Olympic, sr. (500 free)


The following swimmers and divers are seeded in the top eight in their respective events.

4A — Curtis (fourth, 200 medley relay; second, 200 free relay; second, 400 free relay); Patrick Keough, Curtis, fr. (first, 200 free; second, 100 fly); Tony Ponomarev, Olympia, fr. (fourth, 200 IM; sixth, 100 free); Nathan Ainsworth, Tahoma, jr. (sixth, 50 free); Andrew Adam, Auburn Riverside, jr. (second, diving); Brett Jenkins, Mount Rainier, sr. (sixth, diving); Jorge Melendez, Curtis, sr. (seventh, 100 fly); Harrison Maguire, Curtis, sr. (seventh, 100 free); Matthew Dingess, Curtis, soph. (third, 500 free); Aaron Samms, Curtis, jr. (fifth, 100 back).

3A — Gig Harbor (seventh, 200 medley relay; fourth, 200 free relay); Gabriel Nickels, Stadium, jr. (first, 200 free; first, 500 free); Andrew Sexton, Gig Harbor, soph. (second, 200 free; fifth, 100 free); Robert Thomasberg, Central Kitsap, sr. (seventh, 200 free); Billy Oates, Gig Harbor, fr. (third, 50 free; third, 100 fly); Dorien Simon, Lakes, sr. (eighth, diving); James Sanchez, Central Kitsap, jr. (seventh, 100 fly; seventh, 100 back); Bryce Soriano, Stadium, jr. (third, 100 breast); Elijah Grinstead, Wilson, jr. (seventh, 100 breast); Stadium (eighth, 400 free relay).

2A — Fife (eighth, 200 medley relay); Chris Kim, Fife, sr. (seventh, 100 fly; fifth, 100 breast).


4A — The team race appears open. Each individual event has a top-seeded competitor from a different school, and with only one individual champion returning, most events are up for grabs. Curtis, Moses Lake and Skyline have top-five seeds in each of the three relays, and Kamiak and Wenatchee have top-five seeds in two, which could prove the biggest difference in points. ... Curtis’ chances to become the first 4A West Central District team to win it all since Stadium in 2012 could hinge on the program’s performances in the relays. The Vikings are a top-four seed in all three, and the No. 2 seed in both the 200 free and 400 free relays — and they aren’t far off of the top seed by time in any of those races. Curtis, which won the WCD meet by more than 300 points two weeks ago, also takes top-eight seeds in five individual events to the state meet. Freshman Patrick Keough paces a deep group after breaking former Wilson and LSU standout Evan Martinec’s 20-year old district record in the 100 fly. Keough was also just off of a district record in the 200 free, set by former Olympian Nathan Adrian. ... Glacier Peak junior Matthew King, who won both sprints last year and recently committed to Indiana, would have been the most decorated individual returner, but isn’t competing in high school swimming this season. Hanford senior Skyler Younkin, a Purdue commit, is back to defend his 100 fly title, and is again the top seed in the event.

3A — Bainbridge beat out district rival Mercer Island last year to notch back-to-back team championships by a 357-340 edge. Bellevue was a very distant third. The Spartans, who won their fourth consecutive 3A Metro League championship last month, are the favorite to repeat, and enter with the top seed in six events — including two relays. Bainbridge didn’t miss the podium in a single event last season, won two of the three relays, and sent a top-three finisher to the podium in every individual event but one. The most impressive part? None of those top contenders graduated. Bainbridge has everyone from its defending-champion 200 medley and 400 free relays back, and returns four individual champions. ... Mercer Island senior James Richardson, an MIT commit, is back to defend his 100 fly and 100 back titles. The Islanders are also the top seed in the 200 free relay, which they won last year. ... In the South Sound, Stadium junior Gabriel Nickels is the top seed in the 200 free and 500 free. And, Gig Harbor has a shot at the podium as a team with top-eight seeds in six events, paced by freshman Billy Oates, who is the No. 3 seed in the 50 free and 100 fly.

2A — Anacortes has won three of the past four 2A team titles, and returns Seattle U commit Emmett Moore, who won the 100 fly a year ago, but a handful of schools could unseat the Seahawks. Kingston broke up Anacortes’ string of wins in 2017, and the Buccaneers could have another championship team brewing in the West Sound. The program won an undefeated 2A Olympic League title, returns Hawaii commit Tim Gallagher — the defending champion in the 200 IM and 100 back — and boasts the top seed in five individual events and the 200 medley relay. ... Olympic, which lost only to Kingston and defending 3A champion Bainbridge in dual meets, is another threat with defending champions Dietrich Meyer (50 free, 100 free) and Ross Burchell (500 free) back. ... From the east, Pullman — which won its district title by 300 points — is another contender, carrying the top seed in the 200 free and 400 free relays, and two individual events.

Lauren Smith: 360-754-5473, @smithlm12

Lauren Smith covers the Seattle Mariners for The News Tribune. She previously covered high school sports at TNT and The Olympian, beginning in 2015. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and Emerald Ridge High School.