Eagles swim past Gators

Federal Way swimmers edged Decatur 92-86 in the annual cross-town rivalry.

In one of the closest meets ever between the two schools, the meet came down to one race, where the meet official’s ruling decided the outcome.

In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Decatur’s team (Kevin sweeney, Russell Ricketts, Adam Reinick and Joon Youm) finished in 1:36.42 and Federal Way (Ben Hancock, Eric Weishaar, Bryant Bevers and Chris McColgan) swam the second-fastest time of 1:37.05. But the meet official, Ray Johnson, ruled Federal Way the winner because they apparently touched the wall first.

“It was very, very close,” said Decatur coach Heather Kreier. “We swam a faster time than them, but it came down to a judgment call by the official.”

Eight points go to the race winner and four points to second place.

Had Decatur been awarded the win, it would have given the Gators enough points to beat Federal Way in the team scores.

With the win, the Eagles improve to 2-0 on the season.

“We could have done better, but our goal was to win and we did,” Federal Way coach Jennifer Palkowski said. “I really think this season we’ll be good. We have a lot of go-getters. It’s a good team and they work together. It’s a team effort and we’ll do very well because of it.”

Federal Way’s only other race win was in the 400-yard freestyle relay, but the Eagles earned enough points from second- and third-place finishes.

“I don’t think we got our best times, but we had the depth so that’s why we won,” said Federal Way junior Greg Hiett.

Hiett teamed up with Jackson Dovey, Peter Larsen and Bryant Bevers to win the 400 free relay. Larsen and Bevers are ninth graders.

“It feels great to beat Decatur because they have a lot of potential state swimmers,” Hiett said. “They have a good team this year.”

Decatur was led by state qualifying times by Tyson Sullivan and Joon Youm.

“It feels pretty good to do it,” said Decatur’s Tyson Sullivan. “It’s satisfying. It feels good not having the pressure to make it. Now the pressure is to do well at state.”

Sullivan and Youm also teamed up on the 200-yard medley relay team.

“Our 200 medley relay is doing awesome,” Kreier said. “They can win state.”

Other team members include Kevin Sweeney and Adam Reinick. Only Reinick is a senior — Sullivan, Youm and Sweeney are 11th graders.

“Everybody did well, better than our last meet,” said Decatur junior Joon Youm. “Everybody’s saying their out of shape, but I think we’ll be Ok.”

“We’re going to win a lot more than last year,” Hiett said. “It’s possible for us to win all of them. It’ll be a challenge.”


The Jefferson swimming team lost to Puyallup 105-79, but the Raiders weren’t disappointed with a solid performance against one of the best teams in the league.

“We had a great meet — probably our best so far,” Jefferson senior Jason Hesla said. “We beat Rogers by a lot, but didn’t swim great races. Today it came down to they had more guys. We had some guys missing who could have helped us if they were here. We were getting a lot of first places, but they would get second, third and fourth.”

Hesla and three of his teammates swam state-qualifying times at Thursday’s meet at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.

“It’s a great sign,” said Jefferson coach Kevin Zacher. “They’ve been working hard and they swam well today. I think Puyallup is probably the best team in the district.”

Hesla qualified for state in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:03.08, although he finished second in the race. Other Jefferson swimmers making state times include Andrew Jung in the 100 fly and the 100 back and the 200 medley relay team of Jung, Hesla, Trevor Cray and Matt Diotte.

“That’s pretty good for this early in the season,” Hesla said. “We have guys getting stronger. Some could possibly place at district and make state.”

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