Youm sets sights on Junior Nationals

Just because Joon Youm won two individual events, helped his relay team to a championship, and was named Swimmer of the Year (for the second year in a row) at last weekend’s state swimming meet doesn’t mean the Decatur junior can sit back and rest.

Youm is training for sectionals in two weeks, then Junior Nationals at the end of March in Long Beach, Calif.

He’s trying to make national cut in the 100-yard breaststroke, the 200 IM and the 200 breaststroke.

He said he’ll feel less pressure at junior nationals than at the state meet because nationals is more about times and not about what place a swimmer gets.

“I’m excited and more confident now,” Youm said. “I don’t have any pressure trying to win it. The high school meets are all about winning it. Other meets are just trying to race my times. It’d be good winning, but times are more important.”

Youm is close. Thee national cut for the 100 breaststroke is 56.49 seconds. Youm swam a 57.43 at state, but feels he can still do better.  

“I only rested for three or four days (before state),” Youm said. “The next meet I’m going to get some more rest to make the cuts in the times. This year I trained harder and needed more rest than last year.”

More state finishers

Also at last weekend’s state meet, Federal Way’s 200-medley relay team of Greg Hiett, Jackson Dovey, Chris McColgan and Peter Larsen finished 17th with a time of 1:46.3.

McColgan and Larsen are ninth-graders competing with the high school team.

Members of Jefferson’s 400-yard freestyle relay team represented each high school class. The team, consisting of ninth-grader Danny Smith, sophomore Matt Diotte, junior Chris Bunting and senior Micah Long, finished 19th at state in 3:33.58.

Federal Way’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of Hiett, Dovey, Larsen and Alan Hunter finished 18th in 1:35.05.

Hiett, a junior, also competed individually in the 100 breaststroke, in which he placed 20th in 1:04.35

Larsen competed individually in the 100-yard butterfly. He finished 12th in 56.08 — the highest place of a ninth grader in the event.

Another ninth-grader, Eric Johnson, swam for Decatur and qualified for state in the 200-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle race. Johnson was sick during the state meet and finished 22nd in the 200 in 1:54.91, a little more than three seconds slower than his qualifying time of 1:51.32. Johnson had to drop out of the 500 because of his illness, but should be one to watch next season.

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