State swimming: Deep pool of talent

February 16, 2012 by  

YAKIMA, Wash. — Their experience levels cover a wide spectrum but several area swimmers and divers have a narrow focus this week — placing at the state meet.

Whether it’s Prosser senior Nolan Saam, West Valley freshman Kian Hausken, or a bevy of talented sophomores, local swimmers are heading to the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way confident they can accomplish that goal.

A total of 13 swimmers and divers, and five relay teams will take part Friday and Saturday.


The largest local contingent will be in the Class 2A-1A meet, with 10 individuals and four relays.

West Valley has two individuals and a relay in 3A, and Eisenhower diver Jacob Hino, who ranks second in the Valley this season, will take part in 4A.

Among 2A-1A qualifiers, Prosser’s duo of Saam and Will Burgett in the 100-yard breaststroke, and Naches Valley divers David and Daniel Whitmore have the best opportunities for success.

Burgett, a sophomore, and Saam have posted the top Valley times in the 100 breast and are coming off a 1-2 district finish that Burgett won with a school-record time of 1 minute, 1.45 seconds.

“Will just came into his own this season and Nolan has always been a strong backstroker,” said Prosser coach Scott Whittington, praising the dedication of both. “Nolan and Will don’t miss practice … and they do the work because they want to get better.”


Burgett will also swim the 50 free, where he also holds the school record, and he and Saam will team with Tom Bowen and James Wildman on the 200 medley and 200 free relays, which also set school records this season.

“At district, they swam the best they have all season,” Whittington said. “Hopefully that will continue at state.”

Although just sophomores, the Whitmore twins have already enjoyed success at state, with David taking eighth and Daniel 10th last season, and both appear capable of improving on those showings this week.

David won the district title with an adjusted score of 345 points, which ranks second among 2A-1A divers. Daniel, who will also compete in the 100 butterfly, has a season-best score of 313.10.

“They have a great competitive relationship. They push each other,” said West Valley coach Jake Kessler, with whose team the Whitmores practice. “They’re certainly more driven this year. They come in with high expectations.”

Kessler also anticipates a good showing from his own swimmer Hausken in the 100 backstroke, despite a lack of state experience.

Hausken set the school record in the event in his first meet this season, and has a season-best of 51.31.

“He’s handled the transition from club swimming to high school swimming pretty well,” Kessler said, “and hopefully he’ll shine at state.”

Hausken will join Dalin Olander, Evan Miller and Garrett Rice on the 400 free relay, and diver Brian Pulsipher earned a wild-card entry.

Selah will have a strong contingent with two relays — the 200 medley and 200 free — and Scott Smith (100 free) and Garret Borchert (100 breast) in individual events, and Wapato’s Jeremy Klarich will compete in the 200 individual medley.

The Vikings, seventh in both of those relays last season, will have Smith, Borchert, Nolan Frampton and Carson Petrea swimming on this year’s teams.

“These guys were working hard all year but not getting close to state times until the last two weeks,” Selah coach Ken Yager said. “Since then, everything has clicked.”

Filed under All, Eisenhower, Naches Valley, Prosser, Selah, Swimming (Boys), Wapato, West Valley

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