Wolves prep for postseason at league divisional meet

More than a dozen Sequim athletes posted personal-best times and scores at the Olympic League Divisional Invitational in Port Angeles Feb. 5.

"Some of our swimmers and divers performed very well and others performed OK," Sequim coach Linda Bingler said.

A total of 18 swimmers and divers - nearly the entire

Sequim team - are slated to compete at the West Central District meet this coming weekend at Hazen High School in Renton.

Only two of Sequim's athletes, Noe Calderon and Parker Steichen, had met the district qualifying standards but more than a dozen earned "wild card" berths this weekend to help fill out the district event lineup.

Bingler said the district times were based loosely upon last year's state 2A/3A times. But 2A schools have their own state meet this season and a lot of the district times were not realistic for 2A swimmers, Bingler said, encouraging meet officials to add a number of "wild card entries."

At the divisional meet in Port Angeles, Steichen dropped 12 seconds off his 100 backstroke time and is showing promise as a 200 individual medley swimmer, Bingler said. Steichen also cut five seconds from his 500 free time and finished third, edging nearer the district meet-qualifying time.

Tanner Estep shed 11 seconds from his 500 free best time.

"(Tanner) has become a great distance swimmer and I have high hopes for him for next year if he can manage to fit some swimming into his busy off-season schedule," Bingler said.

Chris Merrikin was the surprise of the day, the Sequim coach said, after Merrikin posted an improvement of one minute, 30 seconds in his 500 free event since December.

"This is Chris' third year on the team and his swimming has finally 'clicked on,'" Bingler said.

Max Flock took third in diving behind a pair of Port Angeles divers with 189.65 points, a personal best.

Thomas Moores took third in a pair of events: the 50 free and 100 fly.

Joe Dapcevich broke the 30-second mark in the 50 free (29.86) for the first time.

Among other Sequim swimmers who improved their times were: Derek Morgan in the 200 free (by 16 seconds), Ettore Scudo in the 200 IM (by six seconds) and 100 free (by four seconds), Duncan Skinner in the 50 free (by two seconds) and 100 breast (by two seconds), Alex Skinner in the 100 back (by five seconds), Moores in the 100 fly (by one second), Michael Okamoto in the 100 free (by 10 seconds), and Tanner Estep in the 500 free (by 11 seconds).

"(Scudo) really swam well in all events today," Bingler said. "Considering he was a novice swimmer at the beginning of the season, he has taken great strides of improvement."

Sequim's 400 free relay A squad (Calderon, Moores, Steichen and Alex Skinner) posted a best time but missed the district-qualifying mark by a little more than two seconds. Sequim's 400 free relay C team (Dapcevich, Merrikin, Jared Lindorfer and Duncan Skinner) topped the squad's previous best by nine seconds.

Calderon finished third in the 100 free while Alex Skinner was third in the 200 free.

"All the athletes were pleased to receive recognition of their efforts with awards," Bingler said. "Overall, we are very happy with the team's performance today and look forward to districts next weekend at Hazen."

The West Central District meet is slated for Feb. 13-14. Swimmers and divers qualify for the state meet (Feb. 20-21 in Federal Way) in two ways: by earning a state-qualifying time or by winning an event at the district meet.

Michael Dashiell can be reached at miked@sequim

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