Boys swimming/diving: Craig dives to fifth-place finish at state

Sequim’s Mathew Craig capped a stellar prep diving career with another medal at a state meet.

Craig tallied 281.85 points in the preliminaries, semifinals and finals for a fifth-place finish at the state 2A state meet in Federal Way last weekend.

It was Craig’s fourth state meet in as many seasons and third consecutive on the podium (top eight) after placing eighth as a sophomore and fourth last season as a junior.

Craig held third place after preliminaries through seven dives,but slipped to sixth heading into the finals on Feb. 17. There he finished his final three dives well — back-one-somersault straight, a back-one-and-a-half-somersault with half-twist, and a forward two-and-a-half somersault — to edge into fifth place.

Andrew Methner of Port Angeles, with whom Craig competed in recent seasons (Sequim’s home pool has no diving equipment), placed sixth. Nic Malinowski of Steilacoom won the 2A diving title with 360.85 points.

Sequim’s two other entries — the 200 free and 400 free relay squads — didn’t advance into the finals but had strong showings.

The Wolves’ 400 free relay team of Jax Thaxton, Murray Bingham, Kaleb Needoba and Alex Berikoff raced to a 3:44.62 finish in the preliminaries, placing 21st. The effort broke the school record they broke earlier this season.

The 200 free relay team of Thaxton, Needoba, Berikoff and Deven Biehler raced to a 1:40.38 finish for 17th place, missing a spot in the B finals by one place.

With 14 points, Sequim finished 25th in the state 2A team standings. Anacortes placed first with 249 points, followed by Liberty (Renton) with 241 points and Kingston (236.5). Port Angeles was 23rd (23 points).

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