Sequim’s boys swimming squad capped off their regular season — and honored five seniors in their final home meet — with their first win of the season, a 112.5-55.5 rout of Bremerton on Jan. 24.
Alex Berikoff and Kaleb Needoba posted a pair of district meet-qualifying times and won six of the 11 events, sweeping the top three spots in the 100 free and 200 free events.
Needoba cut seven seconds from his 100 free time for a postseason-qualifying mark of 54.86 seconds. In the same race Berikoff posted a district time of 55.20, earning a personal best by nearly two seconds.
Needoba also cut three seconds from his 200 IM time of 2:19.93, also a district time, while Liam Payne improved his district time in the 200 IM to 2:30.59.
Other Sequim personal bests included: Michael Mattern-Hall in the 50 free (by three seconds, to 26.81) and 200 free (by 36 seconds from his 2017-2018 time, to 2:30.72); David Melcer in the 50 free (31.82) and 100 free (by six seconds, to 1:12.30); Liam Braaten in the 100 fly (by 33 seconds, to 2:03.73); Anthony Thompson-Porrazzo in the 100 fly (by eight seconds, to 1:33.33), and Blake Boardman in the 100 backstroke, to 1:10.64.
Noah White swam the 500 for the first time and clocked in at 7:32.
The Wolves tallied six first place finishes: Jax Thaxton in the 50 free (24.41) and 100 backstroke (1:03.56), Deven Biehler in the 200 free (2:16.40) and Needoba in the 100 free, along with the 200 medley and 200 free relays.
Sequim coach Anita Benitez gave kudos to Sequim’s five 12th-graders: Berikoff, Braaten, Mattern-Hall, Payne, Thompson-Porrazzo,
Earning solid marks versus Eagles
Sequim dropped a league meet at 1A Klahowya on Jan. 17, but in the process set 10 individual and 20 relay personal bests.
“We lost to Klawhowya by 20 points, but we had a great meet,” Sequim coach Anita Benitez said.
Highlighting Sequim’s meet was the Wolves’ 200 free relay team of Thaxton, Needoba, Berikoff and Zen Graham, who trimmed a second off their previous best with a 1:40.59 mark, and are now within one second of the school record of 1:39.37 set in 2011.
Graham set two other personal bests, in both the 50 free (25.99) and 100 free (58.28).
Payne also set a pair of personal bests against Klahowya, cutting six seconds from his 500 free to 6:22 and two seconds from 100 breaststroke to 1:12.28, a district qualifying time.
Will Plasch set to personal records, in the 100 breaststroke by four seconds (1:22.96) and the 50 free by two seconds (32.47).
Other Sequim swimmers setting personal bests were White (1:08.84) and Braaten (1:42.14) in the 100 free, Biehler in the 200 free (2:15.88) and Thompson-Porazzo, who cut two seconds from his 100 fly best (1:43.38).
The Wolves were set to compete at the Divisional Invitational (Last Chance Meet) on Jan. 29 in Port Angeles — results were not available at press time.
Qualified swimmers vie for state berths at the West Central District 1A/2Ameet, held Feb. 8-9 at Hazen High School in Renton. Top district finishers and other qualified swimmers and divers move on to the class 1A/2A state meet set for Feb. 15-16 at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way.