Boys swimming: Sequim swims past Port Angeles for season’s first win

It was not quite a once-in-a-generation victory, but not that far off.

A spirited Sequim swim squad posted their first victory of the season last week, and in the process knocked off their rivals from Port Angeles for only the second time in the program’s history.

Thanks to 12 personal-best times and five district meet-qualifying swims, the Wolves topped the visiting Roughriders 98-71 on Jan. 11, the Wolves’ first win over the Riders since Dec. 2, 2003.

See photos from the meet here.

Coming into the meet, Sequim was 1-22 all-time against Port Angeles and had lost the previous 17 meetings with their rivals, including last season’s match-up by 79 points.

It was also Sequim’s first league meet victory since Jan. 20, 2011 (Sequim tied Bremerton in the 2012-2013 season).

“I am really excited and happy with the progress the boys have been making in and out of the water,” Sequim head coach Anita Benitez said. “They are a truly nice and special group.”

All three Sequim relay teams posted district meet-qualifying times, with the 200 medley relay B team (Murray Bingham, Zen Graham, Sean Weber and Liam Payne, in 2:10.07) and the 400 free relay (Bingham, Jax Thatxton, Alex Berikoff and Deven Hibler, in 4:12.64) notching their first postseason berths.

Thaxton shaved off a second from his 100 free time (55.95) as he looks to earn a state meet automatic qualifying time of 51.40.

Others who set personal bests include: Payne in the 100 breaststroke (1:14.27) by two seconds and in the 200 individual medley (2:40.58), also by two seconds; Bingham in the 200 IM (2:45.43) by seven seconds; Berikoff in the 100 free (58.89) by a second; Sam Frymeyer in the 200 free (2:33.93) by seven seconds; Kaleb Needoba in the 200 free (2:17.89) by five seconds; Anthony Thompson-Porrazzo in the 100 butterfly (1:36.44) by 14 seconds; Oscar Wlachenbach in the 500 free (8:45.54) by nine seconds; Blake Boardman in the 500 free (7:11.23) by three seconds, and Jerimiah Mortensen in the 100 breaststroke (1:36.89) by five seconds.

“It’s been an amazing week; the boys are excited and ready to swim against Kingston,” Benitez said.

Looking ahead

Sequim competes at Kingston on Jan. 18. Select Wolves vie for top times at the Swimvitational invite in Silverdale on Jan. 20. Following a league meet at North Kitsap on Jan. 25, Sequim competes at the Divisional Invitational (last chance meet) in Port Angeles on Jan. 30.

Wolves with qualifying marks are in action Feb. 9-10 at the West Central District 3 1A/2A meet in Renton. The class 1A/2A state meet is Feb. 16-17 in Federal Way.

Sequim’s Sean Weber helps Sequim’s 200 medley relay A team get off to a strong start against Port Angeles on Jan. 11. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim’s Sean Weber helps Sequim’s 200 medley relay A team get off to a strong start against Port Angeles on Jan. 11. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim’s Liam Payne competes in the butterfly portion of the 200 individual medley on Jan. 11 as he and the Wolves take on Port Angeles. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim’s Liam Payne competes in the butterfly portion of the 200 individual medley on Jan. 11 as he and the Wolves take on Port Angeles. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim’s Kaleb Needoba churns through the water in the 200 freestyle event on Jan. 11. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim’s Kaleb Needoba churns through the water in the 200 freestyle event on Jan. 11. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim’s Liam Payne competes in the breaststroke portion of the 200 individual medley on Jan. 11 as he and the Wolves take on Port Angeles. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim’s Liam Payne competes in the breaststroke portion of the 200 individual medley on Jan. 11 as he and the Wolves take on Port Angeles. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Zen Graham, pictured here in the third leg of the 200 medley relay, helps the Wolves knock off rival Port Angeles on Jan. 11. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Zen Graham, pictured here in the third leg of the 200 medley relay, helps the Wolves knock off rival Port Angeles on Jan. 11. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

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