With propeller power generated by 11 different relay combinations, the Camas High School boys swimmers captured the Southwest Washington Invitational championship Saturday, at Dick Mealy Memorial Pool in Longview.
The Papermakers racked up 509.5 points to finish ahead of Skyview (487.5), Union (341.5), Aberdeen (323), Mountain View (315) and nine other schools. Hockinson, who swims with Camas in the North County co-op, placed seventh with 208 points.
The Camas 200-meter medley team of Nick Kabel, Jake Yraceburu, Trent Harimoto and Tyler Travis finished in first place with a time of 1 minute, 46.19 seconds. Ian Ulmer, Nick Panebianco, Kevin Li and Joey Stitzel placed fourth for the Papermakers in 1:53.38. Kabel, Harimoto, Conner Sullivan and Travis snatched first in the 200 freestyle relay (1:34.83), and Xianguang Yan, Alastair Graham, Hayden Pinney and Stitzel notched ninth (1:42.13). Travis, Sullivan, Yraceburu and Stitzel earned eighth in the 400 freestyle relay (3:42.17).
“Some kids swam three relays and one individual event to make us stronger,” said head coach Mike Bemis. “That proved to be the difference.”
Individually, Kabel clinched second in the 50 freestyle (23.15 seconds) and eighth in the 100 backstroke (1:02.65). Yraceburu grabbed third in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.75) and seventh in the 200 individual medley (2:22.58). Harimoto finished fourth in the 100 butterfly (1:00.03), Sullivan snatched sixth in the 200 freestyle (1:59.38), Kevin Li claimed sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.87), Travis took eighth in the 100 freestyle (53.91) and Ian Ulmer placed 10th in the 100 backstroke (1:03.62).
Camas looks for redemption against league champion Mountain View at the district meet, Feb. 11 and 12 at Kelso High School.
“Like any contest between two close teams, the team that makes the first mistake is probably going to lose the meet,” Bemis said. “This meet is not going to be won by the guys who place first, second or third, it’s going to be won by the guys who get fourth, fifth in sixth. Every tenth-of-a-second counts.”
Bemis said Camas has 20 swimmers qualified for districts. He hopes to get a few more on board through Wednesday’s sub-district meet, at Propstra Pool in Vancouver Racing begins at 4 p.m.