Aquatic avengers

Camas boys swimmers clinch third district title in four years

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Kevin Li was one of several Papermakers who propelled the Camas boys swimmers to the district championship Saturday, at Kelso High School.

Revenge tasted sweet for the Camas High School boys swimmers Saturday, at Kelso High School.

The Papermakers racked up 368 points, left league champion Mountain View in their wake, and captured their third district championship in the past four years.

The Camas quartet of Ian Ulmer, Jake Yraceburu, Kevin Li and Trent Harimoto clinched first place in the 200-meter medley relay. Harimoto finished first with a time of 1 minute, 44.53 seconds. Robert Short of Mountain View was right behind at 1:44.58.

“It was bang, bang! [Harimoto] beat him on the reach to the wall,” said Camas head coach Mike Bemis.

“After I touched the wall, I looked up and saw everybody jumping up and down and screaming,” Harimoto said. “Swimming is such a tough sport. The hours of work we put in for months comes down to those minutes and seconds at big meets like that.”

Nick Kabel notched first in the 50 and the 100 freestyle races, with times of 22.9 seconds in the 50 free and 50.95 seconds in the 100 free. He also helped the Papermakers claim second in the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay races, with state qualifying times of 1:33.98 in the 200 free relay and 3:32.89 in the 400 free relay.

“Mountain View beat us in league, but we’ll take their winning streak,” Kabel said. “They had something like 10 straight district titles. It feels good to knock them off of their pedestal.”

Yraceburu grabbed first in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.27) and fourth in the 50 freestyle (23.87).

“My breaststroke was awesome,” Yraceburu said. “I definitely want to get top-eight at state. Anything more than that would be even better.”

Ulmer snatched second in the 200 individual medley, with a state qualifying time of 2:11.6. Jonathan Schilling took fourth (2:21.62), Jeffrey Lee followed in fifth (2:23.43), Joseph Wunderlich earned eighth (2:32.37) and Hayden Pinney placed ninth (2:39.77) in the same event.

Connor Sullivan secured third in the 200 freestyle (1:59.56), Seth Albert netted fourth (2:04.59), Griffith King claimed seventh (2:08.08) and Parker Ketring took 12th (2:19.24). Li (1:08.41), King (1:13.04) and Wunderlich (1:18.27) took third, seventh and 11th in the 100 breaststroke.

Nick Panebianco (5:26.86), Sullivan (5:31.14) and Shilling (5:50.61) earned fourth, fifth and sixth in the 500 freestyle. Harimoto (57.38) and Li (58.21) went 4-5 in the 100 butterfly; Joey Stitzel (53.9) and Alastir Graham (54.38) grabbed 5-6 in the 100 freestyle; Ulmer (1:03.21) and Lee (1:06.84) claimed 5-6 in the 100 backstroke.

“Getting all three of our relays to state, and being able to win the medley, capped off a great weekend for us,” Bemis said. “Our kids just keep growing and growing, and it grew right into a first-place finish on Saturday. The kids put in a lot of hard work heading into districts, and their accomplishments showed that.”

The state swimming meets are Friday and Saturday, at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way. The 4A boys are up first at 10 a.m., followed by the 2A boys at 2:30 p.m. and the 3A boys at 6:30 p.m.

“It should be a great experience for all of us, and great motivation for next year,” Yraceburu said.

“That’s one of the things state does for me,” Kabel said. “It makes me motivated.”