Watermark moments

Camas boys swimming team beats East County

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Lucas Ulmer launches into the 100-meter backstroke Wednesday, at LaCamas Swim & Sport. The Camas High School junior finished in first place in this event, the 100 butterfly and as a member of the 200 medley and the 400 freestyle relay teams.

The Papermakers earned their watermarks Wednesday, at LaCamas Swim & Sport.

Kasey Calwell, Lucas Ulmer and John Utas won all four of their events to help the Camas boys beat Union, 155-130, Mountain View, 183-94, Evergreen, 211-36, and Heritage, 212-25.

The victory against Union secures the league championship for the Papermakers. Their second in row since moving up to the 4A classification.

“Some meets you win by a lot. And some meets you have to grind it out,” Calwell said. “Today was one of those grind it out days. We needed every point.”

Camas won nine events and Prairie took the other two. Swimmers from these two schools train and compete together as part of the North County program with Hockinson and Woodland. Evergreen, Heritage, Mountain View and Union are all in the East County program. Which makes this meet huge for bragging rights.

“Competition drives us better than anything else,” Ulmer said. “Union wanted this meet as much as we did. I’m glad our team pushed through and showed who we are as Camas.”

Calwell, Tom Utas, Ulmer and John Utas got things started off right for Camas by winning the 200-meter medley relay with a time of 1 minute, 53.12 seconds. Tom Utas, Xiaguang Yan, Colin Kuhta and John Utas clinched first place in the 200 freestyle relay (1:45.65). Ulmer, Jeff Fadlovich, Yan and Calwell finished first in the 400 freestyle relay (3:54.05).

Calwell also claimed first place in the 200 individual medley (2:13.77) and the 100 breaststroke (1:09.77). Ulmer earned first place in the 100 butterfly (1:02.12) and the 100 backstroke (1:04.88). John Utas took first place in the 50 freestyle (25.03 seconds) and the 100 freestyle (54.5 seconds).

“We came out of this meet as one team unified together,” John Utas said. “The best part about these races is going up against the best swimmers in the area. We all help each other to better our times. It’s great to be able to high five them afterwards and congratulate them.”

Jaron Hamlik grabbed first place for Prairie in the 200 freestyle (2:03.2) and the 400 freestyle (4:24.6). Fadlovich finished second for Camas in the 100 backstroke (1:07.78). Tom Utas took third in the 100 freestyle (59.17) and the 100 breaststroke (1:15.13). Yan earned third in the 50 freestyle (26.62) and the 100 freestyle (1:00.16).

The Papermakers face David Douglas Thursday, at 4 p.m., in Clackamas, Ore. The Southwest Washington Invitational is Saturday, at 10 a.m., at Mark Morris High School, in Longview.

“You talk about the rivalries we have with these schools, but in reality you learn to appreciate the level of competition we have in this area,” Calwell said. “Everybody is working so hard to get to districts and state, and that makes us want to work harder every single day in practice.”

To earn their watermarks, head coach Mike Bemis asks the Papermakers the push the swimmer ahead of them in each lane.

“Together, we push ourselves to the ultimate limits,” Calwell said.