The Camas High School boys swimming team became state champions by total domination Saturday.
“I’m totally thrilled. We’ve never won one. This trophy has never been south of Tacoma,” said head coach Mike Bemis. “It goes to all the past swimmers. It goes to this group. All the training and camaraderie that’s built up in Clark County. I’m just really happy for this group. They came a long way, and we just had a great year.”
Mark Kim defended his titles in the 200- and 500-meter freestyle races, at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. He also anchored Eric Wu, Jaden Kim and Tom Utas to victory in the 200 freestyle relay. Utas already clinched first place in the 50 freestyle.
“We’re all still kind of in shock and awe. This has been our goal throughout the season, and we finally attained it,” Mark Kim said. “It’s a family. I don’t want to give any credit to myself. It’s all these guys and our coaches. We train every day. We work hard every day. We dream every day. It’s all together.”
By then, just about the time Bemis had been named the Washington 4A Boys Swimming Coach of the Year, the Papermakers led the meet by 88 points.
Camas ended the meet with 302 points, 96 more than second place Skyline.
“Everyone was going 110 percent to make sure we got all those points. It contributed a lot. We ended up becoming really dominant in the team score, and it showed,” Utas said. “I just really appreciate that there are people in Camas who are willing to do this for me and the team and everyone else.”
Wu earned third place in the 200 individual medley and fifth place in the 100 breaststroke. Jaden Kim claimed second place in the 100 butterfly championship race. He also won the 200 free consolation final. Austin Fogel finished first in the 500 free consolation final.
Finn McClone, Wu, Christopher Xia and Utas took third place in the 200 medley relay. McClone, Xia, Jaden Kim and Mark Kim notched third place in the 400 freestyle relay.
Utas clinched third place in the 100 freestyle, followed by McClone and Xia in seventh and eighth. McClone claimed fifth in the 100 backstroke and Jeff Fadlovich finished seventh.
Adaptable swimmer Brian Andrade earned sixth place in the 50 backstroke and seventh place in the 50 freestyle.
“We had so many amazing races. It was really a memorable meet,” Mark Kim said.
“Winning state will probably be the greatest memory, but looking at the entire season as a whole, I cannot forget any of those moments,” Utas said. “I enjoyed every single minute with all these great people.”
Washougal swimmers bring relay to state
Isaiah Ross earned third place in the 200 freestyle and fourth place in the 400 freestyle for Washougal at the 2A state boys swimming meet Saturday, in Federal Way.
The biggest thrill for the Panthers was competing in the 400 freestyle relay at state for the first time Friday. Levi Collins, Landon Schmid, Daniel Brown and Ross shaved about five seconds off their time from the district meet.
“I gave them a time I didn’t think they could get, and sure enough, they came together and did it,” said Bemis, who also coaches the Washougal swimmers. “This has been a great season on many levels. I’m just really proud of this group.”