Cats splash past Spartans

Last year Jason Hunter went to the 4A state swim meet in the 200-meter freestyle, but had to wait until he placed at the district meet.

This year there will be no wait.

Hunter received his first ever state-qualifying time of 1:02.48 in the 100 butterfly Thursday night, in Oak Harbor’s 129-47 rout of Stanwood.

“Hunter’s swim was a breakthrough for him,” head coach Neil Romney said. “It was thrilling.”

His personal record time was over six seconds faster than his time in the 100 butterfly last year and almost a half second under the state qualifying time.

Although Hunter qualified for state, he didn’t win the event. Teammate Kyle Ciminski, received his third state qualifying mark of 1:02.42 in the 100 butterfly, narrowly hanging on for victory.

“That was fun because those two really made each other’s race,” Romney said.

Other big wins came from Brian Hall in the 100 and 200 freestyles, Frankie Lovell in 1-meter diving, Evan Wilson in the 500 freestyle and Matt Bender in the 100 backstroke.

Among the top finishes, Romney is also pleased with the abundance of individual bests the Oak Harbor swimmers had.

“We had a lot of personal records last night,” he said.

Of those who had significant improvements include Wilson, who moved up seven seconds in the 500 freestyle and Aaron Ridle and Cameron Spence, who both had drops in the 200 medley relay.

Oak Harbor has its next meet at 5 p.m., at home against first place Marysville-Pilchuck, Tuesday, Jan. 20.

“That will be a telling meet in many ways,” Romney said. “Marysville traditionally beats us. I think what it is going to come down to in that meet is our second and third swimmers.”

Oak Harbor 129, Stanwood 47

200 medley relay-Oak Harbor (Ridle, Luttrell, Hunter, Hall) 2:05.86; 200 freestyle-Hall (OH) 2:24.72; 200 individual medley-Ciminski (OH) 2:23.09; 50 freestyle-Winderbaum (S) 29.34; Diving-Lovell (OH) 155.90; 100 butterfly-Ciminski (OH) 1:02.43; 100 freestyle-Hall (OH) 1:03.40; 500 freestyle-Wilson (OH) 6:07.23; 200 freestyle relay-Stanwood (Winderbaum, Storbeck, Land, Charles) 2:04.80; 100 backstroke-Bender (OH) 1:15.52; 100 breaststroke-Hunter (OH) 1:18.22; 400 freestyle relay-Oak Harbor (Ciminski, Hall, Bender, Spence) 4:05.13.

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