Mens swim and dive splashes toward state

Allie Bowe, Staff Writer

The days of tanning on the pool deck in the summer are long gone. Mens swim and dive is charting unknown territory: an outdoor pool in the winter.

The team is hoping to finish top five at Districts and top ten at State, with senior captains Nick Klatt, Joel Tinseth and Jacob Winter leading the way.

“Two of our relay teams haven’t made State yet but hopefully they will at KingCos and Districts,” Winter said. “A lot of people have dropped times, and freshmen Jacob Hepp and Will Wick are definitely going to have an impact later on.”

The team has 37 members – the largest mens team Liberty has ever had. Head coach Kris Daughters hopes to do well in the postseason.

“My focus is to have the kids get best times and learn as much as they can in the next three weeks, but I’m really excited for the week after that,” Daughters said.

This season, eight teams in the Crest League had to have meets at the Mary Wayte pool on Mercer Island because of the closure of the other normal practice pool, Julius Boehm pool in Issaquah. Half of the regular season meets didn’t start until 8:30 p.m., causing the team to get home on school nights any time between 11:30 and 12p.m.

The outdoor pool that the team uses for practice has 85 degree water, so the coaches are the ones who suffer through the cold winter weather conditions.

“The water would splash up on the pool deck from the kids doing flip turns and it would freeze,” Daughters said. “I was back about twenty feet from the boys yelling at them about what the next set was, and I was in my little hat and my gloves and my winter coat.”

The team competed at KingCos on February 5-7 and is preparing for the Districts meet this weekend. Klatt placed second in the 200 meter IM with a time of 1:59.48 and third in the 100 meter breast stroke with a lifetime best time of 1:01.23.

Last weekend at KingCos, all of the relay teams qualified for State. The 200 meter medley relay team, which includes seniors Joel Tinseth, Nick Klatt, and Jacob Winter, as well as junior Andy DeVogel, finished in 1:46.52 and is seeded fourth for the District meet. The 400 free relay includes seniors Tinseth, Kyle Larson, Winter and Klatt, and is seeded third for Districts with a time of 3:32.93.

Jordan Carlson is seeded fifth for Districts in diving and is very likely to make State as well. Several swimmers are in the top twelve for the meet but are pushing to make the top seven to qualify for State.