Woodinville’s biggest District team in years arrived at Mercer Island’s Mary Wayte Pool. The competitions ran last Friday and Saturday evenings. And by Saturday night, there were performances worth celebrating.
Seniors Five Heck and Jack Sell finished third and fifth respectively, in the diving competition. Sophomore Jeffrey Numrych, who qualified for State the week before, finished fourth in the 50 Freestyle. The Falcons 200 medley relay team finished seventh, while the 200 freestyle relay team finished eighth.
The Falcons sent seven swimmers and two divers to Districts. As of this writing, Numrych was the lone Falcon guaranteed a spot at State. But there was the possibility for more, depending on the results from other districts on Sunday February 11.
The most likely to join Numrych at State is Heck. The senior put himself in a good position to wildcard.
“He’s a really positive young man, he had a smile on his face,” Woodinville coach George Sayah said. “As a second year diver, it’s pretty incredible [to be in that position] and speaks to the uniqueness of who he is.”
Meanwhile, Jonas Loeser maintained composure in the face of misfortune. In the 200 freestyle, the senior captain lost his goggles the moment he hit the water.
“He finished 11th in the 200 freestyle,” Sayeh said. “Otherwise would have PR’d... He swam the whole race essentially with the goggles around his throat. But he kept a straight line, it was unbelievable. So hard to do without your goggles. [In that situation], you have a decision to make. You can adjust the goggles but you will lose a lot of time. Or you can fight through it. He’s really an outstanding young man, he got out of the pool with a smile on his face. He smiled and said that’s the way it goes. I was really proud of his effort.”
When Loeser was introduced three weeks earlier at Senior Night, his popularity was obvious.
“He’s very reserved in his personality,” Sayah said. “But he has a lot of respect from his teammates from how hard he works... It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to him when the season ends.”
Sayah also cited freshman Tim Walsh, who finished in 12th place in the 500 freestyle. “He has a really bright future with the Falcons,” Sayah said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing what he’s going to do as we go forward.”
With uncertainty in the air last Saturday night, Sayah was buoyed by his squad’s reaction.
“I announced to the guys that we’re going to have a regular week of practice next week,” Sayah said. “And the guys that don’t even know for sure if they’re going on or not [to State] said `I’m going to be there!’ It really speaks to how together this group is. How together they are and how much they don’t want the season to end. Obviously the season has to end, but we’ve got a bunch of guys willing to train [this] week. So I’m really excited about it.”