Parker headed to state for CK

Central Kitsap’s Seth Parker competes in the 200-yard medley relay. Parker is going to state in the 100 freestyle and 100 breast.  - Photo by Jesse Beals
Central Kitsap’s Seth Parker competes in the 200-yard medley relay. Parker is going to state in the 100 freestyle and 100 breast.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

TACOMA — It was off to state for one Central Kitsap swimmer Saturday following the West Central District 4A meet at Foss High School, while a young Olympic squad rested its hopes for a qualifier on one pair of shoulders but will not move anyone on.

Seth Parker of the Cougars notched state-qualifying times in the 100-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke to key his team’s seventh-place finish among 15 competitors at the event. Meanwhile, the Trojans looked to Jace Caulkins in the 100 backstroke to carry their hopes, and while Caulkin’s eight-place finish with a time of 1:00.50 gained Oly its only two points of the meet finals, it was not quite enough for a state berth.

Parker’s performance and a few other solid times were very pleasing to CK coach Patti Matthew.

“Both (state-qualifying) times are lifetime bests for him,” Matthew said. “Kyle Bonnell swam very well. Joe Phillips also swam very well for us tonight.”

The two sophomores along with senior Kyle Helm teamed up with Parker on CK’s two relay teams which made it to the event’s second day. The 400 free relay closed out the meet in fine fashion.

“The last relay was phenomenal,” Matthew said. “They had a goal and they beat it out.”

The Cougars took seventh overall in the 400 freestyle relay event but blew their fellow competitors in Heat 1B of the final out of the water. Central Kitsap shaved a 3:37.94 preliminary time down to 3:31.84 on Saturday.

In the 200 medley relay, the Cougars also took seventh with a 1:49.88 to lead off Saturday’s finals, skimming nearly two seconds off the time the team posted in Friday’s preliminaries.

Phillips also swam to a sixth-place in the 100 breast at 1:11.54. Bonnell was eighth in the 200 individual medley at 2:12.91.

For the Trojans, a young team gave it their all and got to experience a packed house and an exciting event in a sport which can often be overlooked.

“Jace did great. All best times and he dropped a second (from his preliminary time),” Trojan coach Paul Henderson said. “We had good swims (Friday), 100 percent best times which you don’t see that often. Just not quite fast enough to make the cut.

“But you come and it’s just great to be a part of an event like this. You cheer on CK and the folks you know and you get a great experience out of it.”

Henderson expects a bright future for his mostly young and inexperienced team.

“The vast majority were novice, first-year swimmers who dropped loads of time,” he said. “They’re a really nice group of guys and I have no complaints. The (new) guys are all telling me they are going to come back next year and if they do, that’s going to be great.”

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