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Upon hearing the news the West Central District 1A/2A boys swimming meet had been canceled due to Friday’s snowstorm, the Klahowya Eagles had some decisions to make.

The meet, originally scheduled to take place at Hazen Pool in Renton on Friday and Saturday, was shifted to a one-day meet on Friday. But not even that happened after the Renton School District closed the pool.

What occurred Friday afternoon after practice at the Olympic Aquatic Center by the Eagles was a show of sportsmanship, heart and sacrifice. Klahowya agreed as a team for some of its state-qualified swimmers to give up their spots on a relay team in order to let district qualifiers go to state.

Klahowya senior Mason Heaman shakes hands with Dietrich Meyer of Olympic at the Swimvitational on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at Olympic Aquatic Center. Heaman's swimming career will end at the state meet as the senior has been hampered by injuries that halted his goal of swimming in college. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)
Klahowya senior Mason Heaman shakes hands with Dietrich Meyer of Olympic at the Swimvitational on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at Olympic Aquatic Center. Heaman is a state qualifier who is willing to give up a spot on a relay for a teammate after the district meet was canceled due to snow. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

At first, Klahowya coach Diana Peterson and athletic director Todd Winters began working off an idea of getting the Olympic League teams together to run their own district meet at the aquatic center. The pair teamed with pool manager Patti Matthew, league coaches, and officials’ representative Dave Rubie to quickly pull it together.

However the district nixed the idea, saying it was unfair to the South Puget Sound League 2A teams that wouldn’t have access to a pool as the Renton School District closed on Friday.

The cancelation meant many swimmers saw their season come to an abrupt end.

Peterson said she had a team meeting with her swimmers to tell them the news.

“We started throwing ideas out and all the boys agreed that it was important everybody got to swim,” she said. “It was really amazing to listen to them. I feel so much better about it.”

State-qualified swimmers like Sam Cook were more than willing to pull out of a relay to give the spot to a teammate who would have been swimming at district. Cook, Peterson said, was likely going to swim on all three relays but will back out to allow another teammate the chance to swim at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. The state meet is scheduled for Friday-Saturday, Feb. 15-16.

The Eagles have already qualified the 200-yard medley and 400 freestyle relays. They are strongest in the 200 medley and will leave their top swimmers in that relay but will adjust in the other two, Peterson said. She added it’s a strong possibility the Eagles will be able to wild card their 200 freestyle relay. The WIAA will release the psych sheets for all classifications on Sunday.

“I think it’s going to be more of an experience for them because we will have eight guys,” Peterson said, “we’ve never had eight guys at state. That’s what they’ll remember, ‘All my buddies will be there.’

“I think that will be such a great experience for those who never would have made it to state. It’s a win-win.”

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1 comment

  1. Coach Amy Reply

    Love these fine young men! Way to go, Klahowya!! I’ll be cheering for you at State!