Bainbridge Island’s Kevin Houseman claimed the 100-meter breaststroke Thursday at the PNS Senior Championships
FEDERAL WAY — It wasn’t a perfect swim but for Bainbridge Island Swim Club’s Kevin Houseman the win at the PNS Senior Long Course Swimming Championships was a hard fought-for victory.
Houseman was off his personal best time but touched the wall at the King County Aquatic Center first in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1 minute, 2.74 seconds.
Houseman was one of three swimmers who had prelim times of 1:04 in the morning session and was seeded into the third lane in Thursday’s finals session. The 2019 Bainbridge High graduate and Northwestern University commit took control 75 meters into the race, was first to make the turn, and held off runner-up Jonathan Cook of WEST Aquatics in 1:03.48. BISC’s Brendan Kerns won the B final of the 100 breast in 1:07.69, to finish ninth overall.
Houseman said he wanted to be a bit faster and although he dropped more than a second from his 1:04 prelim time his two swims felt a bit off.
“This meet, I was not as ready or as fast,” he said, but that could be because Houseman is thinking ahead to next week’s U.S. Long Course Nationals in Palo Alto, California.
Carolyn Ackerley, head coach at BISC, said Houseman has become meticulous in everything he does and she’s a big growth in Houseman’s focus.
“He wants to be the best 18 and under performer in the nation,” she said.
Houseman was the lone Kitsap area swimmer to make the A finals in Thursday’s evening session, as a handful of others qualified for finals as well. The meet continues Friday and Saturday.
BISC’s Tyler Stewart, who along with Houseman helped Bainbridge High’s boys swim team win its third straight 3A state team title in February, finished 15th overall in 4:48.98.
Stewart’s time was just off his strong morning swim of 4:48.88 that was four seconds faster and a lifetime best. Stewart was in Oregon last week for a meet and it was a different environment. He was more comfortable at KCAC, a pool he swims regularly.
“I think being at a familiar pool at home helps a lot,” he said. “I was really happy with it. I haven’t dropped significant times since last season so it was nice to get down a few seconds faster.”
Ackerley said she wants to see swimmers who hit a PB repeat or come close to it so it’s not a fluke not a one-hit wonder.
Bainbridge’s 200 free relay finished fifth. James Sanchez of BISC finished 14th in the 100 backstroke in 1:02.91. Andrew Renninger, of Port Orchard, finished 24th in the 100 breast in 1:10.60.
Nathan Ramey of Poulsbo Piranhas Swim Team came from behind early to win the B final of the 200 freestyle in 1:58.36. Ramey, who will swim at the University of Utah, missed time in the pool due to nagging injuries but was pleased with his win and time the put him under two minutes.
“He’s doing good for not being in the water much,” Poulsbo coach Jerry Johnston said.
Isabel Hendryx, a North Kitsap graduate who is headed to swim at the University of Puget Sound in the fall, finished third in the C final of the 100 backstroke in 1:07.79. She was only a 10th off her best time for the long course season despite being out of the pool for a month due to tricep tendinitis. Hendryx took time off to heal and work with a physical therapist before eyeing the PNS meet as her final swim for the Poulsbo Piranhas Swim Team.
“I thought that was pretty good,” Hendryx said with a big smile after her race, adding she wasn’t even sure she would make the finals. Hendryx said the injury was due to overuse. She tends to hyperextends her elbows on her stroke and the combination of hyperextension and pulling caused the tendinitis.
“I just took a really long break with lots of PT and came back,” she said. “I have to swim in college and I have to be ready for it.”
Hendryx is one of nine Kitsap swimmers from the 2019 class that signed to swim in college next season, the largest class ever to do so from West Sound.