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Olympic's Dietrich Meyer wins 100, 200 freestyle, Central Kitsap's James Sanchez first in 200 IM as swimmers return to pool

BREMERTON — As strange as it might seem, taking time off isn’t helpful for swimmers, particularly a distance swimmer. One would think rest would be the optimal recovery method for someone who trains thousands of yards a week.

Not so. 

“It kind of messes up your feel for the water and makes you feel stiff,” Olympic’s Ryan Burchell said. “But I think it wasn’t too much of a big deal. Everyone had to (deal) with the snow and we’re just coming in having the best attitude.”

Olympic’s Ryan Burchell competes in the 200 freestyle at the Swimvitational Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, at Olympic Aquatic Center in Bremerton. Burchell finished second in the event and won the 500 freestyle to qualify for state. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

Burchell picked up the win in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:03.74, Dietrich Meyer added two wins in the 200 and 100 freestyle as the Trojans pushed Gig Harbor in Saturday’s Swimvitational at the Olympic Aquatic Center.

The Tides successfully defended their team title with Olympic finishing second and Central Kitsap third. Gig Harbor’s William Oates earned swimmer of the meet honors while GH’s Michael Derouin was second and Central’s James Sanchez third.

“They’re a good team and they came prepared to race,” Olympic’s Dietrich Meyer said. “They knew what they were going to do.”

“We know that our high school times are not really representative of how fast we can go,” added Rainer Meyer. 

Olympic’s Rainer Meyer reacts after finishing second in the 50 freestyle at the Swimvitational Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, at Olympic Aquatic Center in Bremerton. Meyer finished fourth.
(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

Gig Harbor opened the meet with the win in the 200 medley relay in 1:37.78 with Kingston finished second (2:00.06) followed by North Kitsap (2:02.76). 

Dietrich Meyer then won the 200 free in a state-qualifying 1:48.81, a time that left the junior feeling good about the event. Burchell finished second in a state time of 1:51.18 as the two were even until Meyer pulled away after the first 100 yards.

“My 200, I was actually pretty happy with that,” he said. “That was a really fun race. I had a great time racing Ryan in that.”

Central’s Sanchez earned the win in the 200 individual medley, touching the wall in a state-qualifying 2:02.87, five seconds faster than runner-up London Coats of Gig Harbor in 2:07.65. 

Olympic’s Dietrich Meyer competes in the 200 freestyle at the Swimvitational Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, at Olympic Aquatic Center in Bremerton. Meyer won the event in 1:48.81.
(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

Gig’s Oates claimed the sprint event, the 50 free, in 21.13 as Derouin was second, 22.10, and Rainer Meyer third, 22.64 as all three qualified for state.

“I didn’t execute quite as well as I wanted to,” he said. “I messed up quite a few things. It was more of a practice swim and I can work on that and get it down for state.”

Meyer’s other individual event, the 100 backstroke, wasn’t up to par.

“I kind of died after the first 25 honestly,” he said. “I was kind of full of lactic acid.”

Kingston’s Rocco Velie had a state time in the 50 free, finishing fourth in 22.95. Velie gave a fist pump when it was announced he’d qualified in that event as he’s trying to gain Ironman status.

It was the sprint that had Velie the most worried but now the pressure is off and he can continue his quest in the next few meets. He still needs to qualify for state in the butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke and freestyle.

Velie said he was looking forward to that swim because he knew it would be fast.

“Give me more incentive to go fast,” he said.

Kingston’s Rocco Velie and Gig Harbor’s William Oates shake hands after competing in the 100 backstroke at the Swimvitational Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, at Olympic Aquatic Center in Bremerton. Velie finished fourth and qualified for state.
(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

Coats won the 100 butterfly in 56.81 as North Kitsap’s Spencer Grubb finished second in 1:01.87. Dietrich Meyer followed with the victory in the 100 free in 49.16 before Burchell took the 500.

Burchell had the lead throughout the race, but knew he had Gig Harbor’s Drew Houston charging hard on his left in the final 10 yards and had to push for the wall to qualify for state.

Burchell stayed in the water an extra few minutes to catch his breath and recover from the lactic acid burn. 

“A lot, quite a bit,” he said when asked if that race, combined with the time off, hurt more than usual.

Burchell only had a few minutes to rest before he was back racing as part of the 200 freestyle relay. The Trojans finished second to Gig Harbor, 1:29.56 to 1:35.62. Both were state times.

James Sanchez of Central Kitsap swims the butterfly leg in the 200 individual medley at the Swimvitational Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, at Olympic Aquatic Center in Bremerton. Sanchez won the event in 2:02.97.
(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

“Back to back events are kind of hard but it’s good training for the big meets like state where we have to do that and we have to go fast,” Burchell said.

Oates gave Gig another individual win in the 100 backstroke in 50.24 as Sanchez of CK was second in 53.93, both state qualifying. Carson Eliasen won the 100 breaststroke for the Tides in 1:01.53 and was followed by NK’s Sean Markow in 1:08.18. Gig Harbor finished the meet with a win in the 400 free relay in 3:25.79 with Olympic coming in second in 3:27.87 and CK third in 3:39.50.

Central Kitsap's Caden Chandler (top), Olympic's Ryan Burchell (middle), and Gig Harbor's Ryan Nagata (bottom) compete in the 400 free relay at the Swimvitational Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, at Olympic Aquatic Center in Bremerton. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

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