Peter Emmons had a decision to make basketball or swimming?
It was during his freshman year at Timberline, and Emmons was mulling over his options on which sport he was going to pursue.
For quite some time he leaned toward basketball, despite the fact his family tree featured one of the few Blazers in the schools 43-year history to claim a state swimming championship.
But as the winter sports season drew near, Emmons had a change of heart. Not long after, he was being fitted for a swimming cap.
Now, four years later and with the benefit of hindsight, did he make the right decision?
Without question, Emmons says, his answer coming with little hesitation.
Emmons will be making his third consecutive trip to the Class 3A state swimming championships on Friday, competing in the 500 freestyle and two relays the 200 medley and the freestyle.
Remarkably, Emmons success has come even though he didnt swim competitively until he started school at Timberline. By that time many high school swimmers are beginning their second decade in the sport.
How was he able to close the gap?
Sheer hard work, Timberline swimming coach Marie Ratcliff said. He just flat went out there and worked extremely hard to get to where he is at. He proved you didnt have to be a lifelong club swimmer to have success.
Evidence of the payoff from that hard work can be found in Emmons final time in the 500 freestyle at the West Central District III meet last weekend. He finished second in 4 minutes, 58.69 seconds, nearly 14 seconds faster than his previous best.
You just dont see swimmers do that, Ratcliff said. You dont shave 14 seconds off your time this late in the season, not at this level. But he did and the guys on the team are still talking about it.
Along with hard work, Emmons went to the district meet with a new strategy that certainly appears to have worked based on his final time.
I just told myself to relax during the first 100, Emmons said. I usually go out there pretty fast, but this time I went out there relaxed and was able to finish strong.
Emmons goal at the state meet is to break the school-record time of 4:54 in the 500 free.
Should he accomplish that, he will become the second member of his family to own a Timberline record. His mother, Celeste, set the 50 freestyle school record (25.15) while winning the 3A state championship in 1977.
Swimming has always been in his blood, Ratcliff said. It just took a little time for it to surface.
Even though Emmons is focused on the 500 freestyle and breaking the school record, he seems to take more pride in the Blazers two relay events at the state meet.
Emmons will team up with Connor Prescher, Conner Powers and Colton Mahon in the 200 medley relay. He will join Powers, Mahon and Eric Smith in the 200 free relay.
Everything has gone great so far this season, Emmons said. Everyone on the team has worked very hard to get here. I just view it as an honor to be able to close out my four years here by swimming at the state meet for my school.
Boys swimming state swimming and diving championships
When: Friday, Saturday
Where: King County Aquatic Center
Cost: $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors (single-day pass), $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors (two-day pass).
South Sound entrants
River Ridge: Logan Field (200 free, 100 free), Eric Sundberg (500 free, 200 IM).
Capital: Phillip Reece (50 free, 100 butterfly), Collin Mattson (200 free), Huatsern Yeager (100 free), 200 free relay (Ryan Knutson, Mattson, Tom Martinson, Reece), 400 free relay (Gus Brooks, Martinson, Mattson, Yeager).
Olympia: Garrett Carson (100 butterfly, 200 IM), Andrew Wright (100 breaststroke, 200 IM), Tim Ward (200 IM), 200 medley relay (Ward, Wright, Carson, Wes Murry), 200 free relay (Randall Jones, Murry, Alex Erickson, Carson), 400 free relay (Erickson, Coleton Welsheimer, Ward, Wright).
North Thurston: Scott Harn (50 free), Tyler Ridgeway (50 free), Tanner Holmes (diving), Jordan Agtarap (diving), 100 free (Nathan Anderson), Connor Ridgeway (100 breaststroke), 200 medley relay (Anderson, C. Ridgeway, T. Ridgeway, Harn), 200 free relay (Harn, Matthew Brickey, Anderson, T. Ridgeway), 400 free relay (Harn, Brickey, Anderson, T. Ridgeway).
Shelton: Harrison MacAlevy (100 backstroke), John Pentony (diving), Troy Krumpols (diving), 200 medley relay (MacAlevy, Ryder Phelan, JD Clemons, Sean Kealy).
Timberline: Peter Emmons (500 free), 200 medley relay (Emmons, Connor Preschner, Conner Powers, Colton Mahon), 400 free relay (Eric Smith, Powers, Mahon, Emmons).