9th place feels pretty good to N. Thurston

Contributing writerFebruary 17, 2013 

Federal Way – After putting North Thurston back on the boys swimming map with a third-place finish at state last year while competing as a Class 2A school, the Rams followed up with another strong performance Saturday at the state swimming and diving championships at the King County Aquatic Center.

North Thurston notched its best finish in school history while competing in 3A, finishing ninth with 88 points. Lakeside of Seattle (274 points) edged Mercer Island for the 3A title.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic,” North Thurston coach Jak Ayres said with a smile.

North Thurston’s 200-meter freestyle relay team of Scott Harn, Matthew Brickey, Nathan Anderson and Tyler Ridgeway broke the school record, finishing with a time of 1 minute, 29.82 seconds en route to a seventh place finish.

The team also clocked a 3:19.48 finish in the 400 free relay, good for sixth place, which also broke another school record.

“There’s some big names they knocked out of the record books today,” Ayres said. “Because we didn’t have a lot of individual competitors, our relays really boosted us up.”

North Thurston also got a boost from its diving contingent, placing three divers in the top 16. Tanner Holmes (334.50 points) finished fourth, Jordan Agtarap (284.05) was seventh and David Wolf (264.75) finished 12th.

In 2A, Capital’s Phillip Reece (58.29) finished seventh in the 100 butterfly, and the 200 free relay team finished eighth (1:37.58).


Britni Atwell of Vancouver’s Heritage High became the first gymnast in state history to win an event four consecutive years. And then she did it again.

Atwell, who won the all-around competition on Friday, won with a soaring vault that scored her 9.825 points Saturday night at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall. That was historic in that Atwell had won the vault the past three years.

She picked up a second-place finish on the beam and third on the uneven bars, and then closed out the Class 4A individual championships with a winning score of 9.7 on the floor exercise, an event she also won the last three years.

Six gymnasts had won an event three times, but no one had won four.

“I’m overwhelmed,” she said. “I didn’t know that I was chasing being the one to take it all four years – especially in two different events. And to defend my title, it’s like, it’s still mine. It’s amazing.”

Capital sophomore Keira Lathrop was the South Sound’s lone representative. She won a medal for her fifth-place finish on the vault (9.475), which she said is her favorite because “it’s quick – and I have a lot of power.” She also finished 11th on the beam.

“I just wanted to come in, hit my routines and hopefully just do better than (Friday),” she said. “I had a blast.”

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