Noise doesn’t bother Shelton’s divers. They actually prefer it.
On their final day of practice at the Shelton High School pool, the diving trio of seniors Jon Netzel and Troy Krumpols and junior Zach Netzel were anything but silent.
“It’s our last practice ever here for me and Jon, so we want to have fun going out,” Krumpols said. “Go out with a bang. We want to take our dives seriously at the same time, but when we’re waiting around, we’re trying to have fun. Goof off a little, make it a good time before we go.”
Where the three are going is the Class 3A state swimming and diving championships on Friday and Saturday at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way for the 1-meter diving competition.
It’s a place where they’ve all been before.
The Netzel brothers have each reached the state meet twice — Jon took third last season and holds Shelton’s school record at 419.35 — and this will be Krumpols’ fourth trip.
“We’ve been lucky,” Shelton coach Rob Phelan said. “It’s kept going year after year, where they just keep pulling kids in. The last six to seven years has been fabulous building upon (the program) where, now, they kind of expect to go.”
This season, all three divers are in position to podium. Jon is the No. 5 seed with a score of 410.90, Krumpols the No. 6 seed at 385.05 and Zach the No. 8 seed at 347.15.
The only other team sending three divers to state is Snohomish’s Glacier Peak, which is home to top-seeded Connor May (522.85).
“They kind of feed off of one another,” Phelan said. “One guy learns a dive, and then another guy will learn the dive, and they try to one up each other a little bit.”
The trio was plenty in sync Wednesday. Each took turns springing into the pool with a chorus of dance, rap and pop music blaring from a portable speaker in the background.
The favorite for all three divers?
Dillon Francis and DJ Snake’s “Get Low.”
“It’s the bass drop,” Jon said. “It builds up and the bass drops and you get super pumped and ready to dive.”
Not necessarily Phelan’s choice, but at least his team is consistent.
“It would not be my first choice, not at all,” he said. “I live with it.”
But even Phelan joined in and sang a few bars of Eminem’s “The Monster.”
“We like the noise,” Krumpols said. “On the first day of state, it will be really nice because swimming is going on at the exact same time.”
Saturday will be a little different — swimming will break for the diving final.
“When finals come around, it’s going to be dead silent,” Krumpols said. “Everyone’s going to be focused on you, and it’s going to be a lot more pressure than it would the first day.”
Even for three- and four-time state competitors, the nerves aren’t completely gone.
“No, not really,” Zach said. “All you think about is, ‘Don’t mess up. I’ve got to do this dive, I can do this.’ There are always going to be nerves.”
Perhaps the trio will drown out the silence with the music in their heads.
WIAA STATE BOYS SWIMMING/DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Where: King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way
Schedule: Friday — 2A prelims begin at 9:45 a.m. 3A prelims begin at 2 p.m. 4A prelims begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday — 2A finals begin at 9:30 a.m. 3A finals begin at 2:15 p.m. 4A finals begin at 7 p.m.
2015 team results: 2A — 1. Anacortes; 2. Sehome; 3. Archbishop Murphy. 3A — 1. Bellevue; 2. Mercer Island; 3. Lakeside (Seattle); 14. Shelton; 20. North Thurston; 24. Capital. 4A — 1. Newport (Bellevue); 2. Camas; 3. Kamiak; 29. Olympia.
The skinny: 2A — River Ridge senior Ethan Stephens is ranked fifth in a field of 25 in the 1-meter diving competition, with a seeding score of 358.55. Lindbergh’s Derek Anderson is the No. 1 seed at 426.75.
3A – Two sophomores (Justin Ridgeway and Jeffrey Harn) and two seniors (Lucas Johnson and Wyatt Couey) make up North Thurston’s 200-yard medley relay. The Rams are seeded seventh in the race with a time of 1:42.64. Shelton has three podium chasers competing in 1-meter diving. Seniors Jon Netzel (No. 5 seed) and Troy Kumpols (No. 6) both placed in the top eight last year, while junior Zach Netzel (No. 8) placed 12th.
4A – Olympia has three relay teams in position to advance to the finals. The 200 medley relay combination of Andrew Wright, Matthew Kamimura, Eli Champagne and Zach Walker is ranked No. 6 in the state with a seed time of 1:40.92 — 2.25 seconds off of top-ranked Newport. The 200 free relay (Kamimura, Wright, Walker, James Waltz) is seeded seventh and the 400 free relay (Champagne, Alex Hougan, Ben Matthews, Waltz) is seeded 13th. Wright is a No. 8 seed in the 100 breast and No. 9 seed in the 200 IM.