Olympia High School senior Alex Wright spent less than a full season with his teammates on the boys swimming team, but it was clear after the conclusion of Saturday’s Class 4A state swimming and diving championships that short amount of time had a big impact on him.
Wright joined the high school team in December for the first time after swimming solely for his club team his previous three years.
The decision paid off with two state championships at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way, as Wright dominated the finals of both the 200- and 500-yard freestyles.
He finished the 200 in 1:40.53, nearly a second faster than the runner-up, and the 500 in 4:30.21, an All-American Consideration time and more than 8 seconds faster than the nearest competitor.
“I knew coming into tonight that I was going to have to put in my ‘A’ game,” Wright said. “These are some of the fastest kids in the state out there.”
After the meet, Wright shared embraces with many of his teammates and was emotional about the friends he’s made in the past three months.
“I really wanted to make tonight fun for all of my teammates, because they’ve made this year probably the best swimming year of my life,” Wright said.
Wright wasn’t the only Olympia swimmer to join the team for the first time as a senior. He was joined by Everett Werner who earned fourth-place finishes in both the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly.
Both Wright, who will swim at Virginia Tech next season, and Werner, who will swim at Duke, said joining the high school team was a decision they don’t regret.
“It’s been so good watching us grow as a team,” Wright said. “It just made this year so much fun. I’ve definitely become emotionally attached to them, that’s for sure.”
Now that his short high school career has come to an end, Wright is looking forward to writing the next chapter in college.
“I’m hoping it’s a lot like this, because this is the best time of my life that I’ve had over the past three months,” Wright said. “I’m really excited to see what happens at Virginia Tech and see how good I get in the pool.”
Wright and Werner each reached the podium three times Saturday. Olympia’s 400 free relay team of Wright, Werner, Adam Skjervold and Andrew Liu also swam a 3:14.02 in the finals to place seventh.
NORTH THURSTON’S HARN PLACES IN SPRINTS
North Thurston senior Jeffrey Harn ended his high school swimming career on a high note in the 3A meet. He was the runner-up in the 50 free (21.37) and placed third in the 100 free (46.86).
“It tells me that all that hard work over the four years actually paid off,” Harn said following his final race. “It feels good to know that I swam my best today and capped it off.”
Harn was especially pleased to break 47 seconds in the 100 free, and to set personal-best times in both of his individual races.
“I didn’t really come into this hoping and wishing for first,” he said. “I just wanted to get good times, and that’s what I got. I got my PRs today, and I think that’s good to cap off the end of my high school career.”
PROVOST PODIUMS THREE TIMES
River Ridge’s Christian Provost, a senior, reached the podium three times for the Hawks in the 2A meet.
He finished eighth in the 50 free (22.2), and swam a leg of both River Ridge’s 200 and 400 free relays.
The 200 free relay combination of Provost, William McMullen, Triston Anderson and Cato Cannizzo took sixth at 1:32.19. The same group finished eighth in the 400 free relay at 3:26.23.