The Olympia High School boys swimming team finished second at the 10th annual South Sound Relays with senior captains Andrew Liu and Adam Skjervold helping the Bears win a meet-best five events.

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Held at Rogers High School in Puyallup on January 18, Olympia, which had won the team title the past two years, placed in the top 3 in 9 out of the 11 relay events to finish with 881 total points. Puyallup, last year’s runner-up, finished first in the standings with 913 points, giving the Vikings their second South Sound Relays title overall and their first since 2017.

Steilacoom finished third with 838, while Rogers (595) and Timberline (554) placed fourth and fifth, respectively. River Ridge was seventh among the nine participating squads with 425 points.

The Bears, who edged Puyallup, 86-84, during a 4A South Puget Sound meet on December 12, opened the event by winning the 4×100 medley relay with the team of Liu, Skjervold, Lucas Qiu and Jake Seabaugh. The Olympia team covered the distance in 3 minutes, 57.92 seconds. Puyallup was second in 3:59.14.

South Sound Relays
Timberline competed at the South Sound Relays for the first time in several years, finishing fifth overall as a team. Photo credit: Grant Clark

The Vikings, however, immediately wrestled the lead in the point standings away from the Bears in the very next event as Puyallup finished first and second in the 2×200 freestyle. The Vikings would win three more events and place second in five other relays to keep a comfortable point advantage the rest of the meet.

Liu was a part of four winning relay teams. He joined up with Qiu, a sophomore, to win the 2×100 medley. The duo won the event in 2:05.15 – trimming nearly 5 seconds off their seed time.

Liu also teamed up with Seabaugh to win two events. After winning the 2×100 freestyle in 1:42.36, they finished first in the 2×100 backstroke in 2:04.31, narrowly defeating the Puyallup team, which stopped the clock in 2:04.70.

South Sound Relays Olympia High School
The Bears had won the event the last two years, but were second to Puyallup at the 2020 all-relay meet. Photo credit: Grant Clark

The Bears also scored a win in the 2×100 butterfly with Skjervold and senior Ryan McIntosh claiming first in 2:00.28.

Olympia’s win in the 2×100 backstroke pulled the Bears within eight points of the Vikings in the team standings, but Puyallup would respond by placing third in the 2×100 breaststroke and winning the 400 freestyle relay to wrap up the championship.

Olympia received third-place finishes in the 400 freestyle, 800 freestyle and 2×50 freestyle, and a second place in the 200 freestyle relay with the team of Skjervold, Qiu, Ethan Castro and Nicholas Walker finishing the race in 1:40.67 – less than a second behind winner Puyallup (1:39.77).

“It’s been a great day,” Olympia coach Mel Smith said. “We knew coming in it was going to be between us, Puyallup and Steilacoom, and that’s how it played out. We’ve seen a lot of times drop today.”

South Sound Relays
Olympia swimmers cheer on a teammate during one of the events at the South Sound Relays. Photo credit: Grant Clark

Steilacoom (2×200 breaststroke) and Lakes (2×50 freestyle) were the only schools outside of Olympia and Puyallup to win an event.

Timberline, which had not competed at the meet in several years, posted top five finishes in five events, highlighted by two second-place finishes. The Blazers were second in the 800 freestyle with the team of Cormac Wiley, Dustin Miclette, Caleb Linggi and Nicholas Waltermeyer registering a time of 8:55.32.

Timberline closed out the day finishing a game second to Puyallup in the 400 freestyle. Caleb Brooks, Waltermeyer, Linggi and Austin Ferris covered the event in 3:41.66 – a nine second improvement from their seed time.

The Blazers also received a third in the 400 medley relay from the team of Linggi, Solomon Scanlan, Brooks and Ferris.

South Sound Relays
Olympia won a meet-best five events at the South Sound Relays. Photo credit: Grant Clark

River Ridge’s team of Ryan Ruan, Alan Ly, Jerrod Deboma and Jameson Shockley finished fourth in the 800 freestyle, joining winner Puyallup, runner-up Timberline and Olympia as the only squads to post sub 9-minute times in the event. The Hawks covered the distance in 8:59.06.

Ruan, Hunter Nashleanas, Matthew Owen and Deboma also gave River Ridge a fourth-place finish in the 200 freestyle (1:43).

Olympia will return to the Rogers High School pool on February 1 for the 4A South Puget Sound championships with the top placers there advancing to the 4A West Central District meet at the Curtis Aquatic Center February 6-8.

Timberline will compete in the 3A South Sound Conference championships February 1 at Mount Tahoma High School, while River Ridge participates in the 2A SPSL meet February 7-8 at Lindbergh High School.

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