Seahurst slips by Olympic View

Seattle Summer Swim League is about improvement, refinement, accompaniment and, perhaps most importantly, it's about...
Fun!

Gregory Seahurst has experienced a pretty fun change incrementally in its dual meet win total per the last three of the Seattle Summer Swim League seasons, getting one win in 2012, two in 2013 and now three in 2014 after winning its final dual meet of the summer, 385-328, over host Olympic View Tuesday.

Capping off the fun of this evening was when the Gregory Seahurst boys swimmers launched themselves off the starting blocks of the final event of the night, event 72, with the girls combining their event 71 of the 200-yard freestyle relay.

What so fun about that ending?

The boys flew off the blocks in their lane while wearing girls bikini tops and the girls themselves really had fun in their lane, doing things like cannonballs and flops off their blocks -- the senior girls being Abby DeTuerk, Brita Whisler, Kit Bruner and Kayla Loy.

"Yeah," said Mike Fosberg, coach of this rising Gregory Seahurst SSSL team. "The reason we allowed that is because three of our four senior girls on their relay have been swimming with Gregory Seahurst for over 10 years and for them this is there last time in dual meets to swim together. So it was OK to play like this, and the boys joined in."
Did they ever. Complete with DeTuerk trying to pull off Van DeTuerk's top as he was finishing his leg of the relay.

"My brother and I were just messing around," said DeTuerk.

And, why not, after all, that opportunity doesn't come around very often and the 200-plus swimmers watching were all laughing at that and a whole lot of other silliness going on in the water during these senior swimmers' last swim together for SSSL.

The boys joined together in helping each other put on their wares as well as getting help untying the tops from each other.

"Hey, help me get this thing off," said Benji Box after the race.

That was not really a race since none of the relay teams finished because of their complete fun and frolicking in the water. The final score was well decided by then.

And, as Box stood motionless in his marine-blue, tassel-like top, one of his three relay buddies, Preston Allen, Spencer Watson, or Van DeTuerk helped untie his top.

What's this kind of zany-fun thing do for everyone besides them all over the Oympic View pool?

"Makes them want to be seniors," said Whisler.

"When they get older, they get to do fun stuff," said DeTuerk.

These senior swimmers deserved this fun, too, as they have been a part of the year-to-year win improvement of Fosberg's team the last three years and help an awful lot of youngsters to like swimming more.

"We help them get to their events, and encourage them in races," said Bruner.

And let's not forget the excellent swimming that is to come as the top six qualifiers from prelims on July 30 of these 200-plus swimmers from both these two teams will go on to the Southern Division meet against five other teams -- Kent, Lakeridge, Marine Hills, Twin Lakes and Normandy Park -- on July 3. All-City follows on Aug. 5 at Olympic View.

But, for now, let's stay with the fun of swimming that is with Olympic View's team, too. It even has a one-name celebrity on its roster. Well, kind of.

Stella.

"That's my dog," said Ella DeVito, an OV swimmer who of her dog that her swim friends found and adored, getting a group shot picture with one kissing the cute puppy -- a mostly white pit bull with a brown spot over its eye.

Olympic View's Hailey Weiler, age 6, who won the girls 6-and-under 25-yard free in 23.52, liked the puppy and it reminded her of someone she knew.

"I have a cat that acts like a dog," said Weiler.
And?

"I have three siblings," said Weiler.

The conversation turned to "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Weiler's big sister , Kiersten, on the OV team, was in on that one as were a couple other fast swimmers in the water, Ellie Hyde and Rosalinda Tomich. They all won individual races as well as being on relay teams together for firsts.

"I want to be a swimmer and a photographer," said Hyde.

"I want to be a chef and a dentist," said Tomich.

"I want to be an Olympic swimmer," said Kiersten Weiler.

Weiler is who two of the older swimmers, Caden Tongue, 17 and Kristen Lumley, 17 of the OV swim club both mentioned as to being a rising star for their team. Before all the other fun talk began of career wannabes, etc., she was motioned over by Lumley and Tongue.

"What do you want me for?" said Weiler.

"He's wondering about some of our other fast swimmers," said Tongue.
Caden's sister, Mason, chimed in, "Like you.'"

"And, you," shot back Weiler.

"I swim really hard, and do year round swimming," said Weiler, who swims for Whitewater Acquatics with a lot of its swimmers from Des Moines and Burien.

And Mason, she is a swimmer, too, not quite so fast through the water as Weiler, who said she broke 1995 record holder Aubrey Merrell's mark in the backstroke, 36.06 to 36.04 this season. But Mason, who was having fun kidding around, too, with big brother Caden, is a soccer player. And swimming helps Mason keep in shape and work on other muscles that soccer does not benefit as much.

"She plays soccer really well," said big brother Caden.

"I am on the Premier Football Club, PFC," said Mason, speaking of the select soccer association based out of Highline.

And for Caden, how are things going this summer swim season?
"For me, going pretty good," said Caden.

"I'll give him that," said Mason.

"What?," said Caden, as both laughed.

But you're a pretty good swimmer, Caden?

"Very," said Mason, chiming in again, this time not kidding.
And, Mason, can she rise to All-City type status like her big brother?
"No," she said, or was that a "maybe."

One thing's clear, Caden's words:

"If you put in the dedication and work," said Caden, looking at Mason.
Turning away, he then said, "She's tough. She just has to find the motivation."

"I'm trying to get the OV 50 back record," said Caden.

That's held by Jason Lumley at 25.7 and Caden's already gone 27.1, so he's close. And there's more swimming for Caden to focus on breaking that record.

"I am only 17, I have a year left of summer league swimming," said Caden.

The back is a race Caden can take to a top three place at All-City?
"If I push down and really go," said Caden. "I mean keeping my head down and not looking around at where the lane ropes are. In high school swimming is easier because you're looking at a ceiling. In summer league swimming, you're looking at the sky."

And that moves your head around more?

"Yeah," said Caden.

Kristen Lumley is in a very similar boat to Caden Tongue, record-wise, as she, still has one year of swimming left and is chasing after an OV pool record in the girls 15 and over 50 butterfly, having gone a 27.59 needing to go 26.83 to beat Aubrey Merrell's long-standing mark set back in 2000.

And the swimming in general is going good?

"It's just fun stuff, it's going good," said Lumley. "It's fun getting the younger kids pumped up."

That would include one of the OV coaches, Rachel Webster, who works with all these young OV swimmers, trying to coax one of them to do a race.
"Yeah, she is one of my speedy sixers," said Webster.

There were a lot of 6-and-under swimmers on the roster for OV in this dual meet, so Webster has a lot of fun young ones to rise up in this youngest of SSSL age groups.

So, a whole lot of good swimming going on by these swimmers that included Kiersten Weiler helping her relay win the girls 9-10 100-yard medley with Brooke Thomas, Hyde and Tomich in 1:11.96.

Olympic View won the girls 9-10 200-yard free relay in 2:17.75 with Karli Yoshida-Williams taking Thomas' place with the other three the same.

But there were a lot of good close swims, with the closest OV's Evan Gwinn getting the .002 hundredths of a second win, 1:00.13 to 1:00.15, over Gregory Seahurst's Nick Joyal in the boys 13-14 100 free race.
"He was so fast," said Joyal of Gwinn, whose brother, Joey, swims too.
Both push each other and Joyal knew he was in a good race.

"I could tell because everybody was yelling," said Joyal.

Joyal also won the boys 13-14 50 free in 26:59 and Gwinn won the 50 fly in 30.72.

Emily Zacharias, whose been swimming well a long time with her Gregory Seahurst team, making it to All-City consistently along with sister Reva, really likes the direction that her club is going in as a team.
"The team is doing really well," said Zacharias. "We have a good team and we have all gotten closer. We've won three meets this year."

That's a lot more meets than ever before for Zacharias and that's been a long time since she's 13 and been swimming since she was a speedy sixer, by the way .

So...

Just a Gregory Seahurst team with a lot of swimmers helping tally those 385 points, swimming hard together and doing what's asked like Darla Doell. She knows what it takes, besides just learning to have more fun in the water with each other.

"Swim harder and do more laps," said Doell, who just missed first in the 50 breaststroke, 41.20-41.43, to teammate and winner Stephanie Erickson.
Olympic view coach, Stephanie Cummings, says her team is poised to do well in the upcoming Southern Division and All-City meets.

"We focus our energy on the postseason. That is where we shine," said Cummings, whose team won nary a SSSL meet this past season. "We dominate with numbers there."