Local Roundup: Aberdeen claims rare boys swimming district championship

Also: Willapa Valley advances to district semis in boys hoops



Aberdeen wins district championship

You know you’ve done something special when coaches and school officials can’t remember the last time it was done, if at all.

That’s the situation the Aberdeen boys swim and dive team found itself in on Saturday after winning the 2A District 4 team championship on at Mark Morris High School in Lonvgview.

“That was definitely a motivation today, was to set a little history and to see the work pay off,” Aberdeen head coach Rob Burns said. “And it did.”

Sparked by a victory in the 4×50 medley relay to open the meet, Aberdeen added an individual winner in the swimming competition to go along with mulitple second-place finishes to place first with 201 points, 12 points better than Hockinson in second.

The Bobcats 200-yard medley relay team of senior Tyler Bates, sophomore Zeke Olson and juniors Jacob Hallak and Denny Linker touched the wall at 1:47.39 to edge out Ridgefield (1:47.97), thanks in large part to Linker’s all-out anchor leg.

“That set the tone,” Burns said of the win. That gave the guys so much motivation and momentum going in.”

Bates followed that up by winning the 100 backstroke with a time of 58.57, the only sub-one minute time of the race.

Bates also placed second in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.73, which would normally be good enough for a victory if not for Fort Vancouver’s Tarik Kurta, who broke a 22-year meet record with a time of 21.67 to win the event.

Coming off his anchor leg in the Bobcats’ medley win, Linker placed second in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:14.50.

“Those two were phenomenal,” Burns said of Bates and Linker. “They really stepped up as veterans today.”

Aberdeen’s 4×100 freestlye relay team of Hallak, Olson, Linker and Bates added points with a second-place finish, touching the wall at 3:38.56.

Those performances, combined with Olson’s victory in the diving competition on Feb. 3, put Aberdeen over the top.

“Some of the guys were really kind of keeping an eye on (the team scores) and I told them, ‘Don’t tell me the scores.’ I didn’t want to jinx it for one, and second, those guys focusing on it were done for the day,” Burns said. “So I told them, ‘Don’t tell anyone else. I want everyone focused on swimming.’ So when we got to the end, they exploded. We blew the roof off when it was announced.”

Burns, who was named the district’s Coach of the Year, deferred to his coaching staff of Anne Eisele, Carly Giles and Jamieson Berney.

“They have been the backbone of the coaching staff. (The award) may have my name on it, but they deserve it just as much if not more,” he said. “I am humbled and very grateful to their help. That award, to me, is just as much an award for them too.”

Advancing to state for Aberdeen are the 200 medley relay team, the 400 freestyle relay team, Bates (100 backstroke, 50 freestyle), Linker (200 IM) and Olson (1-meter dive).

Olson, Hallak and Cole Nylander also earned spots as alternates. Olson is an alternate in the 100 butterfly, Hallak in the 500 freestyle and Nylander in the 100 breaststroke.

The state-championship tournament is set for Thursday through Saturday at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

Team standings

1, Aberdeen 201 points. 2, Hockinson 189. 3, Shelton 157. 4, Fort Vancouver 153. 5, Ridgefield 141. 6, Mark Morris 119. 7, Washougal 87. 8, Seton Catholic 77. 9, Hudson’s Bay 70. 10, Columbia River 62. 11, R.A. Long 41.

Aberdeen results

200-yard medley relay: 1, Aberdeen (Tyler Bates, Zeke Olson, Jacob Hallak, Denny Linker), 1:47.39.

200 freestyle: 9, Cole Nylander, 2:23.53. 10, Tyson Powell, 2:24.27. 13, Kevin Eng, 2:31.77.

200 individual medley: 2, Linker, 2:14.50. 5, Hallak, 2:18.91.

50 freestyle: 2, Bates, 22.73. 17, Cooper Gill, 27.74. 23, Jacob Natwick, 29.11.

1-meter dive: 1, Olson, 203.10.

100 butterfly: 4, Olson, 59.83.

100 freestyle: 5, Linker, 56.22. 16, Natwick, 1:06.49. 18, Preston Williams, 1:21.15.

500 freestyle: 4, Hallak, 5:42.80. 8, Tyson Powell, 6:33.32. 12, Austin Weiss, 7:08.42.

200 freestyle relay: 6, Aberdeen (Gill, Natwick, Weiss, Nylander), 1:47.79.

100 backstroke: 1, Bates, 58.57. 8, Gill, 1:13.58. 17, Eng, 1:26.45.

100 breaststroke: 7, Nylander, 1:09.55.

400 freestyle relay: 2, Aberdeen (Hallak, Olson, Linker, Bates), 3:38.56.


Willapa Valley 64, Taholah 44

Willapa Valley’s run through the 1B District Tournament continued with a 64-44 win over Taholah on Saturday at Taholah High School.

The Vikings (12-11 overall) defeated the Chitwhins (8-13) on the back of a defense that held Taholah to no more than 14 points in any quarter of the game.

“Defensively, we executed our plan well and that led to quality offense,” Valley head coach Derek Rask said.

Willapa Valley held a 31-24 lead at halftime and put the game away with an 18-11 fourth quarter.

Four players scored in double figures for the Vikings, led by sophomore guard Blane King with 19 points.

Valley sophomore guards Brody Ritzman (10 points, 12 rebounds) and Hank Swartz (13 pts., 10 reb.) each recorded double-doubles while junior guard Nathan Fluke had 13 points in the game.

The Vikings went 24-for-55 shooting as a team (44%) and hit 11-of-25 free throws (44%).

“I am really proud of our team. We’ve struggled on the road this season and tonight we were able to put together a solid win away from home,” Rask said. “We need to be able to do that if we want to be successful in these playoffs.”

With the win, Valley faces Naselle in a semifinal game at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in Naselle.

Taholah faces the loser of the Mossyrock-Oakville semifinal in an elmination game at 7 p.m. Friday at Hoquiam High School.

Willapa Valley 16 15 15 18 – 64

Taholah 10 14 9 11 – 44

Scoring: Willapa Valley – King 19, Fluke 14, Swartz 13, Ritzman 10, Lusk 3, Aust 3, Keeton 2.

Other games

1B District 4 Tournament quarterfinal

Mossyrock 57, Columbia Adventist 41