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Seals swim to first-place finish in Port Angeles
By GARY GRAY
For The Beachcomber
Four members of the boys relay team from Vashon’s swim team, the Seals, attended the Division 5 February Challenge Meet, Feb. 7 and 8, in Port Angeles.
The boys were part of a larger contingent of swimmers from the team that spent the weekend competing with more than 245 other swimmers in more than 1,500 individuals swims and relays.
The relay team, comprised of David Nguyen, 10, Diego Gray-Wishik, 9, Max Gross-Shader, 9, and Jacob Gold, 8, placed first in the 4x50-yard medley relay and second in the 4x50 freestyle relay. The team lopped off nearly 20 seconds from their previous best time.
Over the course of the meet, the boys each swam in nine or more events. The last event of the Saturday session was the most exciting: Gray-Wishik, Nguyen and Gold were seeded next to one another in the 500 free. They finished in the top three places, respectively.
Gray-Wishik and Nguyen have often swum best times when seeded in the same heat, and this was no exception. The lead between the two never varied more than a few tenths of a second the entire race. On the bell-lap, Gray-Wishik inched up and out-touched Nguyen by 0.39 seconds.
In their other events, Gold finished in first place in the100-yard breast and second in 50 back. He also took second in 25 free for a gold time qualification of 18.93 seconds. He took top-six finishes in all other seven events.
Nguyen swum to six first-place finishes: 50 back and fly, 100 free, back and individual medley and 200 free. He finished second in the 50 breast and lopped off a total of 48.82 seconds from his best times in these events.
Gray-Wishik finished third in the 100 back and 50 fly, fourth in 50 free and breast, fifth in 100 breast and 200 free. Collectively, he lopped off 42.51 seconds from his best times.
Gross-Shader made all silver time qualification swims and finished second in 50 free and 100 breast, third in 50 breast and fourth in 50 fly, 100 back and 200 free.
The impression they left with parents and coaches from other teams was noticeable. Many parents congratulated head coach Lisa MacLeod and assistant coach Randy Turner on their attentiveness, nurturing manner and communication with swimmers and parents before and after races.
— Gary Gray is the president of the Vashon Aquatic Club.