Shorthanded Wa-Hi swimmers drop two dual meets

Jonathon Klem's two first places can't prevent the dual meet losses to Wenatchee and Eastmont.

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WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi’s boys swim team received a pair of short-handed thumpings at the hands of Wenatchee and Eastmont in head-to-head dual swimming matches here Saturday at Paul Harvey Pool at Whitman College. The Blue Devils fell to Wenatchee 114-55 and to Eastmont 110-59.

Jonathon Klem turned in the best individual performance for the Blue Devils, taking first in both the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard fly.

Klem finished the 200 freestyle in a personal best time of 1:56.85 — three seconds faster than runner-up Gabriel Stefanides of Wenatchee, and four seconds ahead of third-place finisher Will Bergstrom of Wa-Hi.

Klem won the 100-yard fly in 58.43 — only .09 seconds ahead of the touch of Wenatchee’s Kelly Kurz.

"The 100 fly was a great race," Wa-Hi swim coach Brad Daly said. "Klem came from behind in the second 50. He had a technically excellent finish. In the end, he just out-touched his opponent."

Merrick Calder owned the best overall time in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:05.89. That was a second-and-a-half faster than Wenatchee’s Aaron Henry and 11 seconds up on third-place Wa-Hi swimmer Zach Staudenmeier.

"Calder was out really, really fast, then faded a bit in the second 50," Daly said.

Other top individuals included:

Will Bergstrom’s 55.02 in the 100-yard freestyle, the third best time overall, but good for second in both duals;

Zach Staudenmeier’s 200 yard Individual Medley fifth-place finish (2:39.44), good for third in both duels;

Max Troin’s 1:12.62 sixth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke, good for third place against Wenatchee.

"We obviously got beat fairly handily by both Wenatchee and Eastmont. They’re both pretty strong teams," Daly said. "We’re missing about seven out of our 20 guys. Four were at a band trip, one was taking the SAT, and another — a foreign exchange student — had other obligations.

"Our main objective was to see who could make district qualifying times (that hadn’t yet)," he said. "Four swims out of four different guys did just that — Michael Jones in the 200 freestyle, Jesse Anderson in the 200 freestyle, Zach Staudenmeier in the 200 IM, and Max Troin in the 100 backstroke.

"We’re a tired team right now, but I think we’re going to really bust some moves at the district meet," Daly said.

Wa-Hi, 2-5 in conference, closes out the regular season next week in Yakima against West Valley.

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