McKiernan, Gordon lead Blue Devils to 9th at swim meet

 Wa-Hi swimmer Eddie Kaminsky comes up for air in a spot of sunlight filtering through windows during the boy's 100-yard butterfly Saturday, December 1, 2012 at the Walla Walla Pentathalon swim meet at Whitman College's Harvey Pool in Walla Walla.

Wa-Hi swimmer Eddie Kaminsky comes up for air in a spot of sunlight filtering through windows during the boy's 100-yard butterfly Saturday, December 1, 2012 at the Walla Walla Pentathalon swim meet at Whitman College's Harvey Pool in Walla Walla. Photo by Matthew Zimmerman Banderas.

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WALLA WALLA — Joe McKeirnan and Micah Gordon led Wa-Hi to a ninth-place finish Saturday at the Eastern Washington Invitational boys swim meet.

McKeirnan and Gordon finished three-four in the 50-yard Breaststroke. West Valley’s Austen Dean won in 34.56 seconds and McKeirnan came home in 37.72 with Gordon touching right behind in 37.77.

The meet drew 180 swimmers from 15 teams. Mid-Columbia Conference foe Richland won the team title with 499 points.

“Overall, we had some great swims,” Blue Devil coach Katharine Curles said. “We treated the invitational as a training meet and as an opportunity to learn what our athletes know and where they are at in their swimming at this time.”

Gordon, a freshman, added a fifth-place finish in the 50 butterfly with a 32.54 swim. McKeirnan, a sophomore, swam to sixth in the 50 backstroke in a time of 35.25 and freshman Eric Cho finished sixth in 35.50.

Cole Braman, finished eighth in the 50 free with a time of 28.89 to lead all Blue Devils.

Other top-20 finishers for the Blue Devils included the 200 free relay team; the 200 individual medley relay teams; individuals Bryan Lopez-Vargas, Ryder Magnaghi, Eddie Kaminsky, and George Lopez-Vargas in the 100 fly; Bryan Lopez-Vargas and Kaminsky in the 100 back; Alex Blea in the 50 fly; and Wiley Townsend in the 100 free.

The 200 free relay team of McKeirnan, Adan Gutierrez, Tyler Jacobson, and Cho came home 11th in 1:52.94. The 200 IM Relay team of Justin Seymour, Jacobson, Magnaghi, Sam Callan finished 12th in 2:16.20 and was followed to the wall by the Blue Devil quartet of Eddie Kaminsky, Gordon, Cho, and Alex Blea as they touched 13th in 2:17.25. Bryan Lopez-Vargas swam a 1:06.65 to finish 13th in the 100 Fly. Magnaghi came home 17th, Kaminsky finished 19th, and George Lopez-Vargas got 20th.

Bryan Lopez-Vargas got 17th in the 100 back with a swim of 1:10.86 and Kaminsky earned a 20th-place finish. Blea swam a 38.69 in the 50 fly to nab 13th. Townsend came home 19th in 57.58 in the 100 free.

“In the end, a lot of our returning swimmers were pleasantly surprised to find themselves around last year’s times,” Curles added. “A lot of our new swimmers were very pleased with their swims. There were a lot of happy surprises for all of us.”

The Blue Devils host Cheney Saturday at 1 p.m. here at the Harvey Pool on the Whitman campus.

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