Blue Devil swimmers place 7th at EWU Invite

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WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla High School boys swim team placed seventh at the season-opening Eastern Washington Invitational on Saturday.

The Blue Devils finished with 95 points. Richland took first with a total of 412 points. Hanford followed the Bombers with 283 points.

Wa-Hi coach Katharine Curles said the meet gave some of her kids their first taste of swimming.

“For about a quarter of our team, it was their first meet ever,” Curles said. “I think it’s safe to say that they’ve all caught the swimming bug. It was a blast of a meet and I’m so proud of all of them.”

The relay team of Justin Seymour, Micah Gordon, Bryan Lopez-Vargas and Will Lash finished 10th in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 2:08.52. Fellow Blue Devils Darian Corpus, Joe McKeirnan, Bradley Duprey and Peter Miller followed with a 12th-place finish in 2:08.87.

Tyler Jones led the Blue Devils with a ninth-place finish in the 100 individual medley. Jones finished in 1:00.57 with Corpus trailing him at 1:03.57.

“Both Tyler and Darian have put a lot of work in the off season,” Curles said. “It’s great to see them do so well.”

Jones also led Wa-Hi with a 10th-place finish in the 100 butterfly in 1:00.45. Lopez-Vargas came in 12th with a time of 1:03.28 and Corpus finished 15th in 1:08.03.

Ryan Hammond came in ninth in the 50 backstroke with a time of 39 seconds. Evan Peters followed Hammond with a 17th place finish and Zach Cobb came in 19th.

“All three of these guys had great first meets today,” Curles said.

In the 100 back, Corpus came in 13th in 1:04.11.

Calum Close led the Blue Devils with a third-place finish in the 50 breaststroke in 41.71 seconds. Behind him, AJ Shiffler took home fifth with a time of 43.24 seconds and Martin Ortiz-Duarez finished 11th in 1:00.21.

“(Close) came into the season with a little bit of swimming experience and a lot of excitement for the season. I’m excited to see how he does,” Curles said. “AJ and Martin have virtually no swimming experience and are doing great figuring out their new stroke.”

Close also finished fifth in the 50 freestyle with a time of 30.22 seconds. Hammond finished in seventh place with a time of 30.87 seconds.

Jones took eighth in the 100 freestyle, as he finished in 52.70 seconds.

Miller, Duprey, McKeirnan and Corpus teamed up in the 200 freestyle relay for a 10th place finish in 1:51.56. Curles said the relay team “swam out of their minds”. Hammond, Andrew Feistner, Chris Yaw and Ryder Magnaghi came in 14th with a time of 1:54.60.

The Blue Devils return to the pool with a meet against Cheney on Thursday.

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