3A swimming: Prairie’s Hamlik third in 200 individual medley

By Greg Jayne, Columbian opinion editor

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FEDERAL WAY -- It wasn’t everything Jaron Hamlik hoped for, but he couldn’t complain about his first trip to the state swim meet.

Hamlik, a sophomore at Prairie High School, had two podium finishes Saturday morning at the Class 3A boys swimming and diving meet at the King County Aquatics Center -- third place in the 200-yard individual medley and sixth in the 100 backstroke.

In the medley, Hamlik followed a personal record from Friday’s preliminaries with another PR of 1:53.44.

“Yesterday, my backstroke felt a lot weaker, so I focused on that,” he said. “My freestyle felt not as smooth as I would like. My technique wasn’t holding on.”

But Hamlik managed to stay within shouting distance of Tommy Thach, a freshman from Kennedy Catholic of Burien, who won in 1:50.85.

In the 100 backstroke, Hamlik finished in 53.18 seconds, while winner Cameron Lindsay of Auburn Mountainview posted a 51.29.

“I was hoping for the top eight, hoping to place,” Hamlik said. “I’m happy with my meet overall.”

The swimmers from Lakeside School of Seattle were happy as well, capturing the team title over Mercer Island in a battle that came down to the final event -- the 400 freestyle relay.

Lakeside’s victory in that event gave it 311 points, while Mercer Island finished with 300. Mountain View was eighth with 101 points, while Camas was ninth with 96 points and Prairie tied for 21st with 29.

In other Clark County results:

• The Camas team of Lucas Ulmer, Jake Yraceburu, Nick Kabel, and John Utas finished eighth in the final of the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:40.68.

Mountain View won the consolation final for ninth place overall in 1:40.07.

The Mountain View squad of Kyle Law, Chris Xue, Alexander Suk, and Davin Gong was competing in the first race of the day, and while they clearly finished first in their heat, the clock did not stop after Gong touched the wall.

Meet officials quickly replaced the automatic touch pad in that lane, and Mountain View was awarded the mark recorded by hand-held timers.

• Camas’ Yraceburu tied for fifth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.32.

“My biggest goal was to break one minute,” he said. “I felt pretty good, but I felt stronger yesterday. Today was more about time than place.”

• While Mountain View won the consolation final in the medley relay, it reached the championship final in the 200 relay and the 400 relay through Friday’s qualifying.

The Thunder finished third in the 200 after leading through the first two legs, and placed eighth in the 400.

• Mountain View’s Arash Davani was seventh in the 100 butterfly in 53.39.