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No doubt as Bottelberghe wins swimming state title (video)

Columbia River sophomore posts All-American time in 100 breaststroke

By Erik Gundersen, Columbian Trail Blazers Writer
Published: February 20, 2016, 6:00pm

FEDERAL WAY — Columbia River’s Josh Bottelberghe was the local star of the 3A state meet on Saturday.

He began his day with a third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle and capped it off with a state championship in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Bottelberghe was “pretty sure” that he’d taken first place when he touched the wall, admitting that his performance in the prelims, where his splits weren’t where he’d like, were in his head. Then he looked to the scoreboard at the King County Aquatic Center.

He finished with a time of 56.20 seconds — an All-American automatic time in the 100 breast.

“They were talking behind me about how I didn’t come back as fast as I wanted to in prelims so that kind of got in my head,” Bottelberghe said. “But then I looked up and I felt great.

Interview and highlights of Josh Bottelberghe winning state swim title. Video

“I felt great in the water. Tapered and all that stuff. I was really nervous going into my races. There was some tough competition and definitely some great athletes that I was up against. Everyone was just performing great so I’m really proud to have won.”

Bottelberghe was proud to finish his season on a high note and also relieved.

“I’m definitely happy, I was really nervous going in,” he said.

When asked how it feels to cap off the season with such a good performance, he was understandably at a loss for words.

“It’s kind of great,” he said. “Everybody puts in a tremendous amount of work. Swimming is a tremendous amount of work. It’s hard to look at certain times because certain people work really hard and don’t get the times they want. I don’t have a whole lot to say on that.”

Columbia River freshman Sam Walker finished eighth in the 500 free in the 3A meet with a time of 4:49.87 and after his win, Bottelberghe went out of his way to acknowledge his teammates.

“(It’s) just great to have a team,” he said. “It’s a team sport more than people think.”

Bottelberghe finished with a time of 1:41.43 in the 200-yard freestyle.

Washougal’s Isaiah Ross was the top local finisher in the 2A state meet, finishing fifth in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:51.71.

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Columbian Trail Blazers Writer