Ross and Camas/Washougal coach Mike Bemis’ game plan going into the prelims was to simply hold his placement at second. He did, which set up a sprint in the finals.
“I thought I would just all out race it in the finals and we had a really great race with that one,” Ross said. “He got me by a half a second, which is disappointing, but it was a really great race to have a lot of fun.”
He placed third in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 43.05 seconds.
Ross also placed second in the 100 fly as a junior.
But Ross’ legacy at Washougal will not just be defined by his state finishes. According to Bemis, who began coaching Ross as a freshman when the schools co-opted, Ross has built legitimate momentum in the program.
“He’s been kind of the lead horse for getting a program started in Washogual, showing that they have that kind of skill and leadership going on at that school,” Bemis said. “Now we’re hoping to build off of his and Daniel Brown’s success down there.”
Next, Ross hopes to swim in college. As of now, he’s deciding between Whitworth and Redlands.
But in the meantime, he’s been talking to parents of incoming freshmen with swimming experience and telling them about the opportunity to swim at Washougal.
What started with three boys and three girls has remained steady. This year, Washougal’s roster had eight girls and three boys. Ross would like to see that grow.
“I know there’s a community here that would support it,” Ross said. “Up at Lacamas, they would give lanes, the school has to push for it. I know there’s kids out there that want to do it. I would love to see a big growing program at Washougal.”
The Rest of the All-Region team
Jaden Kim, Camas
Finished third at 4A state in the 100 butterfly with an All-American consideration time of 49.59.
Alex Curran, Battle Ground
Fourth place finish at 4A state in the 100 backstroke with a 51.24 finish.
Val Tikhomirov, Union
Seventh place finish at 4A state in the 100 breaststroke with a 58.84.
Ilia Zablotoviskii, Evergreen
Fourth place 3A state finish in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.
Simon Parish, Columbia River
Placed seventh at 2A state in the 200 individual medley.
David Peddie, Camas
Finished fifth in the 500 free at 4A state with a 4:46.07.