FEDERAL WAY — As he walked off the podium with his teammates following awards for the 400 relay, Parker Dangleis stopped to see where the Hawks finished in the team standings.
When it was announced that Hockinson placed seventh in the Class 2A/1A boys swimming state meet, the senior pumped his fists in celebration.
“We got seventh place as a team this year, and that’s the best we’ve ever done,” Dangleis said.
Dangleis been part a core group of seniors that has helped rebuild the Hockinson boys swimming team.
When Dangleis was a freshman, Hockinson wasn’t focused on a top-10 team finish at state. The Hawks were just trying to field competitive relays.
On Saturday, all three of Hockinson’s relays placed — the 200-yard medley relay was fifth, the 200 freestyle relay was third and the 400 free relay was seventh.
And leading the way in the individual races, Dangleis placed second in the 100 free (47.10 seconds) and third in the 50 free (21.17 seconds).
“It went really well,” Dangleis said. “It was great for me. It was great for the rest of the team. We got huge swims from everybody, and that’s what helped us here.”
Senior Liam Dunn was fifth in the 50 free and sixth in the 100 backstroke. And senior Alex Wendler was eighth in the 100 breaststroke.
Fort Vancouver is also building its swim program, and junior Tarik Kurta played a big role in that.
Kurta placed second in the 50 free (21.53) and fifth in the 100 free (50.06).
“I felt pretty good,” Kurta said of his 50 free swim. “I was just trying to do the best I can, and I got a (personal record). That’s pretty good. … In the 100, I was a little bit tired, but I still went for all of it.”
Kurta said he enjoyed this state meet experience because he had his teammates along. Fort qualified its 400 free relay for state.
“I’m loving it,” he said. “I love my teammates. I’m having a good time.”
And he hopes the Trappers can build off this weekend’s experience.
“Sometimes, swimmers don’t get all the spotlight,” Kurta said. “But something like this will really put us out there I hope.”