What the Heck! Pair of Falcons enjoy time at State

  • Written by Derek Johnson
As Five Heck advanced upon the diving board for the final time, he knew he needed to come up big to make the next cut. Alas, as he launched himself skyward, there was a glitch in technique. He hit the water hard.
DSC 2006Woodinville's Five Heck attempts his final dive at State. (Photo by Derek Johnson) Moments later, his smiling face emerged from the blue bubbling depths. He pumped a fist triumphantly in the air as teammates smiled.
“That’s a dive I honestly messed up more often as the year has gone on,” Heck said. “I try to take all my mistakes in stride. It’s more fun than if I get upset. This was the last time I will ever competitively dive, and I had a lot of fun. That’s what’s most important to me.”
The fact the senior was at State at all was so impressive. He had never swam or dove competitively before last year.
“I would never have even joined without [team manager] Laina Emerick,” Heck said. “She was the one who got me to join. She has been such an inspiration to me and so helpful. Swim has taught me so much and made me so many friendships. I’m sad to see it go.”
“I wouldn’t say I was directly responsible,” Emerick said. “Because he has so much drive. But I had English with him last year. I pushed him toward swimming. I always talked to him about how much fun it was with the coaches and other swimmers... It was super exciting for me to see my friend come to State just one year later after starting.”
Meanwhile on the swimming side of things, Jeffrey Numrych made his first appearance at State. The sophomore is one of the “Young Guns” to lead Woodinville’s up-and-coming program. Going against a strong field in the 50 Freestyle, Numrych finished eighth out of eight swimmers in the heat.
DSC 1962Jeffrey Numrych ascends the starting block. (Photo by Derek Johnson) “It’s the 50 Free, so it’s the shortest event that you can do in swimming,” Numrych said. “So every little piece of it is so important. One little slip up can lose a race. And I had a slight slip on the wall when I made my turn and that slowed me down a little bit. But overall it was a pretty good race, just in being here.”
Numrych looked crestfallen in the moments after his race. But within a few minutes his mood brightened. 
“We have a great program,” Numrych said. “We brought a lot less people than we would like. But we have a lot of young talent. I didn’t think I would make it to State this year, I thought it would be next year. But I dropped a second off my time, which for the fifty is a huge drop. I’m excited for the future. Woodinville swimming is a great group of people and a great program to be involved in.”
Woodinville coach George Sayah expressed pride in his young sophomore.
“It’s a win getting here to State,” Sayah said. “That’s how we think about it. Once we get here, we want to have some fun and swim really hard. For him being a tenth grader, this is just a beginning. He has another two years. This year he got to feel what it’s like. And now for the next two years he can focus on where he wants to end up and finish his high school career. He has a lot to look forward to.”


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