Last year, Woodinville’s fantastic freshman class was nicknamed “Young Guns” after the 1988 western which starred the charismatic cast of 1980’s “Brat Pack” members. But last Thursday at Redmond Pool, those swimmers started to come of age, as they cruised to a 103-80 win over Juanita.
With the win, Woodinville improved to 3-2 on the season. The mere fact the Falcons have a winning record serves as evidence that coach George Sayah is on the right track.
“It was a great day,” Sayah said. “We got off to the great start, which was nice. It sets a tone for us and motivates the guys to get out and swim as hard as they can.”
Right from the start, the Falcons came out firing on all cylinders. The 200 yard medley relay team won easily. The all-sophomore squad consisted of Tim Walsh, Soren Gordon, Jeremy Ralph and Konstantin Damov.
This was immediately followed by dominating victories by Jeffrey Numrych in the 200 yard IM and Tim Walsh in the 200 yard freestyle.
Numrych, a junior, has been discussed in previous articles as an emerging star. But another of Woodinville’s Young Turks is Tim Walsh.
“Tim is a very good swimmer,” Sayah said. “He's mentally very tough. He’s always very cool and collected. One of the things that I’ve always respected about Tim is that every meet we go into, these guys get to give me a preference of the races they want to swim... But every week, Tim says `where do you need me? That’s where I’ll go.’ To have a swimmer so versatile be competitive at all those swim events, makes it such a joy to coach... and I’m really proud of him.”
The Falcons have remaining meets against Lake Washington (Jan 17) and Redmond (Jan 24). Then comes the post season.
YOUNG DIVERS MAKE THEIR MARK
Against Juanita, all three Falcon divers earned personal bests as they combined for eleven points on the day. Sophomore Ethan Greenhaigh finished first, freshman Logan Johnson finished second and freshman Owen Walden came in fifth.
“All three of our divers are brand new divers,” Woodinville coach Debra Shelton said. “They’ve all learned their eleven dives, which is what a diver needs to qualify for Districts and State. I just couldn’t be more proud of them.”
ALL HAIL THE KING
As the Juanita meet concluded, Falcon swimmers carried Paul Kim through the handshake line. The senior captain wore a crown on his head and a big smile on his face. The crown served to recognize him as the lone Falcon senior on Senior Day.
“It’s a testament to how they feel about him,” coach Sayah said. “He’s a leader, he has come a long way with us. I got to coach him for most of my time here. Tonight was a night that I was so proud of him and the impact he has had on the team. He’s not only a leader in the pool but he’s an extremely bright young man. Really competitive in the classroom, active in the school. [He’s part of the] Future Business Leaders of America. He’s going to be an Eagle Scout this summer when he turns eighteen. He’s really setting himself up to do big things in his life. And I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes as he moves on from here. He deserves every bit of joy from that moment today.”
Kim’s teammates were very much in the moment as they celebrated him.
“The guys were really excited,” Sayah said. “It’s a young team and they are very grateful for everything that Paul has done for the program. And they are ready to step up to take on these leadership roles next year”.