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NK swim team seeks undefeated record
When Timothy Shoop joined the North Kitsap High swim team during his freshman year, he knew the basics of swimming.
As a student who had never participated on a swim team, he began from scratch.
“Basically, I didn’t know how to swim,” Shoop said of his competitive swimming ability.
Now in his senior year of high school and recovering from an injury last year, Shoop has done more than improve his ability to swim.
During the team’s meet against Bremerton High School he qualified for districts in the 100 meter butterfly with a time of 1 minute, 13 seconds and 9 one-hundredths of a second.
Each team member practices every swim stroke, and it was not until this season when the butterfly began to catch hold for him.
“I guess after a few years my body just figured it out,” Shoop said.
That opinion is shared by head coach Greg Braun.
“He’s never qualified before,” Braun said. “It just seems to have clicked.”
Shoop is one of seven athletes on the team qualifying for districts so far in the season.
The other district qualifiers include: Yorick Aban, Bentley Breakey, Ian Christen, Michael Gilman, Daniel Horcajo Sanz and Benjamin Machen. Of those seven swimmers, 13 total district qualifying times were achieved.
Along with these district qualifiers, 19 out of 24 swimmers put up personal bests during the meet against Bremerton. Though these do not reflect the team’s standings, it shows the work the swimmers put in this season.
The team has a record of 4-0 as it prepares to face its last two opponents of the regular season: Port Angeles and Klahowya. About the same time last season, the team had a record of 9-1, with one defeat from Port Angeles.
The reason for the lower record is due to Braun’s decision to cut down on the number of swim meets the team has per week. Traditionally, a team has two meets per week; home and away. Because of school cancelations resulting in less practice time, the team cut down on meets, which gives the swimmers more time to work on .
“In the past we just had to blow through meets,” Braun said. “It gets crazy during the winter with Thanksgiving and winter break.”
Instead of relying on the swimmers to practice during their breaks, Braun decided it was better to hold more practices.
The extra practices are beneficial to both the experienced and inexperienced swimmer.
Every returning swimmer has improved his record, which will be needed with the changes to district finals.
This season, the top four of six swimmers in the final heat will take the district title. In the past all six finalists and one swimmer from the consolation heat made the cut.
“The dynamic of district finals will change dramatically,” Braun said. “There will be a lot more competition to get into that heat.”