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Look out districts, here come the Fab Four
Perhaps theres too much chlorine in the pool these days at the North Kitsap Community Pool. Or maybe the North Kitsap/Kingston (NKK) swimmers have been hanging out with each other too much and are starting to share personalities. Whichever the case, its working for the 400-relay team of Josh Despard, Justin Roulanaitis, Ryan Eggers and Tyler Rencher, who are going into next weeks district meet with a qualifying time of 4:02, according to head coach Greg Braun. The swimmers, however, swear their time was flat-out 4:00.
Hitting the qualification time at the Jan. 11 Foss meet was a bit of an emotional experience for the relay team, said anchor swimmer Despard. He hit the wall, looked up at the clock and raised his arms in a triumphant pose, aiming his celebration at a long-standing friendly antagonist in the crowd. This particular antagonist was assistant swim coach Norene Reeves daughter, whod been taunting the team all season for various reasons.
Foss swimmers, who came in at 3:44, thought the relay team was crazy. Theyre not crazy, theyre just interesting. Well aware theyd come in second place, the NKK swimmers were thoroughly stoked to qualify for districts.
Eggers exuberance was well matched by the other three.
Feeding off each others frenzy has become habit with the relay team.
When I see all the other guys working real hard, it makes me want to work hard, too, Eggers said. They all readily admitted to using each other to pace themselves during practices a habit consisting of equal parts ego and drive.
Ill look over my shoulder in the pool to see where they are, Roulanaitis said.
Come the district swim meet on Jan. 24, theyll have a simple strategy in mind to make the cut for regionals.
Swim fast, go until it hurts, then and then go a little more, Roulanaitis said.
For those who havent yet qualified for districts, there are some trying times ahead, Braun said.
Next week the NKK swimmers head to Central Kitsap for a league meet on Jan. 22, followed by the divisional meet on Jan. 24. For swimmers who havent yet qualified for districts, the divisional meet is their final opportunity.