Andrew Adam is reaching higher for gold. Chase Murphy just wants another shot.
Both are among the standout Auburn-area divers and swimmers preparing to make a big splash as the high school boys season approaches more competitive waters.
Adam, only a sophomore at Auburn Riverside, is in a class by himself regionally as he targets a return to the Class 4A state 1-meter diving finals to finish the job. Murphy, one of a dandy dozen of versatile swimmers at Auburn Mountainview, vows to finish strong in one of his specialties, the butterfly, at the state meet, where a year ago the flu reduced his performance.
As a freshman, the Ravens’ Adam settled for second place behind his friend, South Kitsap’s Jason Gleason, who posted the eighth-best 11-dive score in state history. Gleason has gone on to compete at Eastern Michigan University.
The springboard at the state stage, the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way, is to Adam’s liking.
“It’s probably the best board in the whole area,” said Adam, after comfortably winning his event at a North Puget Sound League Olympic Division dual meet against Auburn Mountainview at the Auburn Pool last Thursday, Jan. 18.
Adam owns personal bests of 282 (six-dive score) and 446 (11 dives) but understands that it takes many factors to pull off a peak performance.
“You need to be patient on the board … there’s a lot of little things that have to go perfectly right to make the perfect dive,” said Adam, a year-round diver with club experience and a gymnastics background. “I’ve been working hard. … I’m doing my best, but you can always go higher.”
Added Ravens coach Mike Van Eaton: “He’s looked phenomenal. He’s looking really strong.
“It’s neat that he still gets that polish here at the high school level, but it’s even better … when he gives a great example to others and boosts the program. Having a great example helps in the learning aspect for all the new, first-year divers coming out (for the program).”
Murphy, meanwhile, is one of the Lions’ senior leaders with postseason goals, which he hopes includes entering the state blocks for the 100-yard butterfly, or possibly, the crowded 200 individual medley.
Last year a flu-weakened Murphy managed to compete in the 100 fly at state but not to his satisfaction. Dehydrated, he needed emergency care.
“I wish I had a flu game like Michael Jordan, but that wasn’t the case,” said Murphy, alluding to the former Chicago Bulls great’s performance in the 1997 NBA Finals. “I gave it my best shot.”
Murphy’s best is 56.21 seconds in the fly.
A leader by encouraging words and fast-lane times in the pool, Murphy hopes some of his teammates can get through league and district tests to qualify for state. Auburn Mountainview has done more with less this season. The boys as individuals have had to compete in as many as four events at dual meets. Newcomers have been thrust into varsity heats.
“We’re doing well for 12 guys. You really couldn’t ask for much more from the team … a lot of heart, lot of effort put forth,” Murphy said.
“We are a team but we’re also a family,” he said. “You swim for each other, you win for each other. We’re a tight-knit group of guys. … It’s a good group of guys.”
Numbers are not so much a problem at Auburn Riverside. The Ravens, bristling with 14 seniors and depth, won the math and the match against the Lions.
The Ravens went one-two in the decisive 400 freestyle relay to take the dual, 96-86. The foursome of Ben Geisen, Iain Jahns, Ethan Celver and Tommy Marchant drove home the win in 3 minutes, 56.60 seconds.
In doing so, many of the Ravens delivered personal-best times.
“We have a lot of guys coming on strong right toward the end,” Van Eaton said. “We had a lot of 5, 10, 15 seconds off (personal standards) today.”
Sprinters Celver (50 free, 24.57), Jahns (100 free, 56.19) shone for the Ravens with wins and joined Marchant and Ries MacNeill to take the 200 freestyle relay (1:38.44).
For the Lions, Murphy captured the 100 butterfly (57.22) and the 200 IM (2:26.78) and joined Jack Bush, Gregor Sach and Eric Scofield to take the 200 medley relay (1:54.56)
Dominic Nelson doubled in the 200 free (2:07.17) and 500 free (5:44.85). Bush won the 100 back (1:10.99) and Sach claimed the 100 breaststroke (1:13.86).