Seattle Times: Shorewood will try to snap Mercer Island's streak of five consecutive Class 3A titles | Prep swimming

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mackey Hopen stretches before a swim. Photo by Wayne Pridemore
From our NewsPartner The Seattle Times, this story about the Shorewood boys' swim team.  Shorewood and Mercer Island are expected to be the two top teams in the State 3A championship meet in February. Mercer Island has won the 3A championship the last five years, but Shorewood, which won the 4A championship last year is now 3A.

Seattle Times staff reporter

1 Defending 4A champ Shorewood drops to 3A: Every time Mackey Hopen thinks about Shorewood's 2010 Class 4A boys swimming state title it pushes him to work harder.

The senior isn't content to settle for one.

"It kind of really gave me a drive in the offseason really to work a lot harder and come back and do better than I did last year," said Hopen, who would like to improve on his second-place finish in the 100 breaststroke

Heading into last season, the Thunderbirds never expected to end the year with a title. But the experience senior Thor Stenfjord, the defending champion in the 100 freestyle, described as "a pleasant surprise" has produced more desire than satisfaction as Shorewood swimmers work toward the 2011 state meet.

Coach Scott Kelley said he sees that focus at each practice and every meet as the Thunderbirds try and build on what they accomplished.

"There's a certain amount of confidence and satisfaction in what they did last year, but still a huge amount of drive toward getting to that plateau again," Kelley said.

Shorewood, however, will not defend its title in 4A. The Thunderbirds dropped down to 3A and must now try to unseat Mercer Island.

"They're not feeling like it's going to be handed to them at all," said Kelley, who graduated from Mercer Island in 1991. "It's something they're going to work toward, but Mercer Island is kind of a juggernaut."

So, like last year, Shorewood isn't putting any more pressure on itself than necessary.

"It's our goal to make it to state again, and if we do really well, like we did last year, then maybe we'll have a chance at beating Mercer Island," said Eddie Young, who won the 4A diving title.

The rest of the prep swimming story here


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