As fall sports wrap up, two local teams will compete in the high school swimming state championships this weekend in Boise.
Highland’s boys and girls teams will compete at the 5A level, while Century is sending teams to compete at 4A.
The Century boys are defending state champions, and look to make it back-to-back titles in a very tight field.
If things play out as seeded going into the meet, Bishop Kelly would take the title with 170 points, but Century is right behind at 165, and the Diamondbacks are ready to defend their title.
“Definitely last year, they weren’t expecting to win, and they were not, say, seasoned champions,” coach Karen Homstad said. “This year, they’ve got the experience and the maturity and hopefully they can shine when it matters.”
Senior Coleman Sandy is the big name for Century. Sandy is seeded first in both the 50- and 100-meter freestyles.
Gage Fouse, meanwhile, is seeded fourth in the 100 free and first in the 100 back, and sophomore John Kaiser is a very close second in the 200 free.
To pick up the points at the margin that Century might need to top Bishop Kelly, Homstad is looking at junior Matt Clifford, who she hopes might sneak up a few places in the 100 fly and 100 back.
“He’s not going to be one, two or three, but he could be sixth, seventh, eighth, and that’s where those points really add up if you need to need to make up those points,” Homstad said.
For the Century girls, senior Kaitlyn Shelley is seeded first in the 50 free and second in the 100 fly, and Homstad said she wouldn’t be surprised to see her win both.
Senior Analise Weybright (100 back) and sophomore Eloise Sandy (50 free) are also possibilities to get into the top eight in their events and score points for Century.
Neither Highland team has designs on a state title like the Century boys, but the Rams do still have some firepower.
Senior Ben Long is seeded fourth in the 500 free, and Homstad thinks he could move up from there.
“He has a shot at top two for sure,” Homstad said. “He’s also swimming the 50, so he’s swimming the distance and the sprint free. That’s just how he is.”
Sophomore Aliya Jordan, currently seeded 11th in the 50 free, could also break into the top eight there for the Highland girls.
The meet will take place over two days at the West Valley YMCA in Boise, with prelims on Friday and finals on Saturday.