Bulldog swim teams vying for state trophies

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(Photo by ERIC PLUMMER) Garrett Bamer, pictured at the start of the back stroke earlier in the season, will be part of a Bulldog boys team contending for a state trophy.

SANDPOINT — Eight boys and seven girls, many of whom are entered in four events, will help lead the Bulldog swim teams in search of state trophies today and Saturday at the Idaho State Swimming Championships in Boise.

Leading the boys team will be a pair of strong relays, as Jacob Ballard, Garrett Bamer, Miles Luce and William Dorman will race in the 200 medley relay, while Ballard, Bamer, Luce and Hayden Norling will swim the 200 free relay, both of which should score high points.

If Ballard can score individually in the 200 IM and 100 breast, Bamer in the 50 and 100 free, Luce the 100 free and 100 breast and Norling the 200 and 400 free, the boys team could be in the mix for a 4A title. Norling, Carson Lewis, Izaak Bartlett and Dorman are also in the 200 free relay, and could contend for a top eight scoring spot, as every point will count.

“We’ve got a good chance. They’re all swimming well, but will have to place high,” predicted Bulldog head coach Mike Brosnahan of his boys team. “They better be ahead of the person next to them. The boys can contend. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Senior Payton Bokowy figures to rack up a lot of points in the 50 and 100 free, events she won as a freshman and sophomore, and will team with Ellie McCray, Mikayla Schoening and Kate Bokowy on 200 and 400 free relay teams that could be in contention for state titles as well.

All four swimmers are fast, and it’s the small things that could make all the difference.

“The key to relays is transitions. Get an early send off. You don’t want to be glued to the blocks,” said Brosnahan. “There’s an opportunity to make up time.”

Also in action for the girls team is Kate Bokowy (50 free, 100 free), Catherine Brenner (200 free, 500 free, 200 medley relay), McCray (100 fly, 100 free), Schoening (50 free, 100 free), Sierra Speakman (100 fly, 500 free, 200 medley relay), Sabrina Wilson (100 breast, 200 medley relay) and Kaya Wright (50 free, 200 medley relay).

Both the boys and girls teams will be battling with Bishop Kelly and Wood River for the 4A titles. While the events are all classes combined, team scores are kept separately by classification. More than 450 swimmers will be competing, and Brosnahan loves the mindset of his team heading into the final meet.

“The energy level is up,” he said. “They’re focused on what they do, all the subtle things that make them a little faster.”

Preliminary heats are today at the Boise YMCA, with finals slated for Saturday.

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