Maybe it’s something in the water. Coming off of two of the best seasons in school history, the Lindbergh boys swim and dive team is looking to do even better this year.
The Eagles placed second at districts each of the past two years, the team’s first two times earning hardware at the district meet. Lindbergh also took seventh at state last year, and the team’s best-ever finish at state, fifth, is definitely within reason if this year’s team performs as expected.
“Two years ago looking at this core group of guys, we saw this coming up the pipeline,” said Lindbergh coach Roger Miron. “We have high expectations. If we get a little lucky and everything works our way, we’re looking at another top-two finish, and our goal is to win it.”
Many of the team’s standouts were young last year, and Miron expects them to perform better at state after getting some experience. He said it starts with standout junior Andrew Franco-Munoz.
“State fueled the fire a little bit,” Miron said. “He finally realized what it was all about. It opened his eyes to a lot of things and he’s definitely a lot more determined and focused.”
An improved Franco-Munoz should worry other swimmers in the area. He won his second straight district title in the 50 free last season, breaking the district record along the way. At state, Franco-Munoz placed second in the 100 fly and 10th in the 50 free.
Senior Aaron Jacobsen also returns after taking fourth at state in the 100 fly. Junior AJ Lim finished second at districts and eighth at state in the 200 IM last year. Senior diver Tanner Zornes is back after placing eighth dive at state.
With 33 swimmers, this is the biggest team Miron has had in his 18 years at the school. Fourteen of the swimmers are new, including freshmen Clayton Miller and Dupree Nugent.
“They jumped right into the two fastest lanes without me telling them to,” Miron said of the freshmen. “They have a good energy and they’re making the veterans work harder too.”
Lindbergh opens the season against Interlake Dec. 4.
The Indians placed 10th at state last year behind senior Steve Sholdra. Sholdra won two state titles, both with All-American times. Sholdra and key swimmers Adriel Paine, Aslan DaVault and Tyler Pascual all graduated.
Sophomore Dan Pham is back after making districts in the 200 IM last year. Junior Benny Souriyadeth took 12th in the 50 free at the league meet. Senior Josh Mehlhaff was part of the Indians’ district-qualifying medley relay last year.
Renton opens the season against Steilacoom Dec. 4.
The Highlanders took 21st at state and welcome back several state athletes, including sophomore Nolan Hoover, senior Chris Foth, senior Kyle Nelson, junior Malcolm Mitchell, sophomore Connor Broughton and P.J. Warmenhoven.
Hazen starts the season against Kennedy Dec. 6.