Hazen boys swim and dive team has best finish since 2015

Highlanders finished tied for seventh with Mercer Island.

Inside the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, screams and shouts from parents, students and fans echoed around the pool, creating a special environment for the WIAA State Swim and Dive championships Feb. 15-17.

The Highlanders of Hazen High School turned things around this year at the state tournament and placed tied for seventh with KingCo rival Mercer Island.

Hazen boys swim and dive has waited a long time to have a performance at state like that, scoring 131 points, a team high since 2015.

The Highlanders T-7 finish is the highest finish since that 2015 season, when the Highlanders placed fourth.

Hazen got off to a really good start on Feb. 15 with sophomore Trevor Sooy taking fifth in the dive competition. Sooy dived exactly how he was projected — he entered as the fifth ranked diver at 3A. Through the preliminary dives and semifinal dives, Sooy stood at fifth place.

Owen Gerking and Andrew Nguyen shined under the bright lights at the aquatic center on both days. Gerking placed seventh in the 200 freestyle, and tenth in the 100-butterfly. Nguyen sprinted his way to a double podium on day three. He placed fifth in the 50-freestyle and third in the 100-freestyle, which tied Hazen’s best finish in any event. Dylan Doan also recorded points in the 100-freestyle, finishing 13th.

On the relay side, Hazen performed well, scoring points in all three races. Hazen placed sixth in the 400 relay, 14th in the 200-medley relay and third in the 200-freestyle relay.

In the two adaptive races, Hazen’s Josh Goulter finished third in the freestyle and fourth in the backstroke.

The coaches of the Highlanders also got some recognition as well. Lynn Gerking was named the WIACA 3A Boys Swimming Coach of the Year. Head Dive Coach Bryce Jensen was also named coach of the year.