Season preview: Lindbergh swim and dive

With a big influx of new talent and a hidden gem, the Lindbergh boys swim and dive team looks for success in the water this season.

The Eagles have eight returning swimmers and 14 new swimmers. It’s the first time Lindbergh coach Roger Miron has had more than 20 swimmers to work with for a few years.

“It’s the perfect size for a team in my eyes,” Miron said. “It’s big enough, but not too big. So all of the kids can get three or four events in every time we swim.”

Lindbergh placed fourth at the Seamount League championships last season behind Mount Rainier, Kennedy and Hazen.

The Eagles had four seniors swim at the state meet last season, Matt Lemke, Kyle House, Jerry Batschi and Ben Whitefield. That foursome made up the 200 medley relay. Lemke also swam in the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle

Junior Yuseng Kim also competed in the 100 breaststroke at state last year. Kim will be a big part of the this year’s team in the sprints and the breaststroke.

Senior Ethan Spencer will lead the Eagle’s distance group this year. Spencer placed second in the 500 freestyle at the all-city meet.

Senior John Cramer won the 100 fly and finished second in the 200 individual medley against Highline. Junior David Batschi won the 200 individual medley at that meet.

The hidden gem for the Eagles is Manuel Roman. Roman won the 50 freestyle at Renton’s all-city meet. His time of 22.98 was nearly two seconds faster than any other swimmer. Roman also won the 100 butterfly and was part of Lindbergh’s winning 200 freestyle relay (along with freshman Adrain Franco, junior Tim Hillar-Catello and Kim).

Roman is a foreign exchange student from Ecuador. Miron knew nothing about him until Roman jumped into the pool the first day of practice and started swimming.

“You could tell right away he has some experience,” Miron said. “He’s a diamond in the rough for us.”

Roman won the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle at the meet against Highline.

Sophomore Joey Hatch is diving for the first time this season. He placed second at both the Highline and the all-city meets.

“It’s impressive how he’s learned 11 dives within just a few weeks,” Miron said.

Lindbergh beat Highline 110-68 Dec. 11 in the first league meet of the season. The Eagles then placed second to Hazen at the all-city meet on Dec. 16. The teams’ meet against Renton on Dec. 18 was postponed because of the snowy weather.