Boise High continues swimming rule
Idaho held its first official state swimming championship Saturday, and the team on top of the podium came as no surprise.
Boise won its sixth straight girls team title and fourth consecutive boys team title. Both teams took different routes to extend their dynasties.
The Boise girls didn’t win a single individual or relay race, instead relying on the depth of their 16 state qualifiers. The boys sent only seven swimmers to the state meet but won two individual titles and two relays to finish atop the standings.
“This year is definitely special,” Boise sophomore Nathan Quarterman said. “You wouldn’t think a team of seven guys (could do it). And half of them aren’t even club swimmers. They are just kids that like to swim.
“We worked really hard throughout the year, and it paid off.”
Quarterman led the Boise boys, touching the wall first in the 100-yard backstroke (50.34 seconds) and 200 freestyle (1:42.78). He also swam the anchor leg on the Braves’ 400 freestyle relay (3:24.04), which won a state championship.
The Idaho High School Activities Association sanctioned swimming as an official sport last fall, but Saturday marked the first state-sponsored meet in Idaho history. With it, the Boise boys and girls unfurled their first IHSAA state championship banners on the stairs above the pool at the West Boise YMCA.
“Boise High has supported us pretty well,” coach Jeff Erwin said. “They hang banners like all the sports. But it’s not the United Dairymen banners. Hopefully, we get a little recognition and we can get a few more boys out.”
Treasure Valley schools dominated the 5A state meet, winning 20 of the 22 contested races, including all six relays. Multiple individual champs included Centennial’s Maya Knutson (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle), Timberline’s Eva Suggs (100 backstroke, 100 freestyle) and Capital’s Paul Shutt (100 freestyle, 200 individual medley).
The Southern Idaho Conference took the top four sports in the girls team race with Centennial finishing second, Mountain View third and Eagle fourth. The league also swept the top three spots in the boys race, with Eagle second and Centennial third.
But the highlight of the day came in the boys 50 freestyle, when Eagle’s Luke Heikka and Jack Severson tied for first at 22.97 seconds.
Bishop Kelly swept the 4A boys and girls state titles last year. But the Knights came up just short of repeating, taking second in both team races.
The boys fell 0.5 points shy of a fourth straight title as Century edged the Knights 186-185.5. Idaho Falls topped Bishop Kelly 181-160 in the girls race.
“I’m really proud of the kids and where they placed,” Bishop Kelly co-coach Deb Hill said.
“It is a heartbreak to lose by half a point, but that’s the way sports are, right? We’ll just try to come back and get it next year.”
Sophomore Gabe Machado led Bishop Kelly to four gold medals, winning individual titles in the 100-yard backstroke (52.41) and 500 freestyle (4:38.05). He also swam the lead leg of the 200 medley (1:43.36) and the anchor leg of the 400 freestyle (3:28.59).
Freshman Jake Martinez won the 200 freestyle (1:53.62) and swam on the 200 medley and 400 freestyle teams. And junior Anika Rubocki won two individual events for BK’S girls: the 100 butterfly (58.46) and 100 backstroke (59.17).
Saturday’s meet marked the last one for Hill at the top of the Knights’ program. She’s led the Bishop Kelly program for 27 years but is stepping back after the season as co-coach Sarah Hale takes over.
“It’s really tough for me to step away completely,” Hill said. “I’ll probably always be around because it’s something I’ve built over the last 27 years.”
Caldwell’s Vision Charter was the only other Treasure Valley school to win a 4A individual title, with Riccardo Moschen taking first place in the boys 50 freestyle at 21.96 seconds.
The Boise 200-yard medley relay team celebrates its win at the 5A state swimming championships at the Boise Aquatics Center on Saturday.
Boise's Timothy Wong races toward a runner-up finish in the individual medley.