This past weekend at the Curtis Aquatic Center, the Kentwood High School Boys Swim Team competed at the WCD III swim meet. Going into the meet, the team had yet to qualify for state in any individual events and had an average year in the dual meet season.
On Friday, the 200 Medley relay (50 yards of each stroke) consisting of seniors Devin Duong, Matthew Shull, and Alex Maloy along with new freshman stand out Josh Maloy dropped 2.81 seconds. Qualifying them for the state meet, coming within half a second of the school record, and moving onto finals.
“We weren’t expecting them to go that fast, to be honest,” Head Coach Justin Moser said. “We were hoping they would drop some time and move into a good spot at finals but they defiantly exceeded our expectations. We had everyone move onto finals, except one swimmer. You can’t ask for more than that!”
To finish up prelims Alexander Maloy made finals in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.80 and the 100 freestyle with a time of 49.87 dropping 1.56 seconds off of his best time. Younger brother and freshman standout Josh Maloy dropped 5.73 seconds in the 500 yard freestyle putting him in 11th going into finals. Seniors Dallas George and Devin Duong both made finals in the 100 yard backstroke both going personal bests. Kentwood’s Matthew Shull broke the schools 100 yard breaststroke record set by Logan Ryan in 2009, by over a second with a time of 1:00.28.
“Coach Edward Quintos and I decided on day one that we were going to focus on the quality of swimming that we do rather than the amount of swimming we do. Which seems to be counter to the culture for most high school teams. Most of our guys only swim three months out of the year, for them to achieve what they have is pretty special and rare. They’ve bought into what we have wanted to do.” Stated Moser who took over as head coach three seasons ago and struggled getting swimmers to buy into his rigorous training program having over 15 quit his first week as head coach.
“We have two-a-day practices 4 days a week and all of Christmas break. We take as few days off as possible and focus on quality of swimming and turning that into fast swimming,” Moser added. “In our opinion there’s no point in swimming hundreds or thousands of yards straight if the longest swim we compete in is the 500. Quality then speed and quantity. That’s our motto.”
The team would come back into finals and continue to drop time in their events and putting up state qualifying times. The 200 Medley relay broke the school record from 2014, with a time of 1:41.82 and taking fourth place. Alex Maloy would take 8th in the 50 freestyle and 4th in the 100 freestyle qualifying for state. Josh Maloy took 11th place in the 500 yard freestyle with a time of 5:30.79. Devin Duong and Dallas George took 14th and 16th in the 100 yard backstroke. Matthew Shull seeded first in the 100 yard breaststroke would battle it out with club swimming senior Nathan March and taking a close second place. Breaking his own school record he set the night before with a time of 59.67. Shull a senior who only swims high school was just three years ago going 1:21 in the 100 breaststroke.
“It’s been a culmination of a lot of focus, being comfortable being uncomfortable, and hard work. But these guys have earned every single bit of it. I am beyond proud of what they have done so far and what they will achieve at the state meet,” Moser said.
The Kentwood Boys Swim Team will wait until next Sunday to see if any of their other swim were good enough to wild card into the state meet and where they rank among the other districts. The state meet will take place at the King County Aquatic Center on February 16 & 17.