Rogers High School junior Mitchell Crossen placed sixth in the 100-yard freestyle on Saturday during the Class 4A state swimming and diving championships at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.
He faced stiff competition in a race that featured Eastlake’s Edward Kim, who finished with an automatic All-America time of 43.90 seconds, just short of the state-record 43.73.
Crossen finished in 48.17.
“I was trying to swim my own race, which I did,” Crossen said. “But Kim, he’s got something really special, and 43, that’s really fast. He did a really good job.”
Crossen said he didn’t want to worry about the Kim. Instead, he shifted his focus inward and tried to control his own race.
“Mentally, I prepare myself, visualizing my whole race in my mind,” he said. “Once I got on the blocks, knew I was going to have a good swim. I did everything I was supposed to do, did everything good and came out with a good time.”
Crossen also finished third in the 50 free consolation finals, 11th overall, with a time of 22.43.
Rogers qualified for the 200-yard freestyle relay consolation final. The group of Crossen, Ryan Lewis, Alec Lewis and Anthony Natsiopoulos placed 16th overall at 1:33.80.
Although the Rams didn’t race in most of the events, they said the atmosphere was still special.
“This is one of the biggest meets all year long for a swimmer, especially a high school swimmer,” Crossen said. “It’s really cool just to be here and soak it all in.”
As the swimmers walk up to the blocks for the finals, up-tempo music blasts through the speakers and creates a fun entrance.
“Walking out to all the music in the championship heat and getting ready (is my favorite part),” Crossen said.
Overall, he was pleased with the Rams’ efforts.
“The team is doing really well,” Crossen said.
Sumner senior diver David Kakuk finished second in the 1-meter diving competition with 371.85 points, and teammate Bryce Corrigan, also a senior, finished sixth at 204.25.
The Spartans’ Devin Drobney posted a 23.55 in the 50 free during a preliminary heat on Friday but did not qualify for the finals.