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Wildcat boys outlast Apollos 86-81

Sunset pushes Westview to the final event before the Cats secure victory
by: MILES VANCE, FREESTYLERS — Westview senior Carlos Nunez (top) looks as relaxed as can be on his way to victory in the 200-yard freestyle, while Sunset’s Khoi Tran (right) gives chase  en route to a second-place finish in the same event last Thursday at Sunset Swim Center.

CEDAR MILL - Westview's boys swim team has its sights set on the state's biggest goals.

But last Thursday, it took Westview's best just to survive and win its meet against Sunset at Sunset Swim Center.

The Wildcats won nine of the day's 11 events against the Apollos, and needed their victory in the day's final event - the 400-yard freestyle relay - to beat Sunset 86-81. Westview went into the final relay with a 78-75 lead, then added eight more points and secured the win when Conor Arcuri, Stefan Kapelac, Steven Ung and Morgon Henderson-Kunz swam to first place with a time of 3 minutes, 25.41 seconds.

Sunset, with Nick Beasley, Khoi Tran, Andrew Mittemeyer and Tristan Briggs took second in that relay at 3:35.08.

Westview's win lifted it to 1-1 in Metro League competition while Sunset dropped to 0-2.

On the individual front, Westview got two wins each from senior Carlos Nunez, Henderson-Kunz (a junior) and Ung (a sophomore), and those three will carry the hopes of the Wildcats forward into the final regular season meets, district meet and state meet.

'We have three guys I think who can make the top three and another kid who's going to do really good for our relay and I think we'll have a really good shot at winning (state),' Nunez said. 'I think if we just step it up in the relays and make it happen that we'll be able to win it.'

Nunez took top honors in the 200 freestyle in 1:54.58 (to edge Tran's 1:58.61) and 500 freestyle in 6:11.02 (with Sunset's Damir Kairotovich second in 6:11.58). In each case, Nunez knows he can, and will, go faster before the big meets at the end of the season.

'The (club team) training is pretty hard right now, and that's a good thing, but I'm hurting a little bit,' he said. 'We just need to keep the intensity up and make sure we know what we're doing and what we're going for.'

Henderson-Kunz's wins came in the 50 freestyle (22.46) and 100 freestyle (48.01) while Ung scored in the 200 individual medley (2:00.78) and 100 butterfly (56.70). Kapelac, a senior, and Arcuri, a sophomore, also won events, Kapelac taking the 100 backstroke in 57.85 and Arcuri the 100 breaststroke in 1:15.58.

The Apollos made it competitive, though, breaking through for wins in the 200 medley relay and 100 breaststroke, and adding 10 runner-up finishes and six thirds among the day's 11 events.

'Our boys are definitely stronger than our record shows,' said Sunset coach Anthony Markey. 'We only lost by five points and that's closer than it has been.'

Chas Esping, Andrew Lee, Bowei Liu and Mittemeyer opened the meet with a victory in the 200 medley relay at 1:57.38, and Briggs added a win in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:07.94.

Tran and Esping were second in both their individual events to keep Sunset close, with Tran swimming 1:58.61 in the 200 freestyle and 59.26 in the 100 backstroke, and Esping going 24.75 in the 50 freestyle and 1:10.13 in the breaststroke.

'We were right there. I'm really proud of them,' Markey said.

In upcoming meets, Westview hosts Aloha at Sunset Swim Center at 4 p.m. today (Thursday), while Sunset faces Southridge at Aloha Swim Center at 4 p.m. today.