Camas 200 free relay team

Mark Kim waves to the crowd as he stands with the other members of Camas’ 200 free relay team — Eric Wu, Jaden Kim and Tom Utas — that won a state championship on Saturday. (Meg Wochnick/The Columbian)

Posted: February 20, 2017

FEDERAL WAY — Fatigue wasn’t stopping Mark Kim.

Sure, the Camas High swimmer was a bit gassed after successfully defending his Class 4A 500 freestyle state title Saturday, but gutting it out is part of swimming when you’re in back-to-back events.

“You swim to bring out the best in ourselves,” Kim said. “Ultimately, you have to push through.”

Not 10 minutes after the junior won his second individual title of the day in 4 minutes, 38.54 seconds, he anchored the Papermakers’ 200 free relay in a race that put an exclamation point on a dominant day in the pool by Camas, as it captured the program’s first state title at the King County Aquatic Center.

Its first-place and team-record time of 1:26.82 edged out Curtis (1:27.08), which led to the quartet of Eric Wu, Jaden Kim, Tom Utas to high-fives, smiles and an emphatic slam of the water by Kim in celebration.

What made Camas’ day more impressive is not only did Camas top runner-up Skyline by 96 points, but its 302 points is the highest for a 4A team since Snohomish racked up 247 points in 2008.

While the talent was there all season, and strength in numbers favoring the Papermakers, Kim said he was still surprised how Camas pulled off a state title.

“We didn’t know what to do with ourselves,” he said. “… these guys are so amazing.”

Finish this article at The Columbian.

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