By John McCallum

Blackhawk boys earn third place at district swimming meet


Rob Nadeau

The Cheney boys’ 400-yard freestyle relay team poses with their second-place ribbons alongside the district champion team from West Valley-Yakima. The team, who earned a trip to the state meet in two weeks, are pictured clockwise from left: Nick Steele, Chris Boyle, Jeff Edwards and Scott Nadeau.

The Cheney boys swimming team saved their best efforts for last – and for four of them, hopefully there’s more to give.

The Blackhawks turned in their best times this season in placing third overall among 2A classification schools at the 2A/3A/4A District meet last Friday and Saturday at Central Washington University’s pool in Ellensburg. Head coach Jennifer Hochwalt said every Cheney swimmer dropped times in their events, most not only in preliminaries Friday but also again on Saturday in scoring heats.

“They had great, great swims,” Hochwalt said. “All the races were really good.”

And for swimmers Scott Nadeau, Nick Steele, Chris Boyle and Jeff Edwards, the hope is now that their times will continue to drop at state competition two weeks away at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way.

Nadeau will be the lone Cheney swimmer in individual events. The sophomore swam to victory in the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 2 minutes, 3.02 seconds and took second in the 100 butterfly in 59.87, going below 1 minute for the first time this season.

Nadeau teamed with Steele, Boyle and Edwards for a second place finish in the 400 freestyle relay, coming in at 3:46.02.

Other Cheney swimmers competing in the finals were Steele, placing fourth in the 200 free (2:03.02) and fifth in the 500 free (5:39.80); Boyle fifth in the 50 free (25.51) and sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.87); and Edwards eighth in the 200 IM (2:31.90). The 200 medley team of Caleb Prophet, Joe Scott, Edwards and Axel O’Neal was fifth in 2:09.58 while the 200 free team of Scott, Kit Foster, Boyle and Steele also placed fifth in the 1:41.11.

Hochwalt said Prophet had the largest drops in time at Ellensburg for Cheney, shaving five seconds off his time in the 100 butterfly and 15 seconds off his previous 200 IM mark. Scott, Steele and Boyle also made significant drops in their events.

Cheney finished behind Pullman and 2A district champion West Valley-Yakima.

Hochwalt said there is a chance Cheney will add to its state contingent once district meets are concluded in Western Washington this weekend. For now, the Blackhawks will go through end of season reviews, with those looking at a trip to Federal Way likely increasing their pool yardage in order to not lose any stamina during the two week layoff.

John McCallum can be reached at


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