Cheney Free Press -


Cheney swimming sending relay team to state

Blackhawks 400-yard freestyle could also advance with wildcard


February 8, 2018

The Cheney High boys swimming team’s 200-yard freestyle relay squad punched their ticket for a 2A state appearance in two weeks during Great Northern League/Central Washington Athletic Conference district competition last Friday and Saturday at Washington State University’s Gibb Pool.

The Blackhawks quartet of Zack Jongeward, Cameron Villalobos, Liam Hewey and Matthew Norman finished third with a time of 1 minute, 43.83 seconds, the highest finish for Cheney at competition in Pullman. The 400 freestyle team of Jongeward, Mitchell Parrish, Norman and Erik Foien was fourth with a time of 3:55.58 while the 200 medley team of Jared Adams, Kevin Houndonougbo, Mitchell Johnson and Parrish was fifth.

In individual competition, Jongeward brought home seventh and eighth place finishes in the 100 and 50 freestyle events. Foien was seventh in the 500 freestyle and Walker Ross was eighth in the 100 backstroke.

Overall, the Cheney team finished third out of 14 schools. Blackhawks head coach Jennifer Hochwalt praised her team’s efforts, noting many of the other members provided valuable points due to the new first through 16th scoring method, “championship scoring,” similar to what is used collegiately.

“They swam fantastic,” Hochwalt said, noting many swimmers posted season best marks ranging from 2 – 6 seconds better than previous times.

“They were dropping huge chunks, right and left,” she added.

Medical Lake’s two relay teams turned in top-10 performances as well in Pullman. The 400 free team of Nolan Davis, Jon Harper, Phoenix Hanks and Michael Mikolajczyk was sixth in 4:26.68 while the same four making up the 200 free squad finished seventh in 1:49.69.

Hochwalt said there is a chance Cheney’s 400 freestyle team might also make the trip to Federal Way in two weeks through wildcard allocations after this weekend’s Western Washington district meets are concluded. Either way, it is a pretty young Blackhawks squad heading to state competition since Hewey is the only senior in the group.

The 2A/3A/4A state championships run Feb. 16-17 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

John McCallum can be reached at


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