Community Sports

Sports Beat: Hammer wins two state swim titles for Gig Harbor

Posted on February 24th, 2023 By:

It was Hammer time for Gig Harbor at the state swimming and diving championships Feb. 16 to 18 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

Freshman phenom Aiden Hammer won two state titles to propel the Tides to a fifth-place finish in Class 3A.

Hammer won the 200 freestyle in a blistering time of 1:39.58 to defeat a senior-laden field. How fast is Hammer? He is only two seconds off of the state record in the event, a 1:37.17 set by five-time Olympic champion Nathan Adrian of Bremerton High School. Hammer has three years left to chase Adrian’s record.

Hammer exploded off the blocks in the 500 freestyle final to win in 4:28.63. The dominating effort was good enough to win by a full two seconds over the runner-up.

Gig Harbor’s Aiden Hammer won two swimming state championships

Gig Harbor junior Grant Huston took fourth in the 200 free at 1:41.07 and third in the state in the 100 freestyle in 46.58.

The 200 freestyle relay team (Huston, Emmett Scott, Travis Scott and Hammer) and 400 freestyle relay team (Huston, Emmett Scott, senior Ryan Nagata and Hammer ) both turned in seventh-place finishes.

In diving the Tides got a ninth place finish from Wriley Savage and a 13th place finish from Max Ferrier.

Hammer, Huston and the Scott brothers all return next year. The Tides could challenge for a 3A title in 2024, under their experienced coach, Mike Kelly.

The Peninsula Seahawks swimmers placed 20th. Top individual finishers included Hunter Hobbs (11th in the 100-yard butterfly) and the 12th-place 200 medley relay team of Jonah Bergerson, Tyler Givot, Aidan Miller and Hobbs. Hobbs narrowly missed setting the school record in the 100 butterfly (by just .03 seconds).

The Gig Harbor swimming team finished fifth at the state meet.

Five Seahawks place at Mat Classic

The Peninsula wrestling team got a strong performance from its senior class at the Mat Classic  state championships in the Tacoma Dome on Feb. 17-18.

Five Seahawks, including four seniors, placed in the top eight of their weight classes in the Class 3A division, led by girls who finished third and fourth.

Mira Sonnen won her first match at 140 pounds, lost to a defending state champion in the second round, then won six consecutive matches to finish third. Along the way, she won a rematch against the wrestler who defeated her in the second round.

Freshman Bailey Parker finished fourth in the 135-pound weight class.

On the boys side, Peninsula had standout performances from three seniors in the middle weight classes.

Peninsula wrestling medalists included Peninsula wrestlers Emmett Casey, Marcus Reum, Boden Clark, Bailey Parker, and Mira Sonnen. Photo PHS wrestling

Emmett Casey finished sixth at 160 pounds, placing at state for the second straight year. Marcus Reum finished seventh at 145 pounds and Boden Clark took home an eight-place finish at 170 pounds.

Each wrestler received a Mat Classic medal. Their names will be added to the school’s wrestling wall, which signifies state tournament placers.

Gig Harbor freshman Eleanor Nimrick brought home a sixth-place medal in the 100-pound division. Sophomore Jonah Edmund was Gig Harbor’s other participant, at 113 pounds.

Tides seeded ninth in state tournament

The Gig Harbor boys basketball team (21-3) narrowly missed their first district title in 26 years with their 60-59 loss at defending Class 3A state champion Auburn on Feb.18.

The Tides were led by Will Landram’s 23 points and Luke Browne’s 17 points. Christian Parrish and KeVaughn Harvey each had 7 points for the Tides.

The Tides entered the game fourth in the WIAA RPI rankings. After the one-point loss they were seeded ninth into the state tournament. The top eight seeds advance directly to the double-elimination portion of the WIAA’s complicated, 20-team bracket.

Gig Harbor faces Shorecrest (18-5) at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at Tacoma Community College. The winner of that game advances to the the Tacoma Dome portion of the state tournament on March 1. Tickets for the Shorecrest game can be purchased at

Gig Harbor senior Luke Browne shoots during the Tides’ district championship game against Auburn.

Peninsula faces Everett; GH girls eliminated

It will be the Seahawks versus the Seagulls on Friday, Feb. 24, at Tacoma Community College.

The Peninsula girls (18-5) were seeded 12th in the state tournament after finishing fourth in the district tournament. They face 13th seeded Everett at 6 p.m.

The Seahawks have lost their last two games, to North Thurston and Bonney Lake. Their defense has been consistent but they have seen a drop off in offensive production, scoring 39 points in each game. The winner of the Peninsula-Everett game advances to the Tacoma Dome on March 1. Tickets for Friday’s game can be purchased at

The Gig Harbor girls (14-9) saw their season end with a 40-28 loss to Auburn MountainView on Feb. 21. The Lions (15-6) played stifling defense in a 40-28 win.

The Tides will say good bye to two school record holders: Riley Peschek, who leaves as the single-game and season rebounding record holder; and Olivia Paul, who holds the record for 3-pointers made in a game (11). The Tides also will lose dependable seniors Reece O’Neil and Clare Green.

Bornt bowls at state

Freshman Kim Bornt represented Gig Harbor at the state bowling meet. Bornt finished 34th at Bowlero in Tukwilla on Feb. 1, after placing fifth in the South Sound Conference tournament and 12th at district.