Moses Lake swim records, the times they are a changin’

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I’m going to put the disclaimer right up front. Tony St. Onge started it. The Moses Lake swim coach told his guys to clear the mind and just swim.

I’m not one of Tony’s guys, but this is what came to me with a clear mind and a blank screen. It's all there. A swimmer named Dylan, a singer named Bob and a writer named Rod. Like pouring the ingredients into a Coke bottle, sticking your thumb over the top and giving it a good shake. The thought-provoking explosion is bound to create a stir.

Back in 1964, Bob Dylan wrote a song called “The Times They Are a-Changin' " for an album by the same name. That was back when records were made of vinyl and spun at a rpm of 33.

Of course Bob didn’t write the song about Moses Lake swimming and the Chiefs never heard of Dylan, well except for the kid they swim with. But in a season where the Chiefs set six school records, a couple of them more than once. Some didn’t last 12 hours, others made it a week. The times were, in fact, a changin'.

“... If your time to you is worth savin’

Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone

For the times they are a-changin’ ... ”

Take the 400-yard freestyle relay for example. The Molitor boys (Madison and Ander), along with Brenden Eslick and Zack Johnston, put up the existing record (3 minutes, 14.68 seconds) back in 2015 when Ander was a freshman. If we fast forward three years, that 400 relay record went down not once, but twice in as many days, or should we say daze.

Ander Molitor, Noah Heaps, Dylan Bond and Zach Washburn busted a 3:13.57 in the prelims of the two-day Washington state swimming and diving championships at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

That same relay turned right around the next day and broke their own record (3:11.39) in the finals to finish third.

“I love being on a great team,” Dylan the swimmer said. “We broke our record that we set in prelims by more than two seconds. One of my goals this season was to get on the record board and we finally got it. I’m pretty excited about that.”

“... The order is rapidly fadin’

And the first one now will later be last

For the times they are a-changin’ ... ”

The Chiefs 100-yard backstroke changed a couple of times this season, not quite as fast as the relay, but close. Mike Maier’s record of 54.84 stood for 15 years (2003), until freshman Zach Washburn erased it with a time of 54.46. Washburn’s mark lasted five days before Noah Heaps swam 54.13.

Being the proverbial muck-raker that I am, I bring that five-day fact up to Zach every now and then because what good are freshman if ya can’t poke fun at ‘em every now and then, superstar or not. Now I’m going to add a little visual element to this spontaneous combustion of words, picture the old, fat, bald guy fist-bumping with Noah Heaps.

You see, Noah, like Zach, can swim all the strokes. But he likes to swim face-up the best. Seems only right the backstroker should hold the backstroke record. Besides, Noah and I both know that Zach’s gonna train all summer and come back and blow that 54.13 out of the water in his first swim next season. But at least Noah’s record lasted longer than five days.

“... And the first one now will later be last,

For the times they are a-changin’ ..."

Washburn set the new Moses Lake butterfly record with a time of 52.22 at the Columbia Basin Big Nine swimming and diving championships at the Tony St. Onge Pool of Dreams, eclipsing Brenden Eslick’s 2014 record (52.29).

The freshman, who could very well own them all by the time he’s done, finally put up his first freestyle record with a time of 46.48 in the 100 freestyle in the state final where winner Matthew King of Glacier Peak posted an All-American time (45.74) to win.

The 2014-15 Moses Lake boys posted five of the 13 school records on display. Guys like Brenden Eslick (200 freestyle, 100 butterfly) and Zack Johnston (200 IM, 500 freestyle) own a couple of individual records.

They also combined with the Molitor brothers, Madison and Ander, to swim the fastest 400-yard freestyle relay time in Chiefs history.

The 2017-18 Chiefs did one better with records in the backstroke (2), butterfly, 100 freestyle and 400 relay (2).

“... As the present now

Will later be past

The order is rapidly fadin’

And the first one now will later be last

For the times they are a-changin’ … ”

Rodney Harwood is sports writer with the Columbia Basin Herald and can be reached at

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