FEDERAL WAY, WA — Where’s Camas?

That was one of the questions Camas Senior, Kasey Calwell, got after winning his Swimmer of the Year award, and after his team placed second in a 36-team competition on Saturday.

The Papermakers earned 185 points yesterday, just behind meet winner, Newport (Bellevue). It was the team’s best showing — ever. And it was the best performance of any Southwest Washington boys swim team. The  overall score reflects a team that planned for this. It was a calculated performance driven by its seniors, but veraciously supported by its underclassmen.

The eight-member team took down some of the larger, competitive teams who have divers, which adds to the overall score.

2015 Camas Boys Swim Team. Top, from left: Luke Albert, Lucas Ulmer,
Tom Utas, Jeff Fadlovich, Kasey Calwell, Finn McClone, Mark Kim, John Utas.
Coaches: Mike Bemis and Leslie Dahlen. Photo by Dan Trujillo.

In addition to the 2nd place trophy and the Swimmer of the Year award, Camas took home several titles and accolades, including three individual state titles.

Calwell earned the State title for the 200 IM event (151.10) and with it an All American consideration. He also won the 100 Breast (56.53) and an All American time. Senior Lucas Ulmer won the State title for 100 Fly (51.10). He then placed sixth in the 100 Backstroke event.

“This is our best performance in school history,” said Calwell. “I’m so proud of our team. We really pulled together. We gave it our all. I don’t know how we could have swam any better. It was fun to be a part of this.”

The boys placed fourth in all the relays, and were pushed by brothers John and Tom Utas. This was also John’s final State meet.

Camas Freshman, Mark Kim, placed fifth in the 500 Free. He also assisted in the relay events.

Kasey Calwell won two State titles (100 Breast and 200 IM)and earned an All American time. Photo by Dan Trujillo.
Lucas Ulmer at the start of the 100 Back. Photo by Dan Trujillo.
Kasey Calwell on the podium for the 100 Breast win.
Photo by Dan Trujillo.


Calwell’s 1st place medal. Photo by
Dan Trujillo.
Caldwell received the WA 4A State Swimmer of the Year Award.

FEDERAL WAY, WA — It was his last State meet of his high school career, and for Camas High Senior Lucas Ulmer, it was a dream finish. His name was first on the board, with a time of 51.10 seconds, in a very competitive and tough event.

Ulmer, who was raised in Camas, has been swimming since age 6, and loves every minute of being in the water.

“I absolutely love to swim,” he said, as he savors his state win. “For me, winning the State title is a dream come true. After so many years of hard work, it just feels great!”

The senior Papermaker, known for wearing his trademark colored speedos at most meets, said swimming has helped him focus.

“I have a tendency to lose focus,” he said, “But swimming helps me stay focused what’s right in front of me. The sport has made me a stronger person overall. I’m really grateful to my mom who shuttled me around for years from practice, to tutors, and back and forth to meets. She’s always been there for me. So has my dad.”

He said he’s also grateful for his coaches, both at the high school and at club, and for his teammates.

“I love my teammates,” he added. “They mean a lot to me.”




Lucas Ulmer is known for wearing flashy speedos at the high school meets. He loves the attention.

KELSO, WA – The Camas Boys Swim Team won the 4A District Championship Saturday at Kelso High School, beating five other schools and breaking multiple records along the way. In total, the Papermakers earned 398 points, as several get ready for State competition this coming weekend.

The Camas Boys Swim team, with Coach Mike Bemis.
The Papermakers got off to a great start with the 200 Medley Relay, placing first (1:40.27) in the first event of the meet. The relay team consisted of Kasey Calwell, John Utas, Lucas Ulmer, and Tom Utas. Columbia River placed second.
In Event 2, the 200 Free, Camas Freshman, Mark Kim, set a new meet record (1:46.43). Stuart Sardo, of Mountain View, placed second. Papermaker Luke Albert placed third.
“I’ve had a great season,” said Albert. “I’ve really increased my times. I’ve gotten better times in the 200. Overall, it was a good competition. I look forward to State.”
Calwell would set another meet record in the 200 IM (1:56.11) moments later. Skyview’s Jake Breuer placed second.
Mountain View’s Chris Xue won the 50 Free (1:21.56) and was closely followed by Max Dolbinin, of Heritage.
Ulmer set a new District meet record in the 100 Fly (53.04). He narrowly edged Union’s Andrew Chang (53.68).
Xue and Dolbinin duked it out again in the 100 Free, with Xue winning (47.97). Dolbinin placed second (49.22). Tom Utas placed third and made a state cut.
Kim beat out the competition in the 500 Free (4:47.46). Papermaker Jeff Fadlovich placed second (5:07.03) and Papermaker Max Crowson placed third (5:24.17).
Mark Kim wins the 500 Free.
From left: Jeff Fadlovich, Noah Macia, and Max Crowson.
The Camas 200 Free Relay team set a new meet and pool record (1:29.49) with their victory in this event. The team consisted of John Utas, Ulmer, Tom Utas and Kim. Mountain View placed second (1:31.84). Finn McClone, of Camas, placed third.
Ulmer also won the 100 Back event (56.56) and was followed by Fadlovich (57.2).
Lucas Ulmer gets ready for the 100 Back event.

Swim Team Reflection

“It’s been a real successful meet,” said Ulmer. “We’ve all worked well together, and I’ve loved it. It’s my last meet at this pool, and we’ve made the best of it. These past four years have been an amazing experience, and it’s been so great getting to know the swimmers from all the other schools.”
Calwell won the 100 Breast event (59.08), but fell just half a second of setting a meet record. Skyview’s Jake Breuer placed second (1:01.75).
The Camas boys also set a new meet record in the 400 Free Relay (3:21.33), which was the final event of the meet. The team included Calwell, Kim, Luke Albert and Fadlovich.
Camas Coach, Mike Bemis, said they’re sending 8 swimmers to State this weekend.
“We’ve had a great meet,” Bemis added. “The boys really stepped it up.”
State competition will be at Federal Way, WA.
Camas won the 200 Medley Relay.


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Swim they did.
The Camas High School Boys Swim Team continued its dominance in the pool Wednesday night at Lacamas Swim and Sport Club as they hosted several Vancouver schools (Union, Mountain View, Heritage, and Evergreen).
One of the Camas 400 Free Relay teams. From left: Noah Macia,
Sullivan Carrick, Ian Pinch, and Kevin Chen.
The afternoon kicked off with a Camas victory in the 200 Medley Relay, where the four-member team (Mark Kim, Kasey Calwell, Lucas Ulmer and John Utas) bested their state cut time, earning 1:54.17.
Tom Utas won the 200 Free event with a time of 2:02.31.
Heritage’s Max Dolbinin finishes the 400 Free Relay.
Chris Xiu, of Mountain View, won the 200 IM (2:17.47), and Papermaker Jeff Fadlovich placed second (2:32.40) in the event.
John Utas won the 50 Free (25.94), and Michael Suk of Evergreen placed second (26.68).
“I’m having a good season,” said John. “I’m improving my performance in sprinting. I thought I lost my game, but Coach Mike (Bemis) has really helped me with my technique. Even today, he showed me how I should start off with more power with a couple of strokes and then go into the sprint. It’s paying off.”
Papermakers Lucas Ulmer and Tom Utas battled it out in the 100 Fly competition. Ulmer (1:01.51) narrowly beat Utas (1:01.65). Talk about a tight finish!
Tom Utas (left) and Lucas Ulmer compete in the 100 Fly.

Camas senior Kasey Calwell handily won the 100 Free (55.65). To date, Calwell has earned five state qualifying times this season.

Kasey Calwell wins the 100 Free at Lacamas.
Papermaker Fadlovich won the 400 Free (4:29.30), and Xiu placed second (4:29.79). Camas also dominated the 200 Free Relay, winning with a time of 1:42.58. The team consisted of Mark Kim, Tom Utas, Calwell, and John Utas.
The younger, less experienced swimmers are also making improvements in their times.
“Sullivan Carrick has really improved since he first joined the team,” said John Utas. “He’s really starting to like it. I hope he stays because he’s a good guy to have around. I’m glad he joined the team.”

Seniors Lead the Swim Effort

Ulmer also won the 100 Back event, with a time of 1:04.71. Calwell also bested the 100 Breast (1:09.87).
Lucas Ulmer
400 Free Relay. From left: Lucas Ulmer, Jeff Fadlovich, Tom Utas, and John Utas.
And, for the final event, Camas took the top two spots in the 400 Free Relay. The winners were Ulmer, Tom Utas, John Utas, and Jeff Fadlovich. The second place team consisted of Luke Albert, Max Urbanek, Andrey Khabibrakhmanov, and Finn McClone.
400 Free Relay. From left: Andrey Khabibrakhmanov, Max Urbanek,
Finn McClone, and Luke Albert.
“I just wanted to publicly say thank you to all the boys on the team for the encouragement they give to Brian Andrade, a new member on our team, “said assistant coach, Leslie Dahlen. “They have all stepped up.”
Brian Andrade competes Wednesday night.
Andrade has autism and has really enjoyed being on the team.
The boys compete again next Wednesday at Lacamas Swim and Sport Club.
VANCOUVER — The Camas High School boys swim team won Thursday’s dual meet against Hockinson, Skyview and Fort Vancouver, and set a few state qualifying times along the way.
The Papermakers set the pace, winning the first event, the 200 Medley Relay with a time of 1:45.03. The relay consisted of Lucas Ulmer, Tom Utas, John Utas, and newcomer Andrey Khabibrakhmanov.
Camas 400 Free Relay Team: From left, Mark Kim, Kasey Calwell, Tom Utas,
and Lucas Ulmer
Camas Senior Kasey Calwell bested the 200 Free with a time of 1:47.88. “It’s been a great meet,” said Calwell. “We’re putting in some solid swims.”
Hockinson’s William Morris won the 200 IM shortly afterward. Papermaker Senior, Lucas Ulmer, won the 50 Free, with a time of 23.11 seconds.
“We’re having a great season,” said Ulmer. “We have a lot of new swimmers. It’s so great to have Brian Andrade on the team due to his disability. He really inspires us. We love having him.”
Ulmer made state cuts already in the 100 Free, 100 Fly, and 100 Back.
Lucas Ulmer dives in during the 400 Free Relay.
Papermaker sophomore, Tom Utas, won the 100 Fly with a time of 56 seconds. Calwell then earned a state qualifying time in the 100 Free (49.97 seconds). It was his fifth state qualifying time this season.
Camas freshman, Mark Kim, won the 500 Free and made a state qualifying time with the win.
Camas swimmer, Mark Kim, earned a state qualifying time in the 500 Free.
The Camas boys also won the 200 Free Relay (1:32.44). The relay team consisted of John Utas, Calwell, Tom Utas, and Kim.
Skyview’s Jake Breuer won the 100 Back (55.8). Hockinson’s Jonah Rodewald won the 100 Breast (1:05.68).
And, in the last event, the Papermaker 400 Free Relay of Ulmer, Tom Utas, Kim and Calwell handily beat the competition with a time of 3:21.06.
The team has added several new swimmers, including Andrade, Kim, and Khabibrakhmanov, along with Ian Pinch, Sullivan Carrick, Finn McClone and Max Crowson.
Coach Mike Bemis is pleased with the performance of the boys mid-season, and is looking forward to next week’s major meet against Union — to be held at Lacamas Swim and Sport Club.
“It’s sad that this is coming to an end soon,” Ulmer added. “But it’s been great to have a successful four years at Camas. It went by so fast!”
Calwell will be swimming for University of California — Santa Barbara (UCSB) this fall. Several other seniors haven’t announced their future plans as yet.

We interviewed 21 Camas Football players for a really fun, candid look at the 2014 season and how a small town has shaped the lives of so many youth.

The video will be released this week.


We’ve been covering Camas for several years, and when you get right down to it, these kids are great! Personally, I’ve had the privilege of watching so many of them grow up in Camas. We’ve seen them in kindergarten, Little League, Pop Warner, CCYF, scouts, school, church, and they’re quickly becoming adults. These boys turned into classy young men. Go Camas!

We encourage you all to list reasons why the Papermakers rock. More pictures and videos coming.


If you missed it opening weekend, the CHS production of “Grease” is back for its final three showings this weekend.

Times are as follows: Friday at 7 pm, Saturday at 2 and 7 pm. The students and director Sean Kelly will impress you.



CHS Theatre presented its opening night of “Grease” Friday to a packed, euphoric house that was ready for some fun entertainment. Clearly, the students and director Sean Kelly have been hard at work preparing the set, their lines, choreography, and songs.
Although the show experienced one technical glitch at curtain time, it was smooth sailing for the next couple of hours.


Kelly and company’s version of “Grease” was lively, entertaining, creative, filled with comedic moments, and a little irreverence.

It’s “Grease.”

What impressed me was the timing. These youth have been blessed some amazing talent and it showed during the two-and-a-half hour production.

The actors sprang to life with each scene and appeared to have their lines down quite well. And many had a penchant for singing. It was a lot of fun to watch.

Christian Gmelin did an excellent job portraying “Danny,” whose character’s personal struggles come to life during the performance. His affection and often times confusing relationship with “Sandy,” which was played brilliantly by Rachel Smith, took center stage, of course. Smith was able to switch emotions throughout the show seamlessly.

Rebecca Fitzgerald did an excellent job portraying “Rizzo,” one of the show’s main characters. She was gritty, witty, dramatic and enjoyable. Her timing was perfect.

Ryan Maxfield also delivered a stellar performance playing Kenickie, another troubled, but entertaining teenager. Maxfield had many opportunities to show off his talents, and he didn’t disappoint.

Perhaps Andrew Henson’s character, “Rodger,” stole the show. He had many moments to shine and used his comedic timing to entertain a willing audience. He managed to make his character lovable and hilarious, and was even willing to moon the audience during scene 6. That, my friends, takes guts. Getting pantsed and stuffed into a garbage can also got the audience clapping loudly.


Rebecca Fitzgerald as “Rizzo.”
Jake Rust had ample opportunity to show off his singing and performance skills during multiple scenes. He nailed it.
And we can’t forget Austin Miller’s moment in the spotlight as he played “Teen Angel” in one of the most hilarious, and spot on scenes during the show. Miller’s singing and acting were put on center stage and he delivered.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention JT Tumanuvao’s character “Sonny” and the dancing, singing, facial expressions and timing that added tremendous value to CHS Theatre’s production.
There are too many characters to mention in this short space, so I must give credit to the entire cast for an excellent display of their creative talents. I include the backstage and lighting crew in my gratitude. They’ve spent much time preparing.
Christian Gmelin as “Danny” and Rachel Smith as “Sandy” did
a fine job portraying the central characters of “Grease.”
“Grease” debuted in 1971 and was directed by Guy Barille at the Kingston Mine Theater on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, with a script based on Jim Jacobs’ experience at William Taft High School in the windy city. Warren Casey collaborated with Jacobs and together they wrote the music and lyrics.
Since that time, “Grease” has been performed many times on Broadway and has gone through several incarnations.
This CHS Theatre version continues Saturday at 7 and will have three more productions on March 14 and 15.