Sports

Swimmrs keep pace with state's best

By COLE COSGROVE

Associate editor

The Decatur swim team tied with defending state champion Puyallup Tuesday, then capped the week with a 104-83 win over cross-town rival Federal Way Thursday.

By tying Puyallup in head-to-head competition, Decatur keeps alive hopes of at least a share of the league title.

“We thought we were going to lose, but we came back hard at the end in the last three races,” Decatur captain Joon Youm said. “A tie is better than a loss, but I think we could have won. We’re trying to win state and they were the best team last year. Winning state is more important than winning a dual meet. As state comes closer, it seems like we can do it. Everybody is gaining confidence.”

The Gators finished strong in the final three events against Puyallup to earn the tie.

Youm and Seamus Alger finished first and second in the 100 backstroke, then Eric Johnson and Tyson Sullivan took first and second while Paul Tomko took fifth in the 100 breast stroke. The Gators then won the 400 free relay with Alger, Johnson, Youm and Erich Matulic.

“They give us a barometer of where we’re at,” Decatur coach Heather Kreier said. “At least we tied. If we lost, I would have been really upset. I’ll take the tie and we’ll just beat them at state.”

Decatur will meet the Puyallup swimmers again at districts, then at state, where everything means a little bit more. At this point, Puyallup has more swimmers qualified for districts, but Decatur has more swimmers qualified for state.

Federal Way has three swimmers qualified for state so far –– senior Greg Hiett in the 200 IM, ninth-grader Jon Hiett in the 200 IM, 500 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 200 freestyle and 100 free, and Peter Larsen in the 100 butterfly.

“He’s a fast kid,” Greg Hiett said of his younger brother. “Last year we didn’t have any state swimmers at this point, so getting a lot early on is good. Against Decatur, our team is really not going for the win, just going for our best times.”

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