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Decatur strokes into postseason
By CASEY OLSON
The Decatur Gators seem primed for another run at the Class 4A state championship. The Gators picked up a nail-biting 100-86 win over the Rogers Rams at the King County Aquatic Center Thursday afternoon in a South Puget Sound League South Division dual meet.
The win improves the Gators to 5-1 heading into their SPSL South finale yesterday against winless Todd Beamer. The swimming postseason starts up Friday with a non-qualifiers meet at Curtis High School and continues at the West Central District Meet Feb. 5-6 at Rogers. The state championships are set for Feb. 20-21 at the King County Aquatic Center.
Against Rogers Thursday, the Gators again used their Big Three to garner a bulk of their points. Erich Matulic, Eric Johnson and Seamus Alger all won events against the Rams and all swam well under state-qualifying times in doing so.
Matulic won the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 1:58.61 and the 500 free in 4:44.23, which is one of the better times in the state this season in the event. Johnson was more than impressive in winning the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:00.05 a time that gives Johnson consideration for All-American honors. He went under the magical 1:00.00 mark last week when he swam a 59.97 against Puyallup.
Alger also won a pair of events with state-qualifying times against Rogers. He was first in the 100 backstroke in 57.23 and the 200 freestyle in 1:47.75.
Decaturs other individual win came from Marty Klingebiel, who was first in diving with 161.5 points. The Gators also won the 200 medley relay in 1:48.30, the 200 freestyle relay in 1:39.10 and the 400 free relay in 3:34.76.
The Eagle swim team stroked past Beamer Thursday afternoon, 119-38.
Federal Way picked up a pair of individual wins from Eric Weishaar in the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 2:19.93 and the 100 butterfly in a time of 1:02.25. Beamer also had a double winner in Jon Hiett. Hiett swam an automatic state-qualifying time of 1:49.21 in the 200 freestyle and also won the 100 backstroke in 1:00.00.
Other individual winners were Federal Ways Alan Hunter in the 50 free (24.62), Bryant Bevers in the 100 free (50.87), Eric Ball in the 500 free (6:23.03) and Brian Crick in the 100 breaststroke (1:14.90). Bevers also qualified for the state swim meet with a second-place finish in the 200 freestyle in 1:49.50.
Federal Ways Chris McColgan, Bevers, Weishaar and Hunter won the 200 medley relay in 1:57.46 and the 200 free relay in 1:43.78. Beamer won the 400 free relay in 4:20.50.
The Eagles swim their final dual meet of the season tomorrow against Jefferson and the Beamer will host Decatur in their finale.
The Raiders were beaten Thursday by the Curtis Vikings, 99-82. Jefferson won eight of the 12 events during the dual meet, but didnt have the depth to match Curtis.
Matt Diotte and Danny Smith both won a pair of individual events for the Raiders. Smith won the 200 individual medley in 2:05.68 and the 500 freestyle in a state-qualifying time of 4:50.12. Diotte won the 50 free in 21.55 and the 100 free in a state-qualifying time of 47.45.
Other Jefferson wins came from David Bai in the 200 free in a state time of 1:51.22 and Andrew Jung in the 100 backstroke in another state-qualifying time of 55.90.
Jefferson also had state-qualifying times in the 200 medley relay (1:44.75) and the 400 freestyle relay (3:22.04). The medley relay team consisted of Diotte, Jung, Smith and Paul Tomko and the freestyle team was Diotte, Jung, Smith and Bai.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com