Decatur wears district swim crown again


Sports editor

Decatur, again, was the team to beat at the Class 4A West Central District swim meet.

The defending state champs tallied 177 points to edge the surprising Thomas Jefferson Raiders (172 points) and the regular season South Puget Sound League South Division champion Curtis Vikings (169 points).

“We are just taking it one day at a time,” said Decatur coach Heather Kreier. “We just have to keep everything in perspective.”

The Gators and Raiders proved to have the dominant individual swimmers during the two-day meet at Rogers High School. The two programs won nine out of the 11 swimming races and had the second-place finishers in the other two Saturday night. Decatur took home four championships and Jefferson won five, including a pair of record-setting swims from senior Matt Diotte.

Diotte won the 50- and 100-yard freestyle titles for the Raiders. In Friday’s preliminary races, he set two West Central District records — 21.57 in the 50 and 47.46 in the 100. He came back Saturday and broke both of them again in the finals. He won the 50 in 21.33 and the 100 in 47.14. Diotte also was part of the Raiders’ 200 free relay team with Andrew Jung, David Bai and Danny Smith, which tied the meet record at 1:29.66 Saturday. The same foursome also won the 400 free relay in 3:17.10.

Smith won Jefferson’s other event. The junior swam past Decatur’s Seamus Alger in the 200 free to win in 1:44.49.

Decatur also picked up a West Central District record from Erich Matulic on Saturday. Matulic, who was seeded second, dropped over 10 seconds from Friday to Saturday in the 500 freestyle. Matulic swam a 4:48.87 in the prelims and followed that up with a 4:37.35 in the finals. Matulic also won the 200 individual medley, over Decatur’s Eric Johnson, in 1:55.97.

Johnson, a junior, won the 100 breaststroke in 58.32 over Beamer’s Jon Hiett. The Decatur team of Johnson, Alger, Matulic and John Neal also took the 200 medley relay in a time of 1:41.96.

Federal Way’s Bryant Bevers was the star for the Eagles, who finished in ninth place as a team. Bevers swam state-qualifying times with a third-place finish in the 200 free (1:46.52) and a fourth place in the 100 free (49.12).

Beamer’s Hiett, along with the 100 breaststroke, also swam a state-qualifying time in the 100 freestyle (third, 49.01). Jefferson’s Smith was third in the 500 free (4:56.76), Jung was second in the 100 backstroke (55.36) and Decatur’s Alger was second in the 100 butterfly in 54.46.

Next stop is the Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Meet, which will be held at Federal Way’s King County Aquatic Center Feb. 20-21, where Decatur will go for their second title in a row.

“It’s going to be tough,” Kreier said. “Inglemoor is really strong and Snohomish is the other one. So it’s going to be tough, but we just want to be high on the podium. Going by numbers alone, we should be about third, but should be really close to second.

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