Some schools had to cross the mountains to swim in the Kentridge Invitational. This year’s winner had to cross two time zones.
In a group featuring many of the state’s swimming powerhouses – Mercer Island, Issaquah, Richland and Kamiak among them – Creighton Preparatory School of Omaha, Neb., reigned supreme on Saturday, racking up 750 points to win a second consecutive title at the King County Aquatic Center.
Mercer Island finished a distant second, with 467, and 2012 Class 3A state champion Lakeside scored 456.5.
Creighton Prep coach Tom Beck acknowledged that his swimmers get some double-takes when they say they’re from Nebraska, but he likes to schedule one road event a year. For the last four years, they have come to Federal Way.
“It’s the whole package: a great pool and a cool location to visit,” he said. “We get to spend an afternoon at Pike Place Market, take a ferry to Bainbridge Island ... It’s kind of like a school trip, but instead of Europe, we go to Seattle.”
Creighton Prep, a private school of about 1,000 students, is the six-time defending Nebraska state champion.
Creighton Prep junior Jacob Molacek, who qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials in the 100 breaststroke, said facing unfamiliar competition gave him an extra push to win the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute 39.51 seconds, and the 100 butterfly in 49.92 seconds. Both swims set records at the meet, which is in its 22nd year.
“I just swim harder,” he said, “because in my mind, I think everyone is way faster than they might be, so I have to raise my level a little bit.”
Two other Creighton Prep swimmers also won events: sophomore Sean Tate in the 50 freestyle (21.22), and senior Szymmy Day in the 100 breaststroke (58.87).
Other individual winners were Kamiak senior John Stupey (500 free, 4:40.70), Kennedy Catholic sophomore Tommy Thach (200 IM, 1:53.06 and 100 free, 46.38), and his teammate, Thane Maudslien, who broke the meet record in the 100 backstroke (51.16).
Maudslien, who will swim at the University of Arizona next year, said that he was happy to set a record, but not totally satisfied with his speed.
“It’s a good stepping stone toward state and my club meets,” said Maudslien, the defending Class 3A state champion in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly.
Creighton Prep broke meet records in the 200 freestyle relay (1:25.46) and 400 freestyle relay (3:26.50).
Kennedy Catholic senior Brian Donohue won the diving competition, with 240 points.