4A WCD swimming: Willers’ title grab keeps legacy afloat

Contributing writerFebruary 9, 2014 

The youngest and last of three brothers to come through the Stadium High boys swimming program, Noah Willers is trying to leave a legacy in his wake.

Just a sophomore this year, he has plenty of time to continue churning.

Willers wasted no time getting to work Saturday afternoon at the Class 4A West Central District championship meet at Curtis High, capturing titles in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races.

Willers’ eldest brother, Lucas, eight years his senior, went on to swim at Wingate University in North Carolina. Brother Aidan, who’s four years older, swam at Linfield College in Oregon. But neither won individual state titles while competing at Stadium High.

“Two weeks from now (at the state meet) it will still be about family legacy,” Noah said. “It propels me farther and makes me try harder.”

Willers won the 200 free with a time of 1 minute, 47.25 seconds, then came back and won the 500, clocking a time of 4:54.74.

“I’ve exceeded my own expectations (with the times),” he said.

Curtis High senior Brian Woodbury felt quite comfortable in his home pool on Saturday, breaking both the WCD meet record and his own school record (set earlier this season), finishing the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:52.84 (All-America consideration).

“I’m focused on having a better 200 IM this year,” said Woodbury, who will swim at Georgia Tech next year. “I think as far as college next year, I think it would be better for them to see that I’m a better, well-rounded swimmer, and the 200 IM is (all the strokes).”

Woodbury continued his stellar performance later in the meet, posting a 49.69 (an automatic All-America time) in the 100 backstroke, breaking another meet and his own school record.

Woodbury’s effort helped lift the Vikings to the district team title with 370 points. Gig Harbor finished second with 361 points, while Kentridge was third with 241.

In a minor upset that will likely set up a rematch at the state meet, Federal Way sophomore Thomas Anderson (21.26) beat Kentridge’s Chase Bublitz (21.73) in a hotly contested 50 freestyle.

“It’s not anywhere near my best, but it’s not horrible,” Anderson said of his time. “So I have no complaints.”

Bublitz, who won a state title in the 50 free as a sophomore, is looking forward to the rematch in two weeks.

“I’m not used to losing,” Bublitz said. “But it’s always good to have someone keep you in check. It’s kind of cool to have that uncertainty in the 50 free.”

Bublitz rebounded to win the 100 butterfly with a time of 51.08.

Other winners included Gig Harbor senior Erik Nielsen in the 100 free (47.03) and Federal Way sophomore Robert Hughes in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.12). The Curtis 200 medley relay team (1:38.34) also won a title, and Gig Harbor took home district titles in the 200 (1:30.29) and 400 free (3:14.46) relays.

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