After Sam Abbott got touched out at the wall in the 50-yard freestyle Saturday, the Curtis junior tried to be philosophical.
He reasoned that this was just the Class 4A West Central District 3 boys finals, not the state championship meet in two weeks — his main goal.
But he made sure he didn’t have to do that kind of reasoning again by winning the 100 freestyle, the Vikings’ second individual victory on their way to a third consecutive district team title.
Winning beats philosophizing any day. Abbott won the 100 in 48.77 seconds, beating out Stadium’s Seamus Grant at the Curtis High School Aquatic Center.
“I was really mad, so I left it out in the pool,” Abbott said. “It fueled the fire for the last part of the meet. I just didn’t want to get out-touched again.”
The Curtis boys also made sure they didn’t need to second-guess themselves by turning in a dominant performance. The Vikings won the meet with 506 1/2 points, well ahead of Stadium (289), Olympia (279) and Gig Harbor (264) in the 18-team field.
The Vikings kept their district title streak alive with their impressive depth. They came away with only two individual titles (including JJ Spoja’s victory in the diving competition), but swept all three relays and had finishers in the top two in every event except for the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.
Such a strong finish wasn’t a surprise to Curtis coach Dennis Piccolotto.
“The thing with this group is we weren’t satisfied,” Piccolotto said. “We didn’t have to swim our best races to win the meet, but that’s what we do.”
The Vikings got second-place finishes from Matt Patterson in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle, and second- and third-place finishes from David Ling and Ryan St. John, respectively, in the 100 breaststroke to add to their point total.
“It means a lot, considering over the years we haven’t had anywhere near to this (point total),” Abbott said. “We had 500 points or something, by far the most in school history. So that’s really special.”
Gig Harbor junior Ryan Grady swept the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle, the only swimmer to win two individual events.
But Grady admitted he had to swim with some caution, doing the little things right to qualify for state.
“Just making sure the stupid stuff you don’t think about, you have to think about, like I don’t want to miss a turn,” Grady said.
“A lot of it is mental preparation and it’s running through your mind in these big meets.”
Gig Harbor came away with four individual titles on the way to its fourth-place team finish.
The Tides also earned victories from seniors Dawson Allen in the 50 freestyle (22.24 seconds) and Griffin Doane in the 100 breaststroke (59.97).
Other individual winners included Olympia’s Andrew Wright in the 200 individual medley (1:59.26), Stadium’s Noah Willers in the 100 butterfly (54.19) and South Kitsap’s Dylan Macabitas in the 100 backstroke (53.23).