If this is what Mitchell Crossen can do after five days out of the pool, just imagine what could happen when he’s fully healthy.
Despite battling pneumonia that sidelined him until Tuesday, the Rogers High senior rallied to win a pair of championships at the Class 4A West Central District Boys Swim Finals on Saturday at the Curtis Aquatic Center.
“It feels great to get back in the pool,” said Crossen, who won the 50-yard freestyle in 22.02 seconds and the 100 freestyle in 47.51. “I’m feeling it a little bit, but it’s getting better.”
Crossen said that a state title in his final season with the Vikings would be especially sweet.
“It’s gone by so fast,” he said. “It feels great to be swimming this good right now. I’m working on coming out with a bang at state.”
Curtis, this season’s South Puget Sound League South powerhouse, won all three relays to defend its team title with 422 points, ahead of Narrows League foe Gig Harbor (294) and Kentridge (222).
Vikings coach Dennis Piccolotto said the road back to state started on the bus ride home from Federal Way last season.
“It was, ‘What do we have to do to get back to state?’ ” he said. “And those guys started then.
“To win all three of those three relays shows the depth we have as a team. These guys believe in themselves, believe in each other, and it was really fun to watch them.”
South Kitsap sophomore Dylan Macabitas dominated the 100 backstroke in 54.77, and said that he is thrilled to be the first swimmer from his school to capture a title in at least a half-decade.
“Last year, I was in fourth place, and now I’m the top dog,” he said, standing to display the Wolves swimming banner he was wearing as a cape. “I’m No. 1, and it feels awesome.”
Macabitas said people attribute his success to the longevity of his swimming career — almost 10 years.
“I’ve worked so hard to get here,” he said. “I’m blessed to have everyone supporting me here.”
Olympia junior Andrew Wright said the experience of finishing in the top three the past two years helped him win the 200 individual medley in 2:00.04.
“I’m stoked … but I don’t think I ever really had it,” he said. “I kind of had to sprint the entire thing.”
Other winners were Curtis junior Ryan St. John in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.10), Kentlake sophomore Elias Knobloch in the 100 butterfly (53.98) and 500 freestyle (4:54.04), and Kentridge sophomore Dillon DePriest in the 200 freestyle (1:46.91) and senior Gabriel Gonzales in 1-meter diving (366.30 points).