Stadium High School’s boys swimming team had a season-long goal: Repeat as Class 4A Narrows champions.
“Half my guys are seniors,” said coach Dave Baughman. “This season was the culmination of their careers and they’ve had in their minds all year to come back and win this meet again.”
How the Tigers piled up their winning 361 points Friday at Mt. Tahoma was “fantastic,” according to Baughman.
Sam Hoag’s winning 100-yard breastroke time of 1:01.18 qualified him for state and stands as the second-fastest time in Stadium school history. The Tigers 400-free relay team of Michael Marr, Noah Willers, Seamus Grant and Josh McClurg already had a state qualifying mark, but they improved it to 3:22.66.
Marr also helped the Tigers’ 200 medley relay team open the meet with a win and claimed an individual victory in the 50 free at 22.74. Grant was also an individual winner, claiming the 100 free in 49.28.
Perhaps the top individual performance on the 4A side came from Gig Harbor’s Ryan Grady, who won the 500 free in the fifth fastest time in the state this season, 4:55.58, and the 200 free in the ninth fastest time, 1:48.14. Both were state qualifying marks.
Meanwhile, on the 3A side, Wilson won with 320, well ahead of second place North Thurston, which had 264.
“I’m excited and pleased,” said Rams coach Don Higgins. “I came in expecting a good performance with the hope of competing for a championship. Our performance was higher than my expectations.”
Wilson’s Chris Harkness swam the second fastest 3A 500 free in the state this season at 4:50.54 and also won the 200 free in 1:50.59. Harkness made it a 4-for-4 day, participating on the Rams winning 200-free relay and 400-free relay teams.
Evan Chard was also a double individual winner, claiming the 100 back in a state qualifying time of 56.90 and the 200 individual medley in 2:04.05. Sam Sachs rounded out the Rams’ first place finishers with a win in the 100 fly at 55.87.
Higgins is happy with his team’s progress to this point but says it’s hard to guess what will happen next.
“It’s hard to predict state until you see who qualifies from the district allocations,” he said. “Going into districts, last season we finished just outside the top two and we hope to be able to compete for one of the top spots this time.”