UNIVERSITY PLACE – Chase Bublitz isn’t used to the feeling he took away from the 50-yard freestyle final on Saturday at Curtis High.
The Kentridge senior lost the event to Federal Way sophomore Thomas Anderson. It was the first time Bublitz hasn’t won at the West Central District meet since his freshman season.
“I’m not used to losing at this meet,” said Bublitz, who swam 21.48 seconds to Anderson’s 21.26. “The last time was my freshman year, in the 50 free, to a senior teammate of mine – Cameron Whiting.”
Two weeks later, at the state meet, Bublitz avenged that loss and beat Whiting. He would need to accomplish that turnaround again to accomplish the bigger goal in Federal Way on Feb. 21 and 22 – his fifth and sixth individual state titles.
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The rare district loss spurred Bublitz just about 20 minutes later, when he blew away the field in maybe his best race – the 100 butterfly. Bublitz went 51.08 in that race, and he plans to go a lot faster in two weeks.
While Bublitz settled for one title on Saturday, two others did not.
Brian Woodbury, from the host Vikings, set meet and school records with his 1:52.84 in the 200 individual medley. Woodbury’s time shaved more than a second off the previous meet mark of 1:54.32, set in 2003 by Decatur’s Joon Youm.
The Curtis senior later added two more records, outpacing Anderson to win the 100 backstroke in 49.69 seconds. The 200 IM time was an All-America consideration time. The back time was an automatic All-America time.
Stadium sophomore Noah Willers also was a double winner, earning titles in the 200 and 500 frees. Anderson’s time of 54.92 in the back gave him a first and a second swimming against two of the district titans from recent seasons.
The race for the district team title was a two-school affair from the start. Midway through the meet, Gig Harbor held a 269-206 lead over Curtis. But the Vikings scored late and often to ultimately take the district crown, 370-361, over the Tides.