The Spartans didn't win an individual title Saturday, but they still outpaced Curtis for the crown.
If you look at the list of individual state champions from the Class 4A state swimming and diving championships, which concluded at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way on Saturday night, nowhere will you find the name of a swimmer from Skyline.
But thanks to the Spartans’ depth, they were the ones holding the state championship trophy at the end of the meet.
“We had the depth to get it done,” Skyline coach Susan Simpkins said. “They did the races, and the boys did what they had to do. They got into the events.”
The girls program at Skyline has won six state titles, but the boys?
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“It’s the first time in school history that the boys have won,” Simpkins said. “It means a lot to all of (the athletes), and me, to be a part of it, but they are the ones that swam and got the times and made the points.”
One of the keys to victory for the Spartans were their relay teams. They won the 200-medley relay and finished second in the 200-freestyle relay and seventh in the 400-freestyle relay.
“They just all performed beautifully,” Simpkins said. “I don’t know what else to say, they did what they had to do.”
The Spartans had to chase down Curtis High School to win the meet. The Vikings took a lead midway through the meet, but Skyline closed the gap and passed the Vikings with two events left. The Spartans finished with 271 points, while Curtis finished with 251.
“It’s nerve-racking, because we both want this,” Simpkins said. “The guys just knew what was going on. They were watching, and they did it.”
Junior Colin Huynh, whose third-place finish in the 100 breastroke all but locked up the title for the Spartans, has enjoyed his ride to the top.
“Every year I’ve been on Skyline, we’ve made history,” he said. “Freshman year, it was the first time we had placed as a team for the boys. To continue placing throughout these years has just been amazing. To be in a great environment and to have such great teammates is just awesome.”
The Vikings’ effort to overtake the Spartans may have fell short, but Curtis coach Dennis Piccolotto enjoyed the back-and-forth between the two teams.
“We knew we’d be in the thick of it,” Piccolotto said. “We knew Skyline was about a 30 to 35 point favorite over us, and we definitely had a lot of swims and kind of nickel and dimed it and kept it close to the very end, for sure.”
North Creek’s Stride named swimmer of the meet
North Creek senior Brandon Stride was named the swimmer of the meet. Stride was one of two swimmers to win multiple events this year in the Class 4A meet. He won the 200 IM with an All-American consideration time of 1:50.26 and won the 100-backstroke with another All-American consideration time of 50.43.
Wenatchee junior Connor Elwyn also was a two-time champion, winning the 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke.