WALLA WALLA - Wa-Hi's Austin Garrett qualified for the state meet in the 50 freestyle and Patrick Giedeman did the same in the 500 Free during a Big Nine dual meet against Moses Lake at Whitman College's Harvey Pool Thursday.
Garrett swam the 500 Free in 22.79 for his qualifying time, while Giedeman swam the 500 Free in 5:01.54 to secure his spot in at state.
The Blue Devils won the meet, 93-77.
"We had some strong standout swims, placing first in two relays and five individual events, and second in one relay and five individual events," Wa-Hi coach Katharine Curles said. "But, our victory came from the guys who had close races for third, fourth and fifth places. Those guys had some great races and their points are the ones that made the 16-point difference that allowed us to succeed."
The 200 Medley Relay was two seconds off the state qualifying time, and the 400 Freestyle relay three seconds off.
Jon Klem missed the 200 Individual Medley state qualifying mark by .27 seconds, Curles said.
"Reilly Beckstrand had a phenomenal 200 IM," she said of his finish in 2:21.26. "He looked strong and he raced well. He placed third in the 200 IM as well as in his 100 Backstroke, an event where he dropped two seconds.
"The 50 Freestyle was the turning point, score-wise, when the boys realized that it was time to put their nose to the grindstone and not let those lower-placing points get away," Curles said. "Austin Garrett set the momentum with his defiant first-place finish and state time, and then Max Troin and Jayden Wallace backed him up finishing third and fourth, respectively, each dropping a half second.
"The 100 Fly kept that momentum strong, while Russell Skorina dropped nearly three seconds to place second and Jon Klem placed third and Tyler Jones fifth with a 3.5-second time drop.
"George Lopez-Vargas, a budding butterflier, dropped more than seven seconds to solidify a very solid districts cut," she said.
"In the 100 Back, Troin, Beckstrand and Zach Morris placed second, third and fifth, respectively, and our JV boys in that event each dropped at least 5 seconds, including James Innes who achieved a time that would have placed fifth in Varsity.
"The biggest treat of the day was our 100 Breast," Curles said. "Russell Skorina and Josh Bumgarner placed 1-2, both going lifetime best times. These two will be fun to watch over the season."
Now, the Blue Devils turn right around and head to Wenatchee Saturday.
"Overall, as a team, the guys are tired," Curles said. "They swam and/or worked out twice a day six days a week over break, and have been working harder than many of them ever have in their lives.
"For my nearly 20 first-time swimmers, the improvements they are making daily are ever-so-apparent, and the time improvements they achieved today are absolutely unreal. They're swimming so well tired, I can't begin to imagine how great they will be once they're rested in a few weeks."
Team score - Wa-Hi 93, Moses Lake 77
200 medley relay-1, Walla Walla (Patrick Giedeman, Russell Skorina, Jonathon Klem, Austin Garrett) 1:46.75; 2, Moses Lake 1:05.19; 3, Moses Lake 1:57.70. 200 free-1, Brenden Eslick (ML) 1:51.25; 2, Zach Staudenmaier (Wa-Hi) 2:03.11; 3, Giedeman (Wa-Hi) 2:04.73. 200 IM-1, Klem (Wa-Hi) 2:04.27; 2, Zack Johnston (ML) 2:11.50; 3, Reilly Beckstrand (Wa-Hi) 2:21.26. 50 free-1, Austin Garrett (Wa-Hi) 22.79 (SQ); 2, Evan McFarland (ML) 24.34; 3, Max Troin (Wa-Hi) 25.43. 100 fly-1, Eslick (ML) 55.49; 2, Skorina (Wa-Hi) 57.98; 3, Klem (Wa-Hi) 59.35. 100 free-1, Garrett (Wa-Hi) 50.71; 2, Kaelan Connacher (ML) 52.68; 3, Staudenmaier (Wa-Hi) 54.50. 500 free-1, Giedeman (Wa-Hi) 5:01.54 (SQ); 2, Johnston (ML) 5:14.44; 3, Bumgarner (Wa-Hi) 5:31.19. 200 free relay-1, Moses Lake (Ben Breakey, Jacob Price, Reid Jackson, Evan McFarland) 1:40.75; 2, Walla Walla 1:41.54; 3, Moses Lake 1:45.01. 100 back-1, Connacher (ML) 57.70; 2, Troin (Wa-Hi) 1:03.50; 3, Beckstrand (Wa-Hi) 1:06.02. 100 breast-1, Skorina (Wa-Hi) 1:05.35; 2, Bumgarner (Wa-Hi) 1:09.15; 3, McFarland (ML) 1:12.02. 400 free relay-1, Walla Walla (Giedeman, Klem, Bumgarner, Garrett) 3:29.75; 2, Moses Lake 3:30.95; 3, Walla Walla 3:53.02.