WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi’s Patrick Giedeman had a banner day Thursday evening at Whitman’s Harvey Pool, leading the Blue Devil swimmers with a pair of dominating solo victories in duel meets against Richland and Hanford.
Wa-Hi lost both duels, falling to Hanford 99-71 and Richland 92-78.
Despite the losses, Wa-Hi coach Katharine Curles was pleased with her team’s performance after coming off intense conditioning over winter break.
“It was a really, really strong meet,” Curles said. “We had a lot of events that we can really celebrate.”
Giedeman qualified for state with a 2-minute, 1.12-second swim in the 200-yard individual medley, winning his heat with several body lengths to spare. He also shaved four seconds off his previous Wa-Hi best in the 500 free, finishing in 4:57.47 for another first-place finish.
Russell Skorina notched a first-place finish in the 100 breast in 1:05 flat, nearly two seconds better than the third-place finisher, Tanner Collins of Hanford.
Wa-Hi opened the meet with a second-place finish in the 200 medley relay swam by Giedeman, Josh Bumgarner, Skorina and Jayden Wallace in 1:46.32.
Bumgarner finished the 200 free third in 1:57.3 and Wallace took second in the 50 free in 24.04.
After the 50 free Wa-Hi trailed Hanford 24-22 and was even with Richland at 23 team points, but both schools began to pull away from there.
Skorina placed third in the 100 fly with a 56.82 and was followed by a gutty performance in the 100 free by Wallace.
Wallace had to be helped out of the pool and was sent to the emergency room for stitches after splitting his foot open during a turn. Nevertheless, he finished the race in 53.71, good enough for third place and near a personal record.
“He did his flip turn and landed with his foot on the wall,” Curles said. “He still finished with the third fastest time in his life.”
Wallace will be out two to three weeks.
Following Giedeman’s win in the 500 free came a third-place finish in the 200 free relay in 1:49.32 by the team of Luke Reardon, Cole Woelfle, Ryder Magnaghi and Tyler Jones.
“(That was) a really strong time for them,” Curles said of the relay team’s finish. “That relay is one of our weakest parts, so for them to do so well is a really big deal.”
Eddi Kaminsky paced the Blue Devils with a fifth-place finish in the 100 back, finishing in a personal best 1:07.64.
After Skorina’s win in the 100 breast, Wa-Hi closed out the meet with a third-place finish in the 400 free relay. Giedeman, Wallace, Skorina and Bumgarner, swimming together in the relay for the first time, finished in 3:35.94.
“It was the first time we put that relay together for this season, and it was a really good base time for making our state time,” Curles said.
The Blue Devils are now 4-2 in duel meets on the season and host the Pullman Greyhounds Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Harvey Pool.
Wa-Hi peaked its midseason conditioning program over the winter break, with swimmers practicing almost every day. Curles estimated each swimmer swam between 12,000 and 13,000 yards a day during two-a-day practices.
“We put a lot of work in Christmas break,” Curles said. “We did a lot of hard sets. The boys are tired, so to see the boys come back and get PRs is exciting.
“We really amp up on our conditioning over the holidays,” Curles said.