Wa-Hi swimmers head to district

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WALLA WALLA — For Blue Devil swim coach Katharine Curles, Friday and Saturday’s district meet on the Central Washington University campus in Ellensburg offers a chance for her Walla Walla High boys to send a good contingent to the state meet.

“Our team looks amazing right now,” Curles said. “We have been lessening the physical intensity of our workouts and upping the mental intensity. We are refining strokes, fixing up our technique and getting really excited. Last night (Monday), the guys looked fast. And they’re just going to get faster.”

The two-day district meet begins with preliminaries on Friday, with the top 16 in each event moving on to Saturday’s finals and a chance to earn team points.

“I’m taking a team of 21, and it is a very deep group of young men,” Curles said. “I expect a lot of them to make the top 16 and therefore get us points.

“Team-point wise, I’m not sure how we will do,” she said. “Richland is amazingly strong and is looking at placing really well in state this year, and my guess is that they will handedly win districts as well. I think that Wenatchee, Moses Lake, Davis and us will all be battling for second, third, fourth and fifth place. Moses Lake, Wenatchee, and Davis all have some fast all-star guys and they have divers (which Wa-Hi doesn’t have), but they lack the depth that we have. It will be really fun to see how we race.”

And state qualifying swims are a goal for the Blue Devils.

Tyler Jones has already qualified for state in the 500 Freestyle, and is hoping to qualify in the 200 Free.

“Russell Skorina is hoping to qualify in his 100 Breast or 100 Fly,” Curles said. “We also would love to get a relay qualified or allocated (the top two of every event get to go to state). I don’t think it’s out of the question for Braden Kimball to qualify either in the 50 or 100 Free. He has been dropping time and racing his competitors every race, and I think that could easily happen again.”

The state meet is Feb. 20-22 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

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