After snatching four first place medals at Propstra Pool Thursday, Seth Albert helped the Camas High School boys swimmers hoist up the 4A district championship trophy.
“It’s a little heavy,” Albert said, still catching his breath and rinsing the sting out of his arms after a perfect day in the water. The senior won both the 200- and the 100-meter freestyle races before helping the Papermakers win the 200 and the 400 freestyle relay events.
“I came into the pool today saying ‘I’m going to get a first place medal.’ I didn’t expect to get four,” Albert said. “I’m competitive. I love being first in everything. I don’t like to get second.”
Camas racked up 459 points to win the five-team district meet. Skyview took second place with 323 points and Union was third with 220 points.
Albert and teammate Max Urbanek ran the table in the 200 freestyle. Albert touched the wall first in 1 minute. 53.96 seconds and Urbanek followed him in 1:54.63.
“The guys said ‘don’t let Max beat you,’” Albert said. “Either way, Camas is getting first.”
Albert won the 100 freestyle in 52.10. He also anchored John Utas, Trent Harimoto and Xiaguang Yan to victory in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:33.57. Albert had enough left in the tank to swim the first leg of the 400 freestyle relay. Kasey Calwell, Lucas Ulmer and John Utas finished the deal with a time of 3:25.59.
“I think about getting up at 5 a.m. every day, even on the days I didn’t want to. But then you get to the top of that podium and you realize it was totally worth it,” Calwell said. “That’s what I love about swimming. It takes a lot of work to get up there. You can’t fake it.”
Calwell, Jake Yraceburu, Ulmer and Utas kicked off the meet by winning the 200 medley relay in 1:40.39. Calwell also clinched first in the 200 individual medley (1:58.25) and second in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.41). Yraceburu earned first in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.71) and second in the 50 freestyle (23.42). John Utas finished first in the 50 freestyle (23.03) and Max Urbanek grabbed first in the 500 freestyle (5:11.85). Ulmer claimed second in the 100 butterfly (54.61) and the 100 backstroke (56.61).
All of these Papermakers qualified for the 4A state championship meet Friday and Saturday, at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Friday’s preliminary session starts at 6:15 p.m. Saturday’s championship round begins at 6:30 p.m.
Although Albert strives for an even better performance at state, nobody can take away his four first place district medals.
“I don’t want this to be the best meet of my swimming career because I always want to get better,” he said. “This is as high as I’m going to go, high school wise. I’m happy because I know I put my all into it.”