Behind senior Logan Rysemus and a cast of quickly-improving swimmers, Stadium looks like it could make a run at defending its 4A state title.
Rysemus swam to convincing victories in the 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke, and the Tigers won seven of 11 events to win all of their dual meets against Wilson, Foss, Lincoln and Mount Tahoma at the Tacoma All-City Meet on Jan. 5 at Mount Tahoma High School.
“As a team, I think we just came in pretty well and swam pretty strongly,” said Rysemus, who has qualified for every event at the state tournament except the 100-yard breaststroke.
The Tigers’ relay team of Nick Riggio, Noah Willers, Josh Maclurg and Kyle Marr began the meet with a convincing win in the 200-yard medley relay, Willers followed with a win by almost five seconds in the 200-yard free and Maclurg won the 200-yard individual medley.
Maclurg added a win in the 100-yard breaststroke, and Rysemus, Willers, Riggio and Aidan Hoban finished the meet by winning the 400-yard free relay. Despite all the success and potential, the Tigers are trying to remain focused on the task at hand before the postseason.
“We’re focusing on swimming good meets,” said Stadium head coach Dave Baughman, who added that an upcoming meet against Gig Harbor on Jan. 17 should be challenging. “If we can’t get around them, we’re not probably going to have any success at league or districts.”
But Baughman couldn’t help but be impressed by the Tigers’ effort on the day, particularly Nicholas Stauffer’s personal best in the 50-yard freestyle and Kyle Marr’s second-place finishes in the 50-free and 100-free.
Mount Tahoma’s Ian Pallisigui highlighted the day for the Thunderbirds, swimming a 3A state-qualifying time of 55.36 in winning the 100-yard butterfly, while also finishing second to Rysemus in the 100-yard backstroke.
“I’m learning more and more about his abilities,” said Mount Tahoma head coach Lance Trebilcock of Pallisigui, who moved to the United States from the Philippines last year. “He’s a very natural swimmer. He’s smoothing out some things he can improve on, but he’s a pretty amazing swimmer.”
Foss’ Vitor Rossin, a Brazilian exchange student, won the 50- and 100-yard freestyles in impressive fashion, notching district-qualifying times in both. Rossin, though, will return to Brazil for school before the beginning of the swimming postseason, and will be unable to participate.
“He’s been a great addition in workouts, to be able to have him,” said Foss head coach Matt Wood. “He swam really well today.”
Wilson, meanwhile, got a win in the 200-yard freestyle relay from Kevin Frey, Tyler Brubaker, Jesse Gayvoronski and Alex Gayvoronski in a district-qualifying time of one minute and 39.90 seconds. The Rams tallied dual meet wins over Foss, Lincoln and Mount Tahoma, as Cody Dodge took second place with district times in the 200-yard individual medley and the 500-yard freestyle, and teamed with Frey, Brubaker and Conner Schell to take second in the 200-yard medley relay. Frey also had district times in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, and Brubaker added district times in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard freestyle.
“This is a fun meet,” said Wilson head coach Don Higgins. “It’s more strategic than just a dual meet…we get a good grasp of what to expect at (the league championships).”
Lincoln’s relay team of Bradley Milton, Justin Webster, Craig Chapman and Vlad Somoilov highlighted the Abes day by taking third in the 200-yard freestyle relay and fifth in the 400-yard freestyle relay, with district-qualifying times in both. Webster added district times in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke, while Somoilov notched a district time in the 100-yard freestyle.
And with a successful day in the books and the regular season winding down, Rysemus noted that the potential is there for a repeat state title for the deep Stadium squad. “There’s been talk about it. It’s a major dream we have, especially with how we’ve been swimming lately…everything has to go right, but I believe we can do it again, and hopefully we will do it again.”