POULSBO — Senior Night, the North Kitsap swim team’s final home meet and final regular season contest seemed like the perfect time to pick up the first team “W” of the season.
A “true team effort” yielded the 95-74 win over the Abes, NK head coach Greg Braun said as North hosted Lincoln High School Tuesday. And for one of the few times this season, the Vikings were competing on an even playing field.
Without a diving coach, North has no diving cadre — therefore opposing team’s with divers typically get extra points before the meet is halfway over. Lincoln brought no divers; North brought heart in its final home show.
“Strong performances by all of the athletes gave North the depth to overcome a very talented Lincoln team,” Braun said.
It all began with a Viking sweep of the first three events.
The NK 200 meter medley relay team — Ryan Eggers, Aaron Bilbao, Mike Colasurdo, Andrew Yee — touched in at 2:03.62 for first place in the first event. Jeffrey Reeves followed, taking first in the 200M free (1:52.98), then Bryan Surber touched in first in the 200M IM with a time of 2:43.48. All three times were personal records for the Vikes.
On the afternoon, the Vikings racked up a total of 51 personal best times.
“At their own level, they’ve all made big strides,” Braun said. “It’s just a visible difference, you can almost see it day to day. They are coachable … they just want more.”
Since beginning practice in November, the entire season has been a building process for the Vikings. Coming in with a jumbled slate of experience levels, the Vikes took off from their respective blocks and have been improving ever since.
“A large portion of our team is new and as a result there is so much stuff to learn,” Braun said.
Repeatedly this season, the Vikings have come out of meets with more than 30 personal best times.
“You know your own time, so it’s easy to set new goal times,” Braun said.
Late in the meet Tuesday, Yee marked a goal as he captured a district qualifying time in the 100M backstroke. Then in the next event, Aaron Bilbao met one of his personal best times as he finished first in the 100M breaststroke with a time of 1:11.27.
Earlier in the meet in the 100M butterfly, Nathan Bilbao also collected a district time, becoming the seventh Viking to enter the West Central District meet — which will be Feb. 9-10 at Rogers High School.
In a last attempt at qualifying times the Vikings traveled to the Narrows League divisional meet in South Kitsap Thursday.
Though it was another “great meet for NK swimmers,” Braun said, no additional Vikings secured a league or district qualifying time.