POULSBO — The North Kitsap High School swim team was the first to shake off the holiday rust.
The Vikings, who have been on winter break since the middle of last month, were the first ones into the pool Thursday as they took on last year’s state runner-up, the Gig Harbor Waves.
While the results — a 120-60 loss for North Kitsap — weren’t unexpected, the Vikings still managed to post 21 best times (including the relays), with several of the swimmers showing that they have stayed sharp over break.
“I was pleased to see that we had some best times,” said head coach Greg Braun. “I was pleasantly surprised to see some of those, given the fact that we had a long break.”
Best times were posted by Leland Jefferis, William Almond, and Jeff Donnelly in the 200 freestyle; by William Cook in the 200 IM; by Pat Cox and Josh Snell in the 50 free; by Brian Arcement in the 100 fly; by Jacob Snell and Joe Spear in the 100 free; and by William Almond in the 500 free, where Almond shaved 21 seconds off his previous best.
The best race of the afternoon didn’t involve a best time at all; it involved Jake Leeper surpassing a pair of Gig Harbor opponents to take first place in the 200 IM.
Leeper, Braun said, jumped out to a lead, briefly lost it, then overtook the two Gig Harbor swimmers in order to come away with the victor.
“They were trading places all the way along,” said Braun. “Jake took over in the freestyle and beat them. To see three guys racing like that, it’s very exciting.”
Braun was pleased by the Vikings’ effort, including divers Patrick White and Justin Klein, who each achieved their best scores of the year.
“It was nice to see the kids come back and be well rested and swim some best times,” said Braun.
Things don’t get much easier for the Vikings, who have two road meets next week, against South Kitsap Jan. 8 and Bremerton Jan. 10. Both of those meets begin at 3:30 p.m. The Vikings then return home to host Bainbridge Island and Shelton Jan. 15.