Kamiak’s Gilszmer, 400 free relay claim state crowns | Swimming

Twin brothers go 1-2 in 500 freestyle finals
By David Pan | Feb 20, 2019
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak sophomore Vlad Gilszmer finished first in the 500-yard freestyle at 4A boys state swimming championships Saturday, Feb. 16, at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Gilszmer also helped the Knights to a state title in the 400 freestyle relay.

Kamiak’s Vlad Gilszmer left no doubt this time.

A year after finishing as the runner-up in the 500-yard freestyle, Gilszmer swam away from the field to claim his first state title at the 4A boys swimming and diving championships Saturday, Feb. 16, at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

Gilszmer won the 500 freestyle in 4 minutes, 35.12 seconds, more than five seconds ahead of twin brother Slava Gilszmer, who clocked in at 4:40.61.

The two Kamiak sophomore brothers then teamed up with senior Alex Kirby and junior Maxwell Fang to finish first in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:09.73.

“It feels amazing,” Vlad Gilszmer said of his 500 freestyle title. “I’ve been training hard for this for a lot of years now.”

Last year’s second-place finish provided ample motivation for him, Gilszmer added.

“I really wanted to win first place this year,” he said.

Practicing with Slava every day was an important part of Vlad’s training routine.

“It helps me work harder cause me and him always race each other during practice,” Vlad said. “We push each other that way.”

That work ethic is the reason why Vlad became the first Kamiak sophomore to win an individual state title and why the two brothers dominated the 500 freestyle, Knights coach Chris Erickson said.

“They put in a lot of work in the pool and it paid off,” he said.

Fang gave the Knights an early lead in the 400 freestyle relay and his teammates maintained the advantage throughout the race.

“We just executed the race strategy and let the training take over,” Fang said. “My teammates really encouraged me and really motivated me to swim fast.”

The splits were 46.66, 48.05, 48.19 and 46.83, which were solid times, Erickson said.

“Alex is the only senior. They’ll be back,” the Kamiak coach said.

Fang finished third in the 200 freestyle and was followed by Vlad Gilszmer (fourth) and Slava Gilszmer (sixth). Fang also place fourth in the 100 freestyle. He dropped times in both events

“I felt better than yesterday,” Fang said. “It was a real good improvement. I look forward to next year.”

Kamiak’s 200 freestyle relay team of Brian Park, Fang, Slava Gilszmer and Vlad Gilszmer finished third. Park took 10th in the 50 freestyle and Kirby placed 15th in the 100 freestyle. Johnathan Ke took 16th in the 100 butterfly.

Kamiak finished fifth in the team competition with 178 points. Skyline won the title with 271 points and was followed by Curtis (251), Newport (185) and Wenatchee (182).

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