Sophomore standout powering talented Knights | Boys swimming

Three Kamiak relays post state qualifying times
By David Pan | Dec 19, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Vlad Gilszmer finished second in the 500-yard freestyle at 4A state championships last season. He also placed seventh in the 200 freestyle during his freshman season.

It’s early in the season, but the numbers are adding up for Kamiak’s boys swim team.

Led by sophomore standout Vlad Gilszmer, the Knights posted state qualifying times in all three of their relays during a Wesco dual meet against Stanwood, Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Kamiak High School.

Gilszmer, twin brother Slava Gilszmer, sophomore Brian Park and junior Maxwell Fang won the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3 minutes, 15.72 seconds. The same four Knights took the 200 freestyle relay in 1:28.46.

Vlad Gilszmer, sophomore Michael Viray, Fang and Park finished first in the 200 medley relay in 1:40.04.

“Making state in all three was kind of the goal,” Kamiak coach Chris Erickson said.

The Knights (3-0 in the league, 4-0 overall) easily defeated the Spartans 118-52 and then dispatched Lynnwood (117-53) and Meadowdale (119-51) in Wesco South meets Thursday, Dec. 13, at Lynnwood Pool.

Vlad Gilszmer made an impressive debut last season with a second place finish in the 500 freestyle at the 4A state championships. He also placed seventh in the 200 freestyle.

“I think I could have improved my times, but I felt pretty good about what I did last year,” Gilszmer said.

The Kamiak sophomore’s times are ahead of where he was last year at this time.

“It’s started out pretty good so far,” Gilszmer said.

Gilszmer likely will focus on the same two races in the postseason – 200 and 500 freestyles.

“I’m just hoping to improve my times from last year,” he said.

Up until last year, Gilszmer was a multi-sport athlete, who played football and basketball his freshman year at Kamiak High School.

But he once he realized how good he was at swimming, he decided to devote all of his time to it.

“I started swimming about five years ago,” Gilszmer said. “At first it was just to stay in shape, but then as I started getting better at it, it became my main sport that I focus on.”

Gilszmer doesn’t have to look far for a training partner. Slava, who placed eighth in the 500 freestyle and 13th in the 100 backstroke, provides good competition for Vlad.

“We push each other,” Vlad said. “We get to go faster every day competing against each other in practice.”

The Gilszmer brothers weren’t the only Knights to come home with individual medals from the state meet.

Fang finished third in the 200 freestyle and seventh in the 100 butterfly. Two other Knights who are back and should be state contenders are Park and Alex Kirby. Park finished 14th in the 50 freestyle and Kirby was 10th in the 100 freestyle.

Kamiak’s 200 medley relay team finished second and the 400 freestyle team was sixth. The 200 freestyle relay squad took seventh. The Knights came home with a second-place trophy, the best finish for the school since 2013.

“We have a bunch of kids that need to drop a couple of seconds if they’re going to make state,” Erickson added. “They’re in the ballpark.”

Erickson said Kamiak should be able to make another strong run at the state meet with a top 5 finish a realistic goal.

“When it gets down to the nitty gritty, we should be in the running,” Erickson said.


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