FEDERAL WAY — With two first-place finishes and 12 other top-10 finishes, Port Angeles finished second in the state in the Class 2A State Girls’ Swim and Diving championships Saturday.
The girls finished with 260 team points to Liberty’s 322. Port Angeles and Liberty were neck-and-neck much of the day in the team competition as the two squads dominated the state meet. But, Liberty pulled away in the last four events of the day as the Patriots simply had too many competitors in the final heats for the Roughriders to keep up. The 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle particularly helped Liberty as the Patriots had six swimmers win points in the two events combined.
Sequim finished with 22 points.
Port Angeles’ Jaine Macias won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1 minute, 5.13 seconds, while the Port Angeles 200 medley team of Macias, Kenzie Johnson, Felicia Che and Nadia Cole won their event in 1:50.76. Both times were Port Angeles school records.
“It was very impressive, very cool,” said Port Angeles coach Rich Butler.
Butler, who was also named the 2A Swim Coach of the Year, said the team came into State with a goal of finishing in the top three. Port Angeles sent swimmers to the final heats in all 12 events.
“We definitely knew we could finish in the top three, it was just a matter of execution,” he said.
After finishing second, Butler said the girls were excited with the finish. “Everybody loves to win, but we were very excited. The kids really stepped up,” he said.
The scary thing? The Riders are actually a very young team that will bring almost everyone back next year. Port Angeles only graduates Macias and Kylee Reid. Three-quarters of that record-breaking 200 medley team are freshmen, so they will be around for another three years.
Macias had a busy day as she also came in third in the 100 butterfly. Macias, Johnson, Che and Cole teamed up again in the 200 freestyle to finish fourth.
Johnson finished third in the 100 backstroke and 10th in the 50 freestyle. Her 100 backstroke time of 1:00.08 was a school record.
Cole was fourth in the 100 breaststroke and Sierra Hunter seventh in the 500 freestyle. Che finished ninth in the 200 individual medley.
The Port Angeles team of Hunter, Emma Murray, Ashlee Seelye and Taylor Beebe was ninth in the 400 freestyle relay.
Hunter finished 11th in the 200 freestyle and Kylee Reid was 11th in the 100 backstroke. Murray was 12th in the 200 individual medley. Seelye was 13th in the 100 freestyle and Beebe 13th in the 100 backstroke.
In all, Port Angeles had 10 top-10 finishes in the swimming competition (plus two in diving) and 17 Roughrider swimmers scored points in the final heats. Macias finished in the top four of four individual and relay events while Johnson finished in the top four in three events.
The Sequim 200 freestyle team of Syndee Linnane, Anna Miehe, Jasmine Itti and Sonja Govertsen finished 11th. Govertsen was also 15th in the 50 freetyle. Port Townsend’s Corinne Pierson was 16th in the 100 backstroke.
Meanwhile, in an extremely close competition, Port Angeles diver Cassii Middlestead finished second in the diving finals. She led after the preliminaries and semifinals but was barely edged out in the finals by Belle Wong of Liberty 338.80 points to 335.25. Port Angeles’ Lum Fu finished fourth with 283.85 points.
Middlestead cruised in the prelims with 149.20 points, ahead of second-place Wong, who had 136.35. Fu was sixth after prelims with 129.00 points.
After the semifinals, Middlestead maintained her lead with 241.35 points, while Wong was close behind with 225.20. Fu moved up to fourth after the semifinals with 209.65 points.
The Roughriders’ daylong tussle with the Patriots for the state championship began with a bang when the Riders’ 200 medley team won the first event of the day, edging out a Liberty squad and giving Port Angeles a 40-34 lead after one event. The Riders stayed close to the Patriots all day, then after the 100 butterfly, when Port Angeles had two finishers in the top nine (Macias and Che) and Liberty had no competitors in that event, Port Angeles took a brief lead of 135 points to 125 for Liberty.
Liberty’s depth was a bit too much at the end for the Riders to keep up with. After the 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle, with six finishers in the top nine in the two events, Liberty regained the lead with 163 points to Port Angeles’ 139.
As an example of how much Port Angeles and Liberty dominated, third-place Anacortes with 185 points ended up 75 points behind the second-place Riders. Port Angeles’ Olympic 2A rival North Kitsap came in fouth with 158 points.
Girls State 2A Swim and Dive Championship
King County Aquatic Center, Federal Way
200-yard medley relay: Port Angeles (Kenzie Johnson, Jaine Macias, Felicia Che, Nadia Cole), first, PA school record, 1:50.76; Sequim (Syndee Linnane, Anna Miehe, Sonja Govertsen, Jasmine Itti), 13th, 2:03.81
200-yard freestyle: Sierra Hunter, PA, 11th, 2:04.45.
200-yard individual medley: Nadia Cole, PA, eighth, 2:15.06; Felicia Che, PA, ninth, 2:16.61, Emma Murray, PA, 12th, 2:22.40.
50-yard freestyle: Kenzie Johnson, PA, 10th, 25.58; Sonja Govertsen, Sequim 15th, 26.59.
100-yard butterfly: Jaine Macias, PA, third, 58.78; Felicia Che, PA, ninth, 1:01.97.
100-yard freestyle: Ashlee Seelye, PA, 13th, 58.11.
500-yard freestyle: Sierra Hunter, PA, seventh, 5:32.63.
200-yard freestyle relay: Port Angeles (Johnson, Cole, Macias, Che), fourth, 1:43.49; Sequim (Syndee Linnane, Jasmine Itti, Anna Miehe, Sonja Govertsen), 11th, 1:47.52.
100-yard backstroke: Kenzie Johnson, PA, third, PA school record, 1:00.08; Kylee Reid, PA, 11th, 1:04.07; Taylor Beebe, PA, 13th, 1:04.93; Corinne Pierson, Port Townsend, 16th, 1:06.51.
100-yard breaststroke: Jaine Macias, PA, first, PA school record, 1:05.13; Cole, PA, fourth, 1:08.56.
400-yard freestyle relay: Port Angeles (Emma Murray, Ashlee Seelye, Sierra Hunter, Taylor Beebe), ninth, 3:52.66.
Cassii Middlestead, PA, second, 335.25 points; Lum Fu, PA, fourth, 283.85 points.
Friday’s Preliminaries (Did not qualify for finals)
200 Freestyle: Kylee Reid, PA, 17th, 2:09.04; Erin Edwards, PA, 21st, 2:10.34
50 Freestyle: Taylor Beebe, PA, 20th, 26.85
100 Butterfly: Emma Murray, PA, 19th, 1:06.41
500 Freestyle: Erin Edwards, PA, 18th, 5:52.95
1. Liberty (Renton) 322; 2. Port Angeles, 260; 3. Anacortes, 185; 4. North Kitsap, 158; 5. Pullman, 155; 6. Columbia River, 153; 7. Aberdeen, 137; 8. Cheney, 120; 9. Steilacoom, 106; 10. Ellensburg, 97; 11. Klahowya, 78; 12. Highline, 74; 13. Sehome, 69; 14. Olympic, 66; 15. Sammamish, 50; 16. Lindbergh, 45; 17. Black Hills, 35; 18. Naches Valley, 32; 19. La Center, 26; 19. Kingston, 26; 21. Archbishop Murphy, 25; 22. Sequim, 22; 23. Bellingham, 21; 24. Tumwater, 19; 25. Fife, 11; 25. Brewster, 11; 27. Foss, 6; 28. Zillah, 5; 29. Clarkston, 4; 30. Renton, 2; 30. Washougal, 2; 32. Selah, 1; 32. Wapato, 1; 32. Port Townsend, 1.