PREP SPORTS: East Jefferson swimmers improve times

PORT ANGELES — The East Jefferson swim team posted its second time trials this weekend at Shore Aquatic Center in Port Angeles.

“It’s the little things that add up so quickly. We worked on a lot of key points last week and it showed,” said assistant coach Shannon Minnihan.

Coach Peter Braden said he was pleased with the team’s effort and times.

“When you’re working to improve and change your technique, you don’t always see faster times but just about everyone swam faster than last week which was great to see,” Braden said.

He highlighted three swimmers in particular. Sophomore Adeline Gellert-DePalma improved in all of her swims. After her 100-yard butterfly swim, Gellert-DePalma wasn’t sure about how she did. Braden said he told her she was eight seconds off, paused as if the time was slower, and then told her she was eight seconds faster than last week with a time of 1 minute, 27.45 seconds.

“Adeline couldn’t believe it. Eight seconds in a 100-yard race is a huge improvement,” he said. Gellert-DePalma also improved six seconds in her 100 freestyle relay split (1:15.70) and swam her first 200 freestyle, finishing second to teammate Magdaline Ferland, 2:43.50 to 2:39.08.

Sophomore Melody Douglas also had significantly better swims from just one week ago, improving her 200 individual medley from 3:09.60 to 3:03.52.

“She wasn’t sure about swimming the race,” commented Braden. “Melody was pretty tired but we talked about that’s the time to see what she can do when swimming tired, and she swam well.”

Douglas improved in her 100 breaststroke by more than five seconds, swimming a 1:33.62.

Senior team captain Emillia Nunn swam in her first meet of the season and posted a team’s season-best 100 backstroke time of 1:17.68. She also swam the 50 freestyle, finishing in a time of 29.29, second to senior Mary D’Arcy’s 28.12.

Nunn was disappointed in her technique, especially her turn and said, “I know I can swim faster, I’ll focus on my entry and turn next week.”

Braden pointed out that Nunn’s time was faster than last year’s in-season times and was happy she wanted to get even faster. Nunn swam the fastest leg in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 1:08.00.

The team’s A relays all had significant drops in time from the previous week. The 200 medley relay of Nunn, D’Arcy, Douglas and Jenna Hiegel improved the team’s season-best time from 3:00.09 to 2:26.32. The 200 freestyle relay team of Gellert-DePalma, Emma McAdam, Chloe Lampert and Ferland finished in 2:48.60, beating last week’s best time by almost 30 seconds. The 400 freestyle relay team of Nunn, Olivia Schmitt, D’Arcy, and Douglas swam a 5:00.87, besting last week’s performance by more than 27 seconds.

“We’re trying to figure out who’s on what relay for next week’s prelims,” Minnihan said.

Next Saturday, all teams in the region prepare for the culminating meet which is set to be completed by March 10. The first step is preliminaries in which the top 12 finishers move on to the final meet, to be completed by March 13.

“It’s such a bizarre year without in-person meets and the district and state meets,” Braden said. “The coaches in our region wanted to give the swimmers the opportunity for a culminating meet, even if it’s held virtually,” said Braden.

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