Port Angeles’ Harper McGuire, a district champion in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle, signed Wednesday to swim for the University of Puget Sound. From left are mother Karry McGuire, Harper McGuire, father Michael McGuire and brother Ronan McGuire. (Pierre LaBossiere/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles’ Harper McGuire, a district champion in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle, signed Wednesday to swim for the University of Puget Sound. From left are mother Karry McGuire, Harper McGuire, father Michael McGuire and brother Ronan McGuire. (Pierre LaBossiere/Peninsula Daily News)

PREP SWIMMING: PA’s McGuire to make waves for Puget Sound

PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles’ Harper McGuire completed a wildly successful high school swim career in her senior season, but she’s just getting started.

Surrounded by a large contingent of friends, family and coaches, McGuire signed a commitment to swim at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.

McGuire was one of the best swimmers on a girls team that finished fourth in the state last fall. McGuire racked up an impressive 26 first-place finishes out of 32 races during the season. Those other six races, she finished second.

She was a bidistrict champion in both the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle and finished fourth in the state in the 500 and fifth in the 200.

She also anchored a 400 relay team with Lynzee Reid, Danika Asgiersson and Yau Fu that finished third in the state and a 200 relay team with the same three teammates that finished sixth in the state as she medaled in four events individually and as a relay team member. She also finished third at state as a 400 relay team member and fifth as a 200 relay member in 2022, helping the Riders finish fifth as a team. She was easily the most accomplished swimmer at Port Angeles in several years.

“This is special, what a moment,” said Port Angeles Athletic Director Dwayne Johnson.

Swim coach Sally Cole said McGuire was part of the first wave of freshmen on the team when she took over as coach in 2020.

“This moment will stick with me forever. This is the first athlete I’ve had sign to move on to college,” Cole said.

Cole stressed, however, that McGuire’s accomplishments go beyond her records. She was captain of the team and most of the girls’ swim team attended her signing.

“What I admire most is her character. That shines through more than her victories,” Cole said.

Port Angeles Swim Club coach Jason Ridle waved to the room and said, “look at how many people she inspires.”

He then gestured to her swim teammates and added, “I hope you swim for us this summer because if you do, they will, too.”

“I appreciate so much every one of you who showed up for me,” McGuire said. “I’m so appreciative. I could not ask for a better group of people.”

McGuire said her senior year was amazing with the first-place finishes and district championships, especially after she said she struggled in her junior year.

She singled out her parents, Michael and Karry McGuire, for supporting her swimming career.

“They showed up for me every minute of every day. I can’t imagine two people could do as much for a person as my parents did for me,” she said.

McGuire said she picked UPS, which competes at the NCAA Division III level, because it felt like a community.

“It’s the same as what you see here today. Their community is outstanding. Their coach kept reaching out to me,” she said.

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