Local swimmers shine at speedy meet

November 18, 2008

By Christopher Huber

In what many coaches considered the fastest state meet they had been to in years, the Skyline and Issaquah

ndie Taylor, Skyline junior, carves a path in the water during the breaststroke leg of her winning 200 individual medley race. Photos By Christopher Hube

ndie Taylor, Skyline junior, carves a path in the water during the breaststroke leg of her winning 200 individual medley race. Photos By Christopher Hube

high schools’ girls swim teams faired well at the state 4A finals at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

Skyline finished higher in the rankings than ever before. And although the Eagles didn’t do as well as they hoped, Issaquah head coach Laura Halter said the girls did well.

“That is really truly the fastest swim meet I’ve been to in my life,” Halter said. In a meet that saw four all-time state records broken, the Skyline Spartans finished seventh as a team with 104 points; Issaquah finished 22nd in state with 43 points. Jackson High School won the state team title with 190 points.

“We had a fabulous meet today,” Skyline coach Susie Miller said. “The girls were on fire. They came out ready to swim. We’re very proud of all the performances today.” 

Skyline’s Andie Taylor, who swam at the Olympic trials last summer, was the highlight for Skyline. She won the 200-yard individual medley in 1 minute, 58.23 seconds, breaking the 14-year-old state record for the second time in eight days. The time put Taylor at All-American standing for the event. 

“I just came in and wanted to get a best time. I thought I could go faster because (last) Saturday I hadn’t rested at all, and this week I had a day of rest,” Taylor said of improving her state-record time at the district meet Nov. 8.

Taylor also posted an All-American finish in the 100 freestyle. Although she placed second to Kentlake’s Chelsea Bailey, Taylor broke the five-year state record with a time of 49.97 seconds. She lost by only .15 seconds. 

“If the race would’ve been 101 yards, Andie would’ve won,” Miller said of how quickly Taylor closed in at the end.

Even though Taylor placed highest of all Skyline swimmers, sophomore Nina Zook and freshman Meghan O’Keefe placed in the top 10 in their events. 

In the 200 IM, O’Keefe came in 10th with a time of 2:10.51, more than a second faster than her preliminary time. Zook also finished 10th in the 100-yard butterfly, with a time of 59.15 seconds. 

The Spartans found much success in the relays as well. Skyline finished ninth overall in the 400-yard medley relay, but managed to set a new school record for the event. Its time of 3:43.14 is better than even the boys’ time for the same race, Miller said.

Issaquah’s defending state 3A champion in the 50-yard freestyle, junior Helen Liu had some tough competition in the 4A meet this year. She came away with a sixth-place finish in the 50 free with a time of 24.52 seconds and a seventh-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly, coming in at 58.95 seconds. 

“They weren’t bad, they were just disappointing,” Liu said.

Halter agreed with her as she stood with Liu, but said Liu remained consistent this season. 

“She was consistent from yesterday (prelims) to today (finals), and not everybody can do that,” Halter said. “There are a fair amount of kids that come to this meet and do way worse than they did yesterday. The competition in those two events was very, very tough and she performed well.”

Near the end of the meet, the Eagles won their heat in the 200-yard freestyle relay, finishing ninth overall with a time of 1:43.53. Marit Borth, Emily McCuen, Molly Herman and Liu made up the relay team. 

“The athletes we had on the team that made it to state performed superbly,” Halter said.

Miller and Halter said their teams should shape up well next season, as they are not losing many seniors to graduation. 

“We look to be even stronger next year,” Miller said.

In the 3A state meet, Liberty High School divers Katie Tsutakawa and Krista Lockhart finished seventh and eighth in the diving competition. Nicole Lecoq was ninth in the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley. Elise Tinseth finished tenth in the 200 IM.

Lecoq and Tinseth had personal records in those events Nov. 15 at the King County Aquatics Center.

The Patriots’ 400 free relay team of Tinseth, Nicole and Michela Lecoq and  Mackenzie Maynes set a school record Nov. 14 by more than 3 seconds. Liberty finished 14th overall in the team standings with 58 points. 

“I was extremely proud of how our kids did at the state meet,” said Liberty coach Kris Daughters. “They supported each other and concentrated on personal bests, and that’s great.”  

Reach Reporter Christopher Huber at 392-6434, ext. 242, or at chuber@isspress.com. Reporter Jim Feehan contributed to this story.

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