By Ron Newberry
Special to the Seattle Times
This will be a weekly installment in which Ron Newberry takes a look at the Seattle swimming scene, big swimming performances and big meets around the area. It will run every Thursday morning, so check back each week.
Mercer Island made some waves this week, while Newport is ready to make a splash.
The Islanders, seeking their fifth consecutive Class 3A state championship next month, handled Bainbridge rather convincingly Tuesday to stay undefeated in dual meets. Newport is unbeaten against 4A opponents this season as it looks ahead to a rough slate next week as the Knights prepare to take on Issaquah and three-time defending 4A champion Skyline.
“Issaquah finished ahead of us at the state meet last year and most everyone’s back from last year’s state team,” Newport coach Eric Bartleson said. “Those two meets have been on our calendar. But Bellevue is next (Friday) and then we’ll work toward the next two.”
The Seattle Times will focus on girls swimming in the blog each Thursday, sharing recent top performances and other news as well as looking ahead to big meets.
Mercer Island’s 108-78 non-conference victory over Bainbridge Tuesday didn’t fully tell the story of the meet.
“I think Bainbridge is really good,” Mercer Island coach Chauntelle Johnson said. “I don’t think the score reflects how the meet really was.”
Forty state-qualifying times were met in the meet between the top two finishers at the 3A state meet last season. Six-time state champion Grace Wold of Mercer Island swam the state’s fastest time (2:07.60) in the 200 Individual Medley but lost to Kay Sterner by nearly three seconds in the 500 freestyle.
Bainbridge also moved ahead of Mercer Island as the new state leader in the 200 medley relay (1:51.72).
Mercer Island’s next big challenge is Skyline Tuesday. It will be a daunting week for the Spartans, who also face a Newport team that defeated them two years ago.
Newport takes on Issaquah at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday before its showdown against Skyline at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12. Both meets are at Mary Wayte Pool in Mercer Island.
“We’ve competed very well (against Skyline) the past three years,” Bartleson said. “We go back and forth. The girls are anxious to get in there and swim against them. I’m sure the Skyline kids are anxious to swim us.”
Here is a look at some of the area’s top individual performances since the start of last week:
Mackenna Briggs, Liberty: Defending 3A state 100 backstroke champion recorded state-qualifying times in the 200 freestyle (1:58.20) against Mercer Island and 50 freestyle (25.04) against Garfield.
Grace Wold, Mercer Island: Swam the fastest time in the state (57.80) this season in the 100 backstroke against Liberty.
Anne Shirey, Meadowdale: Swam 3A state-qualifying 1:11.14 in the 100 breaststroke and was part of two winning relays against Oak Harbor.
Alex Seidel, Mercer Island: Met 3A state-qualifying times in three events against Bellevue, winning the 200 freestyle (2:01.01), 100 backstroke (1:01.92) and 400 freestyle relay (3:45.67). She also qualified for state in the 50 freestyle (25.25) and 200 freestyle relay (1:44.10) against Liberty.
Kaela McKee, Jackson: Was part of four winning events in the Timberwolves’ victory over Monroe.
Kim Williams, Bellevue: Sophomore reached 3A state-qualifying times in the 50 freestyle (24.66) and 100 breaststroke (1:05.98) against Mercer Island.
Brianna Lucien, Mariner: Swam the 500 freestyle in 5:15.62 against Shorewood, a 4A state qualifying time and the best mark in the Wesco this season.
Nichole Carlson, Cascade: Won two individual events and swam on victorious 200 freestyle relay in Bruins’ narrow 86-82 victory over Oak Harbor.
Caitlin Cox, Mercer Island: Recorded 3A state qualifying times in the 500 freestyle (5:22.03), 200 medley relay (1:53.14) and 200 freestyle relay (1:45.27) against Bellevue. She also qualified for state in the 200 IM (2:15.72) against Liberty.
Britt Blomso, Shorewood: Swam 100 backstroke in 3A state-qualifying 1:02.24 and was part of .
Jenny Huo, Newport: Swam 200 Individual Medley in 4A state-qualifying 2:14.99.
Megan Kawaguchi, Mount Rainier: Was part of four winning events in a victory over Kentlake, including swimming lead leg on 4A state-qualifying 200 medley relay (1:54.74).
Sabrina Kwan, Mercer Island: Freshman qualified for 3A state meet in the 100 butterfly (59.24) against Bainbridge.
Courtney Larson, Mount Rainier: Was part of 4A state-qualifying 200 medley relay (1:54.75) against Kennedy Catholic and also nearly qualified for state in the 50 freestyle (25.79).
Vanessa Moffatt, Kennedy Catholic: Met 3A state-qualifying time of 5:22.42 in the 500 freestyle against Mount Rainier.
Marley Cross, Garfield: Freshman qualified for the 4A state meet in the 200 freestyle (1:59.08) against Issaquah and also won the 100 butterfly (1:02.75).
Djenne Dickens, Edmonds-Woodway: Swam the 50 freestyle in state-qualifying 25.0 seconds against Shorewood.
Anni Hecker, Shorewood: Qualfied for the 4A state meet in the 100 freestyle (54.62) and 400 freestyle relay (3:50.07) against Edmonds-Woodway.