By Ron Newberry
Special to The Seattle Times
This week’s look at the area high school swimming scene, big meets and top performances:
Newport does it again, Skyline hunts for fourth straight title
Newport coach Eric Bartleson watched history repeat itself. Now he’s hoping for a better ending.
Bartleson’s Newport Knights knocked off three-time defending Class 4A state champion Skyline, 106-80, in a KingCo dual meet last Friday to wrap up one spot in the conference’s dual meet championships next week.
Two years ago, Newport defeated Skyline in a dual meet and again at the district meet only to watch the Spartans dominate at the state meet. He’s hoping that things will be different this season.
“Everybody wants to swim well against them,” Bartleson said. “The girls really stepped up and had some great swims. I’m hoping that leads to the next couple of weeks of continuing to improve. There is still improvement to be made out there.”
Freshman Elisa Fang and juniors Lorea Gwo and Maggie Pan were part of three winning events, including two relays for the Knights.
Newport’s 200-yard medley and 400 freestyle relays swam in state-qualifying times. The Knights took first and second in the 200 freestyle relay.
“The team depth really kind of came through at that meet,” Bartleson said. “That was how we were able to beat Skyline this year. We had good speed but also great team depth.”
Newport, in 4A, and Mercer Island, in 3A, have secured spots in KingCo’s dual meet championships Tuesday at Mercer Island. The divisional winners in 3A and 4A will compete that day to determine dual meet champions for each classification.
Skyline will have to wait until the all-classification KingCo Championships meet on Oct. 26-27 to try to make waves again.
Do the Spartans still have what it takes to win a fourth consecutive 4A state championship on Nov. 9-10 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way?
“What a question. Oh my God,” Skyline coach Susan Simpkins said. “I think we have as good a shot as anybody because anything can happen. The girls just need to want it. I know Newport wants it. This will be an interesting state. I think it’s going to go up and down.”
Garfield’s Chambers warming up
Caitlin Chambers of Garfield is showing she’s at top form again.
Chambers, the defending state diving champion, scored an eye-opening 462.6 points at the KingCo District 2 qualifier Saturday at Juanita.
Not only is that 87.6 points higher than the All-American consideration standard, it also wasn’t far off the state record of 473.3 points.
The state-qualifying mark is 315 points.
“I think that the meet went fairly well and I’m happy with where I am right now,” Chambers said. “I’ve been getting back to serious training with my club, Pacific Northwest Diving, in addition to my high school training so that will help my progress and set me up to improve at the next meets.”
Other top 4A qualifiers at the KingCo District 2 meet were Erin Taylor of Skyline (309.90) and Rachael Roberts of Woodinville (309.55).
The top divers in the other classes were Shannon Engelbrecht of Bainbridge (383.20) in 3A and Nadia Popovici of Lake Washington (262.90) in 2A.
A look at the top area individual performances over the past week:
– Anna Keane, Meadowdale: Qualified for state in the 50 freestyle (24.21) and 100 freestyle (53.50) and was part of two winning relays against Lynnwood and Kamiak and was a part of three winning events against Jackson.
– Stephanie Munoz, Skyline: Swam state qualifying times in the 500 freestyle (5:22.15) against Newport and in the 500 freestyle (5:23.67) and in the 200 medley (1:56.27) and 400 freestyle (3:48.11) relays against Liberty.
– Lorea Gwo, Newport: Swam state-qualifying times in the 100 butterfly (58.21) and in the 200 medley (1:51.29) and 400 freestyle (3:42.80) relays against Skyline.
– Elisa Fang, Newport: Won the 100 backstroke (59.74) and also swam a leg on state-qualifying 200 medley (1:51.29) and 400 freestyle (3:42.80) relays in a victory over Skyline.
– Kathy Lin, Skyline: Qualified for the state meet in the 100 breaststroke (1:11.87) and in the 200 medley (1:56.27) and 400 freestyle (3:48.11) relays against Liberty.
– Rachel Webster, Mount Rainier: Swam as a part of four winning events, including two relays, against Tahoma.
– Djenne Dickens, Edmonds-Woodway: Was part of four winning events, including two relays, in a victory over Shorecrest. She also qualified for state in the 50 freestyle (25.00) as part of four winning events in a victory over Jackson.
– Maria Volodkevich, Skyline: Swam state-qualifying times in the 50 freestyle (24.56) and 100 freestyle (54.07) against Newport.
– Kaitlin Taylor, Jackson: Qualified for state in the 100 butterfly (58.93) against Edmonds-Woodway and was part of four winning events, including two relays, in victories over Meadowdale and Mountlake Terrace.
– Kayla Roberson, Inglemoor: Won the 100 breaststroke (1:08.38) and 200 Individual Medley (2:13.53) and anchored two winning relays in a 95-90 victory over Woodinville.
– Jocelyn Crawford, Garfield: Was part of four winning events, including two relays, in a victory over Ballard.
– Cassie Tallman, Roosevelt: Was part of four winning events, including two relays, against Mercer Island.
– Calista Skog, Inglemoor: Won the 100 butterfly (1:05.14) and swam on two winning relays in a 95-90 victory over Woodinville.
– Annika Stenfjord, Shorewood: Was part of three winning events, including one relay, in a victory over Lynnwood.