Editor’s note: Freelancer Doug Drowley takes over “The Medley” this year and will provide a regular blog series examining area high-school swimming and college commitments from area swimmers.
By Doug Drowley / Special to The Seattle Times
Meadowdale champ Anna Keane nearing return
The first month of the girls high school swimming season is just about in the books, and Meadowdale senior Anna Keane has yet to hit the pool in competition mode.
The two-time defending Class 3A state champion in both the 50 and 100 freestyles, Keane’s recruiting schedule has taken a large bite out of Keane’s ability to make practices. Under WIAA rules, athletes must meet a minimum number of practices requirement before they are allowed to compete.
That’s left the Mavericks waiting on their star this fall.
“She should be (eligible) in another week, I hope,” Meadowdale coach Kati Girard wrote in an email late Tuesday after a dual meet loss to Kamiak. Girard’s team almost had to forfeit the meet, the coach wrote, after a lock-down at the school made it difficult for the team to even get to the meet. “She (Keane) has college visits, so that has made it difficult.”
Keane’s recruiting trips are taking her all over the country, to North Carolina State, Northwestern, Liberty University, Virginia Tech and Rice.
“It’s one of the struggles that happens on a rare occasion,” Girard told the Everett Herald. “Once she gets back on board that changes up the relays and gives us a better chance to get down to state. Of course she’ll be wanting to go back to state and do the events she did before. The plan is she will be on board to be able to do a good job at state like she did last year.”
Depth’s the rule at Lake Washington
When the Lake Washington girls showed up for the 2A state meet a season ago, first-year head coach David Hale had an inkling his Kangaroos might be successful.
“We had 14 girls make it to state,” Hale said. “I knew we were one of the biggest (contingents) there, and we might have been the biggest.”
Depth counts when trying to win state team titles in swimming. And the Kangaroos did just that, despite not winning a single individual or relay event.
“I tell ya, we’re actually really proud of that,” Hale said. “We’re really proud that we had as many girls there participating as we did, and that we could get as many girls into scoring positions as we did.”
All three relays did finish in the top six, as well, each scoring the double points that come with those finishes.
Nine of those 14 athletes return for Lake Washington this fall. And a couple of them could end the individual event streak come November.
Junior Clare Kucinski-Murphy was second in both the 50 and 100 frees as a sophomore. Nadia Popovici was second in the diving competition as a freshman.
Those two, and others, could mean it might bode well for a repeat run out of the Kangaroos.
“We do have depth,” Hale said. “But I stop short of making those kinds of predictions. It’s a long road, getting from here all the way to another state title.”
Hale cites the potential for injuries, both swim and non-swim related, and getting those athletes qualified to compete again at the state meet.
“Is it possible?” Hale said of a repeat. “Yeah. I tell the girls that all the time. But right now we’re trying to get the girls qualified for districts, state and KingCo.”
- Foss senior Emma Chard has her work cut out for her. A three-year state meet participant already, Chard was second in the 3A 100 breast to Bellevue’s Kim Williams in 2012. Williams still stands in the way in that event this Fall. But Chard will have options come November. Chard already has automatic state-qualifying marks in six individual events – the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 500 free, 200 individual medley and 100 breast this fall, so she’ll have options come district and state time.
- Gig Harbor senior Carolyn McCann, the Tides’ leader, could join Williams in a run at the all-time state record of 1:02.00 in the 100 breast. McCann won the 4A title a year ago in 1:03.30. Peninsula’s Lyndsey Marchand set the mark in 2008.
- Peninsula visits Lakes on Thursday in the first dual meet battle between so-far unbeaten SPSL 3A/2A league squads this season. The Seahawks, the 3A league favorite, are 4-0. The Lancers are 2-0. Also unbeaten in the early season are Sumner (5-0) and Steilacoom (4-0).
Who’s going where?
Bainbridge Island’s Shayla Archer has committed to Utah.
Know of other seniors who already have committed to swim in college next year? Email them to Doug Drowley at firstname.lastname@example.org.