Pressler, Jackson coordinating a state run
By Doug Drowley
Special to The Seattle Times
Maddie Pressler readily admits her shortcoming.
“I am so uncoordinated, it’s not even funny,” the Jackson sophomore said.
That the words come from a state champion, that’s the anomaly. But Pressler, the defending 4A 200-yard freestyle champion, quickly qualifies her remark.
“On land,” she says.
Pressler’s relative inability with land-based sports isn’t so bad, though, considering she has little or no time for them anyway. Pressler’s life is school and the pool.
And it’s been that way for most of her existence.
“I grew up in California, so I was always around the ocean,” Pressler said.
At the age of 6, Pressler took her first swim lesson. Her instructor immediately saw potential.
“She told my mom that she’d like me to come swim for them. I went, I tried out.”
And Pressler found herself on her first swim team. Those first, formative years it was more about the fun of being in the water as opposed to the competition.
“I think when I realized I was more tending to compete was when I was 11,” Pressler said.
By then, her parents had moved the family north to the Mill Creek area. She began swimming for West Coast Aquatics, and still swims with and against many of those athletes.
Pressler is the biggest name on a talented Jackson team that has both athletes and coach excited.
“She has a great training partner in Nicole Lindberg,” Timberwolves coach Drew Whorley said. “And we have a freshman (Chloe Limargo). They seem to be pulling each other along.”
It’s the nucleus of a squad that has Whorley reminiscing – considering heights not seen around Jackson since the team won the state title in 2009.
“I have told the girls, this is the only team that comes close since that period of time,” Whorley said. “When we won the state title back in 2009, it was such a tremendous experience for us as a team. We anticipated that success.
“I don’t think this group is even aware of their potential. We’re going to have a lot of fun helping them visualize their goals. I want them to believe in big things.”
Big things for Pressler are wide-ranging.
She would like to defend her 200 title. She would like to improve on her fifth-place finish in the 100 backstroke.
And she believes this team could be a force come November 14 and 15 at the state meet at King County Aquatic Center.
“I think we have a lot of potential,” Pressler said. “Everyone has worked so hard.”
Whatever happens the rest of this fall, and for the next two years, Pressler knows the pool will be a part of it.
“I’ve always been drawn to the water,” Pressler said. “When I get in the water, I can feel it pulling. I just know how to move. When I have a bad day, it all goes away when I do a set.”