Swimmers strong at district meet

Williams, Beall win district titles as Bainbridge takes second.

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON – After it was all said and done, Isabel Williams felt the team did great.

“(It) was a very strong meet,” she said. “One of our best. We had a lot of the younger girls make the finals, so it was good.”

The Bainbridge girls swim and dive team put out an energetic performance Friday night at the 3A Sea-King District 2 meet at the Hec Edmundson Pavilion Pool on the University of Washington campus.

While the Spartans took second to Mercer Island with 211 points (the Islanders had 278 to win the team title) head coach Greg Colby agreed that the team made a good showing.

“We had a great prelim swims and they held position on every swim or moved up,” he said. “Almost everybody swam quicker. If they didn’t swim faster, they still held position.

“We made up a lot of ground on Mercer Island,” Colby continued. “I knew we weren’t going to catch them but we gave it a good run.”

Isabel Williams and Keziah Beall both won individual titles.

Williams – who said she committed to UCLA last week – just missed out on her third title in the 100 butterfly in four years.

She lost by .70 of a second to Mercer’s Rachel Godfried but took home her second 100 backstroke district title of her prep career with a time of 1:01.55.

“I’m always nervous,” she said. “You never feel too confident because that’s when you mess up.

“I really wanted to win the 100 fly because of what I did last year but I guess I have a lot of stuff to work on this next week and come back strong next weekend.”

Colby said he’s impressed with Williams’ competitive edge.

“When it comes down to it, she finds a way to get in the game,” he said. “You don’t teach that.”

Beall won her first individual district title of her prep career with a victory in the 100 freestyle, as she beat out Seattle Prep’s Ali Gourley by .49 of a second with a time of 54.43.

“It was definitely anybody’s race,” she said. “I was glad that I wasn’t seeded first because that would be sort of mentally scary, but I was definitely ready to win it too.”

Asked whether she felt she had an advantage with her 6-1 height (“give or take”), Beall laughed.

“I’d like to think so,” she said.

“She definitely deserves it,” Colby said. “To see her walk up there and get her award and high five everybody, it’s a example of why she’s team captain.”

The senior co-captain took second to Skyline’s Andie Taylor in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:57.58.

Several swimmers turned in strong performances to earn points for Bainbridge.

Julie Pendleton took third in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:14 93 and fourth in the 100 fly with a time of 1:01.04.

India Wade took fifth in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:01.27 and fifth in the 100 freestyle with a time of 55.63.

Kristine Valdez won the consolation final of the 200 individual medley with a time of 2.19.79 and finished fifth in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:04

Tessa Griffin won the consolation final of the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.83 while freshman Emily Sonnenfeld was fourth in the consolation final of the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:07.80.

“She swam lights out and that was really fun for the team to watch,” Colby said of Sonnenfeld.

Kate McKenzie and Shelby Mann took 10th and 11th with scores of 280.45 and 273.10 respectively in the diving competition.

All three relay teams took second to Mercer in close races.

The 200 medley relay team of Williams, Pendleton, Wade and Griffin finished .43 of a second behind the Islanders, while the 200 freestyle relay team of Griffin, Leah Erickson, Pendleton and Beall finished 2.58 seconds behind Mercer.

The 400 medley relay team of Wade, Valdez, Williams and Beall lost for the first time in several years when they came in second to Mercer’s team by .87 of a second with a time of 3:41.89.

Wade and Valdez held the lead for the Spartans through the first two legs, but Williams and Beall couldn’t keep the pace up.

“They were seeded with a time of two seconds faster, so I think it was good that we were that close to them,” Beall said. “I don’t think we had the best splits but I think people did really well in the last race of the meet. People swam really hard and really well.

“We dropped eight seconds from yesterday (the preliminaries) but I had a slow leg,” Williams admitted. “I was definitely the downer in the 4(00) but hopefully I can pick that up next weekend.”

Colby said he was still happy with how the relay teams did.

“Leah Erickson – she’s a first year senior swimmer and she went crazy tonight,” he said. “It was awesome and really inspiring to watch.

“If we’re in the top four or five in the relays (at districts) I think we’ll be in the top three (relays) at the meet.”

And Beall thinks they’ll be in the top three at state overall.

“I think everyone’s really excited for state,” she said.

The 3A state meet is this weekend at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

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