Swimmers eye high five

Last November, in one of the closest meets in recent memory, Bainbridge girls swim team was edged out by Bellevue for the state 3A swim title, 227-232,

This year, the team’s focus is finding those elusive five points.

“I’d love to find them,” Colby said. “We have high expectations in the pool. Our goal is to be in the top three at state. That’s the goal every year.”

The Spartans lost some top senior swimmers to graduation, most notably Helen Silver, now a freshman at the University of California.

“The seniors we lost are tough to replace,” said Bainbridge coach Greg Colby. “But we have a great group of sophomores and the juniors are stepping up.”

Bainbridge, one of the top programs in the state, is counting on that underclass group to score big points in their big meets this season.

So far, Bainbridge has gone 2-1, winning their own Spartan relays Sept. 14 before losing to 4A power Kamiak last Tuesday. They defeated South Kitsap in their first meet of the season on Sept. 10 – a lot earlier than Colby would’ve liked to begin the season.

“I think we’re a week behind,” Colby pointed out. “We didn’t have as much pool time as we usually have. We only had 10 days, the minimum number of practices before our first meet. Normally, we have 17.

“But we still have dual meets to swim. We have to adjust and adapt to it.”

Bainbridge will swim against state powers Mount Rainier, Eastmont and Bellevue in duals before the post season.

“It’s been a good season so far,” said junior Emily Silver. “Everything we’re doing, we’re doing well.”

Silver, who won the 50 and 100 freestyle at state last year, and should be the focal point of the team. She is swimming different events each meet, but may defend her freestyle titles this November.

Senior co-captains Lydia Wright, Lisa Wagle, and Rokeda Brownell are also the top sprinters in the freestyle events, with Brownell one of the competitors in the backstroke.

The junior class includes Meredith Blumenthal, Jenna Santelli, Julia Sullivan, Brooke Hallet, and Joy Miller, who Colby says has been “incredible” so far this season.

The divers are young, with two incoming freshmen, Stephanie Walen and Emily Basill, joined by sophomore Brooke Nall, a converted gymnast.

“As freshmen, they are learning the high school diving situation,” Colby says. “It’s different than club diving, but by the end of the season they can adjust.”

If they can, says Silver, Bainbridge should find the points to bring another state title to the island.

“Those five points are extremely important,” she said.

“It’s motivation for us to do as well as we can.”

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