Like grabbing gold from Australia

Ali Gourley, Isabel Williams and Austin Hallett traveled to Redding, Calif., last week to compete in the 2004 Western Zone Long Course Championship Swim Meet.

Representing the Pacific Northwest along with 56 other age-group swimmers, the trio competed with the top swimmers from the surrounding 17 states.

Gourley, age 12, bested her recent PNS Champs Long Course Meet record from the previous week with a time of 30.95 in the 50 butterfly in the 11-12 age group.

Setting the PNS Champs record on her 12th birthday, she may have an opportunity to rebreak the meet mark next year.

She also swam the 100 fly, 400 free, 50 back and 100 back at the zone meet. her 200 medley relay finished seventh.

Williams finished first in the 13-14 girls 100 fly with a best time of 1:05.62, a National Reportable Time. She finished ninth in the 200 fly, 10th in the 100 and 200 back, and also swam in the 200 and 400 IM. Her 400 free relay finished eighth, 200 free relay was fourth, her 200 medley was eighth, and her 400 medley was fifth.

Hallett finished fifth in the 100 free, besting his time from last week’s first-place finish at PNS Long Course Champs, where he was fourth individual high point. Hallett earned an eighth-place finish in the 100 breast and ninth in both the 100 back and 200 IM.

His eighth-place tied finish in the 200 IM prelims resulted in a challenging swim-off in hours after his three prelim swims, in which he dropped an additional 1.5 seconds to finish with a 2:20.70. Hallett finished 11th in the 50 free, and also swam the 100 fly.

Hallet’s 13-14, 4x100 relay finished first with a time of 3:44.56, a half-second from an all-time Western Zone record, with Hallet’s split 56.4. His 200 free relay finished fifth, his 200 medley finished eighth, and his 400 medley relays finished 10th.

“Winning the 4x100 relay over Southern California felt like the USA grabbing the gold from Australia,” Hallett said, “and it’s great to be part of that team.”

The Pacific Northwest swim team finished sixth of 17 at LSC’s at the Western Zone Long Course Championship Meet, which ended Aug. 15. The 13-14 boys were led by Bainbridge Island Swim Club coach Frank Cassella.

Olaf Olson dives with the ‘big guns’

Fifteen-year-old Olaf Olson competed in the United States Diving Junior National Championships in Moultrie, Ga., Aug. 9-14. 

Olson competed on the three-meter springboard in the 14-15 boys age group.  His final score of 249.55 was good enough to place 16th in the preliminary events, leaving him in 24th by the end of finals.

The event was highlighted by the fact that three of the top divers in this age group had just returned from Olympic Trials. 

On a number of his dives Olson earned sevens and eights from the judges, who included past Olympic divers and coaches who commented that the competition was perhaps “the most incredible” they had seen for that age group.

Olson was in with the “big guns” through his voluntary dives. But when it came to optional dives – “the fancy ones” – there wasn’t much room for error. 

Although he didn’t feel he blew some dives, Olson said, “I’ve done my back two-and-a-half and reverse two-and-a-half somersaults better in practice.”

The host team opening ceremonies included a parade of states, welcomed by the mayor, a military flyby with a welcome from the pilot in the cockpit to the divers on the pool deck through the public address system, a motivational speech by Matt Scoggins, president of United States Diving and a past Olympic diver who once beat Greg Louganis, an outdoor picnic, a band and a small carnival. 

The whole community was wrapped up in Southern hospitality.

“Olaf is quickly becoming one of the best divers in Bainbridge Island history,” coach Chris Miller said. “He showed a lot of mettle here. I couldn’t be more proud of a student and athlete.”

It marked the final competition of the summer season. After a short rest over the fall season, Olson starts bouncing on the boards again mid-November in preparation for the Spartan boys swim and dive team.

Limber up: fall sports are here

Turnouts for Bainbridge High School fall sports begin this coming week.

• Golf: Turnout starts at 1 p.m. Aug. 23 at Wing Point Golf and Country Club. Golfers must wear a collared shirt and non-jean pants or shorts. Bring your own clubs.

Participants should plan on spending three hours at the course each day for the first three days. Coaches are Bob Dwyer (842-7729) and Steve Nielsen (842-8615).

• Boys and girls cross country: Harriers will meet at 9 a.m. Aug. 23 on the BHS track.

• Football: Coach Andy Grimm’s gridders are already in the field practicing. Team play begins 7 p.m. Sept. 3 in an away game against North Kitsap. The first home game is at 7 p.m. Sept. 10.

• Boys water polo: The team will be jumping in the pool for the first practice 9-11:30 a.m. Aug. 23. In addition to swimming suits, running shoes are needed for dry land workout.

• Girls soccer: Lace ’em up for turnout from 4-7 p.m. Aug. 21 on the BHS track. The team is coached by Mark Grindrod. First action is at 7 p.m. Sept. 7 on the home turf against North Kitsap.

• Girls swimming and diving: Two-a-days are the story for Greg Colby and Chris Miller’s squad. Conditioning runs 6:30-8 a.m. and water workouts 3:30-5:30 p.m. Aug. 23 to Sept. 3.

• Volleyball: Practice is already under way at Paski Gym. The team opens season play Sept. 2 with a 6:30 p.m. road contest against Sequim.

Information on required physicals and paperwork is available from Mary Sue Silver at the BHS office, 780-1254.

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