Spartan swimmers poised to make their mark

The BHS 4x100 relay team of Anne Scott (center), India Wade (left), Keziah Beall (back) and Isabel Williams (right) competed at the 3A WIAA State Swimming Championships held in Federal Way.  - JIM BRYANT photo
The BHS 4x100 relay team of Anne Scott (center), India Wade (left), Keziah Beall (back) and Isabel Williams (right) competed at the 3A WIAA State Swimming Championships held in Federal Way.
— image credit: JIM BRYANT photo

An unusually deep Bainbridge team heads off to the state meet this weekend.

Greg Colby reads over the top 20 lists that hang by the starting blocks that is a who’s who of Bainbridge swimming.

Helen and Emily Silver. Megan Reha. Joy Miller. Sarah Gleason. Jenna Santelli. Becky Kardong. Jenny Bingham. Karen Hoffman. Angela Berry.

“The list goes on,” he said, scanning the names of swimmers past who have left their mark at BHS, most notably in the 400 free relay.

This weekend at the 3A State meet at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, four more swimmers get their shot.

Anne Scott, Keziah Beall, India Wade and Isabel Williams are ranked first in the relay with a time of 3:40.07, set at the district meet last week.

Three swimmers are in as a “wild card” entry – Kristine Valdez in the 200 individual medley, April Isa in the 50 and 100 freestyle and Julie Pendleton in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke, while four other swimmers – Keisha Brownell, Molly Carroll, Meg Wittekind and Anna Wood will go as alternates.

Overall, 14 swimmers are traveling to State, 10 of whom will be participating in all the events at the meet. It’s one of the bigger squads Colby has taken in his tenure at Bainbridge.

“To have 10 of the 14 competing, that’s great,” he said.

He also has praise for his relay team.

“There’s a lot of folks that can go a 50 free, but it’s tough to go a 100,” he said. “Plus, if you need a relay to win the meet at the end (you can do it). That’s kind of my strategy in the 400.

“They get psyched up for it,” he said of his team. “They know the history and the tradition behind it. Two of them have been on the last two years they’ve won it. It’s a great way to close it out.”

Beall, Williams and Scott have been at the state meet before, but for Wade, who will swim in the 200 yard freestyle as well as the 200 free relay, it’s her first time at the big event.

“I’m so nervous, but for our 4x100 relay team, I’m really nervous for that,” she said. “It’s Bainbridge’s claim to fame and there’s so much pressure, but I’m really excited.”

Beall who will swim in the 200 free relay as well as the 100 freestyle said she’s she’s “psyched” about their chances.

“It’s going to be really close,” she said. “It’s motivating to keep winning and doing so well.”

Williams, who will be in the 200 medley relay, the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke said she has swam with Beall and Williams since they were little.

“It’s been fun to keep the tradition going,” the BISC captain said, who also acknowledged the pressure to keep the title on their side of the pond. “Especially with Holy Names so close to us at Districts. It’s going to be close but it’s going to be a good race.”

Ranked first in the 50 free and third in the 100 free, Scott said they need to swim well in the preliminaries to have a shot at continuing the Spartans’ excellence in the relays.

“It’ll be exciting slash stressful,” she said. “It’s a lot different since now I’m a senior and they’re young, but it’s fun having a new relay (team to work with).”

Wade and Beall are glad to have Scott at their side.

“She’s so amazing to watch,” Wade said. “She’s so relaxed in the water and then she (swims) like a 52 or a 53 (seconds in 100 yards). She’s someone you can talk to on the team as well. She’s really cool.”

“It’s really easy to celebrate with her,” Beall said. “I get really excited when she does well.”

Williams feels all four have the right mentality when it comes to working together.

“I think everyone brings their own different characteristics that come out during practice,” she said. “Anne definietly adds a lightness and a fun spirit to it all. Everyone is a really hard worker but we also know how to have fun at the same time.”

Colby feels they may have to go 3:35 to stay ahead of their competitors. But they won’t dwell on the pressure or the ghost of relays past – just their competition.

“A lot of these people, they have no idea who they are,” he said. “We talk a lot about what is in your control. There is so much out there that you have no control over, so focus on what you need to do to perform well and everything will fall into place.”

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