Spartan swimmers bring home bronze

Tumwater’s Karlyn Hougan and Centralia’s Amelia Messegee hug Anne Scott after her victory, as she swam an All-American time of 50.80. - JESSE BEALS/Staff Photo
Tumwater’s Karlyn Hougan and Centralia’s Amelia Messegee hug Anne Scott after her victory, as she swam an All-American time of 50.80.
— image credit: JESSE BEALS/Staff Photo

Anne Scott and Stephanie Whalen lead the way with

top performances.

FEDERAL WAY – Anne Scott went out on top.

The Bainbridge senior won the 50 freestyle and defended her 100 freestyle title in a dominant performance at the 2A/3A state meet at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

After qualifying for both races with her fastest times of the year in 23.37 in the 50 freestyle and 51.20 in the 100 freestyle on Friday, Scott smoked both of those times on Saturday with a 23.33 in the 50 and 50.80 in the 100. The performance equaled Spartan Emily Silver’s repeat titles in the 100 free from 2000 to 2003.

Both times were good enough for automatic All-American status and she had the third fastest 50 free time in state history and the fifth fastest 100 free time in state history, knocking Silver out of both of those spots.

Scott was also awarded the WISCA Swimmer of the Meet, making her the first Bainbridge swimmer to win it since Silver was honored in 2002 and 2004.

Spartan head coach Greg Colby was ecstatic over Scott’s success.

“I couldn’t be happier for her,” he said. “She is an unbelievable competitor. Head to head, one of the toughest meet swimmers I’ve ever seen next to Emily Silver, in my experience. (It’s) pretty lofty stuff to be mentioned in the same sentence as Emily.”

Colby said Scott was able to set up her finish, measuring her stroke length so she can go full speed into the wall, which was evident as she placed two-tenths of a second ahead of Tumwater’s Karlyn Hougan in the 100 free.

“I watched her do that a few times,” Colby said. “It’s fun every time.”

Scott said she had “no idea” her times would be that fast.

“I knew that I had to swim hard just in case anyone came up from behind,” she said.

She was also happy that she was seeded second in the 100 free, as she could avoid the “stress of being first.”

“I knew that was going to be a much better race and closer race than the 50,” she said. “So that was intense. Greg talked to me about having to go faster in my first 50 and not trying to come up from behind like I did last year. That was exciting. I didn’t think I could pull it out.”

Scott’s performance was the best of an uneven day for the Bainbridge swim team, which led the points race for most of the meet but was overtaken by Holy Names, who went on to win the state title with 238 points. Bellevue was second with 182 points, while the Spartans were third with 175.

Stephanie Whalen helped the team out with her third place finish in the diving competition. She was fourth after the prelims, but moved up to third after her first dive in the final round scored her a 43.

Shorecrest’s Samantha Young and Issaquah’s Jessie Snowden both broke the state record with their scores – Snowden was first – but Whalen’s score was good enough to set a new school record.

“The adrenaline really helped today,” Whalen said. “And I saved my best dives for last.”

The University of California-bound senior knew the competition would be tough, but is still happy with her improvement over the years, as she was sixth as a freshman, fourth as a sophomore and third her last two years.

“It’s nice to never go down and just keep going up,” she said.

Dive coach Chris Miller, who has coached Whalen since she decided to give up select soccer for diving in the eighth grade, will miss her dedication.

“She’s given up a hell of a lot of dates (for this),” he said. “You don’t often have an athlete on the team who will go extra on their own.”

Tessa Griffin just missed an All-American time in the 50 free as she placed third with a time of 24.79. She was also second in the 100 butterfly consolation final with a time of 1:00.99.

Isabel Williams was sixth in the 100 butterfly with a time of 59.12, while Keziah Beall was second in the 100 free consolation final with a time of 55.06.

Bainbridge struggled in the relays as the 200 medley relay finished fifth, the 200 freestyle relay team was disqualified in the prelims when one of the swimmers left early and the 400 freestyle relay finished third. Needing a win to move up to second, India Wade, Beall and Williams couldn’t keep up with Bellevue and Holy Names. Scott did her part to bring them back, but it wasn’t enough.

Their time of 3:38.51 was good enough for All-American consideration, but the three were disappointed with their performance.

“I really feel like we let Anne down,” Wade said. “She’s such an amazing swimmer, but she can’t always dig us out of these holes. She really deserved that race. (But) even after we got third, she was still joking around with us.”

“I feel like I should have tried harder,” Beall said, who admitted she was “freaking out” before the race and wanted to throw up. “But I also can’t wait for next year. I think if we really gear ourselves toward it, (we’ll do better.)”

Colby says they will improve.

“They swam faster than they did in prelims,” he said. “I’m proud of them for fighting through it. But they can take that feeling with them and use it in a positive way to train and prepare for the future.”

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