Tri-City teams set to jump in pool for Mid-Columbia Invite

September 14, 2012 

The Mid-Columbia Conference swim teams will compete against one another, as well as a couple outsiders Saturday at Serier Pool in Kennewick.

Southridge, Kennewick, Kamiakin, Richland, Hanford, Walla Walla, Prosser and Ellensburg will get in the water at 11 a.m. for a full slate of heats at the Mid-Columbia Invitational.

Walla Walla junior Emma Timm-Ballard, who finished third at state last year in the Class 4A 100-yard backstroke, holds the top seed time (57.94 seconds) in today’s event. She also leads the field in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 56.98 seconds.

Ellensburg sophomore Taylor Wilson also landed two No. 1 seeds, in the 100 free (52.98) and 100 breaststroke (1:07.12).

If Wilson swims those events at state, she would be the top returner in both. She was third in the Class 2A 100 free at state, trailing Othello’s Natilee Ruiz and Anacortes’ Katie Kaestner, and fifth in the 100 breast behind four seniors.

Prosser senior Hailey Rankin, last year’s state runner-up in the 500 free, is seeded first in that event with a time of 5:17.95.

Rankin took the summer off after undergoing knee surgery. She initially ruled out swimming the breaststroke or the individual medley this season because of the stress on her knee, but she doesn’t appear to be sold on that idea now.

“She’s even making noise that she might want to try that down the road, but it’s up to her and her doctor,” Prosser coach Kerry Warden said.

Richland is led by junior Lisa Bratton (100 butterfly, 59.20) and senior Vanessa Whattam (50 freestyle, 26.00). Bratton is not scheduled to swim in the 200 IM, which she won at state last year.

Hanford has one top individual seed, junior Lisa Tixier in the 200 IM (2:16.00). The Falcons hold the top time in the 400 free relay, while Richland boasts the top times in the 200 medley and 200 free relays.

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