Richland swimming off to a fast start

Tri-City HeraldNovember 9, 2012 

FEDERAL WAY — There has been some talk that the Richland Bombers have all the tools to win their first team title at this weekend’s WIAA Girls State Swimming and Diving Championships, but they aren’t letting that dictate their performance.

“Once you’re in the water, it’s what I’ve been doing for the past eight years,” junior Lisa Bratton said. “It’s just another race to add to the ones I’ve done. I focus on my swim and what I want to accomplish.”

Even so, if it’s a state championship they want, they appear in good shape to go after it.

Bratton, who won the Class 4A 200-yard individual medley in 2011, opened her title defense Friday at the King County Aquatic Center with the top heat time of 2 minutes, 6.29 seconds. She was a third of the way home on the final lap by the time her opponents started making their last flip turn.

She also won her 100 backstroke heat in an All-America consideration time of 56.43, second overall behind Jackson’s Kaela McKee (56.13).

“I’m so relieved,” Bratton said. “I don’t mind being first in the 200 IM. I was first last year, so I know what’s that’s like. But being not as strong in the 100 back, and not being as good a sprinter, it’s nice going in there and having someone to take down instead of everyone gunning for me.”

Richland seniors Nicole Weinman, Sarah Olsen and Vanessa Whattam also advanced to championship finals today.

Olsen was sixth in the 100 butterfly, Whattam snagged seventh place in the 100 freestyle with a time of 54.26, and Weinman has two finals tonight in the 200 and 500 free. But she acknowledges her path to the top of the medal podium might run into some trouble.

After Weinman won her 500 free heat in 5:12.33, Stadium’s Felicity Cann came up next and threw down the gauntlet with a 5:02.76.

Cann also holds the top time of 1:50.52 in Weinman’s other event, the 200 free.

“Getting second to her would be an honor,” said Weinman, who clocked a 1:56.79 in the 200 free after fending off Walla Walla’s Emma Timm-Ballard. Weinman and Timm-Ballard both were timed in 56.48 on their second leg, and then Weinman turned up the heat.

“I race her all the time,” said Timm-Ballard, who made the A final in 1:57.80. “She’s my best friend, and I always go out faster than her in the first 50, but then she gets me. I could tell she had it because she’s strong in the second half.”

Hanford’s Stephanie Tixier won’t have as much time to get the jump on her biggest rival in today’s Class 3A 50 free final.

Tixier finished second in her heat to Anna Keane, the Meadowdale swimmer who beat her for the title last year.

She didn’t realize that Keane was in an adjacent lane.

“I remember a few names from last year,” said Tixier, whose heat time of 24.37 seconds was third overall behind Keane (23.73) and Liberty’s Mackenna Briggs (24.25). “I’ll pay more attention tomorrow. Today was just getting it over with.”

Tixier has another championship final to anticipate with the 100 butterfly. Last year’s third-place finisher sits in fourth after Friday’s heats with a time of 57.61, slower than her district-winning 57.53, but as Hanford/Richland assistant Randy Willis joked: “She’s wearing her practice suit, not her speed suit.”

At the very least, Tixier and her younger sister Lisa are each guaranteed two top-eight solo medals — which also means two chances to win the biggest prize of all. Lisa, a junior, was sixth overall in the 200 IM and 100 free.

Their teammate Mylie Oberg also will swim in an A final today after placing eighth in the 500 free.

Prosser senior Hailey Rankin, who plans to be done with competitive swimming after high school, made the championship finals of the Class 2A 100 fly (fourth overall, 1:01.14) and 200 free (fifth, 2:02.72).

On the diving board, Southridge’s Danielle Freund was in third place after the Class 3A preliminaries.

Notes: Last year, Kennewick sent its first relay team to state. More school history was made Friday when the Murphy sisters — senior Hailey and freshman twins Alexis and Blair — and junior Samantha Lester got the Lions into the second day of state competition in two relays. Kennewick was 13th in the 200 medley relay (1:57.44) and 14th in the 400 free (3:52.39). ... Sunnyside sophomore Cassadie Moore is in awe of the atmosphere at her first state meet. “I love being around so many fast people,” Moore said. “It gives me goals. ‘I want to beat her or be next to her during a race.’ ” Moore will swim today in the consolation finals of the Class 3A 100 breast, where she will compete against Kennewick’s Alexis Murphy and Southridge’s Katelyn McLaughlin, and the 200 IM.

At King County Aquatic Center, Federal Way

Class 4A

200 medley relay—1, Skyline (Kristaley Umezawa, Andi Scarcello, Stephanie Munoz, Maria Volodkevich) 1:50.77; 11, Walla Walla (Emma Timm-Ballard, Cheyenne Schoen, Natalie Fink, Abby Crowley) 1:55.23; 16, Richland (Sarah Olsen, Lauren Hall, Kaylyn Lesser, McKenzie Schroder) 1:56.69. 200 free—1, Felicity Cann (Stadium) 1:50.52 (All-America consideration); 4, Nicole Weinman (Rich) 1:56.79; 6, Timm-Ballard (WW) 1:57.80. 200 IM—1, Lisa Bratton (Rich) 2:06.29; 15, Crowley (WW) 2:13.23; 18, Alyssa Musick (Rich) 2:14.88. 50 free—1, Lorea Gwo (Newport) 23.64 (All-America consideration); 11, Vanessa Whattam (Rich) 24.84. Diving—1, Caitlin Chambers (Garfield) 227.30; 19, Carly Garland (Rich) 125.35. 100 fly—1, Kenna Ramey (Federal Way) 56.54; 6, Sarah Olsen (Rich) 58.79; 9, Musick (Rich) 1:00.17. 100 free—1, Hannah Bruggman (Wenatchee) 52.46; 7, Whattam (Rich) 54.26. 500 free—1, Cann (Stadium) 5:02.76; 2, Weinman (Rich) 5:12.33; 18, Olsen (Rich) 5:26.41. 200 free relay—1, Cascade (Nichole Carlson, Darcie Booth, Danielle Booth, Kalena Laurent) 1:39.51; 5, Richland (Whattam, Hall, Weinman, Bratton) 1:41.30. 100 back—1, Kaela McKee (Jackson) 56.13 (AAC); 2, Bratton (Rich) 56.43 (AAC); 7, Timm-Ballard (WW) 58.56; 22, Hall (Rich) 1:04.06. 100 breast—1, Carolyn McCann (Gig Harbor) 1:03.63 (All-America automatic); 20, Schoen (WW) 1:11.39. 400 free relay—1, Newport (Elisa Fang, Maggie Pana, Amelia Liu, Gwo) 3:37.55; 2, Richland (Whattam, Olsen, Weinman, Bratton) 3:39.95; 10, Walla Walla (Crowley, Fink, Schoen, Timm-Ballard) 3:44.03.

Class 3A

200 medley relay—1, Bainbridge (Shayla Archer, Ani Duni, Anna Peirano, Sarah Grundman) 1:49.93; 13, Kennewick (Blair Murphy, Alexis Murphy, Hailey Murphy, Samantha Lester) 1:57.44; 19, Hanford (Taylor Fievez, Kayla Burnight, Shaylee Kieffer, Linnea Peacock) 1:59.08; 24, Southridge (Rachel Schafer, Katie Brunson, Jaiden Hamilton, McKenzie Andreatta) 2:05.65. 200 free—1, Monica Bottelberghe (Columbia River) 1:51.28 (AAC); 12, Mylie Oberg (Han) 2:00.66. 200 IM—1, Grace Wold (Mercer Island) 2:08.00; 6, Lisa Tixier (Han) 2:11.35; 16, Cassadie Moore (Sunnyside) 2:16.71; 20, Hailey Murphy (Ken) 2:18.36. 50 free—1, Anna Keane (Meadowdale) 23.73 (AAC); 3, Stephanie Tixier (Han) 24.37; 9, Katelyn McLaughlin (Sou) 25.13. Diving—1, Meg Lindsay (MI) 197.00; 3, Danielle Freund (Sou) 175.15; 18, Danielle Brandon (Kamiakin) 124.80; 21, Kayla Lasater (Han) 114.10; 23, Jessica Anderson (Kam) 102.10. 100 fly—1, Hannah Taylor (Marysville-Pilchuck) 57.00; 4, S. Tixier (Han) 57.61; 13, H. Murphy (Ken) 1:00.22. 100 free—1, Bottelberghe (CR) 51.01 (AAC); 6, L. Tixier (Han) 54.06; 17, Kayla Burnight (Han) 57.49. 500 free—1, Grundman (Bain) 5:06.65; 8, Oberg (Han) 5:17.60. 200 free relay—1, Mercer Island (Alex Seidel, Christina Williamson, Sabrina Kwan, Wold) 1:39.15; 3, Hanford (Peacock, L. Tixier, Kayla Burnight, S. Tixier) 1:41.64; 14, Southridge (McLaughlin, Hamilton, Brunson, Lyons) 1:47.28. 100 back—1, Caitlin Cox (MI) 58.16; 14, Schafer (Sou) 1:01.69. 100 breast—1, Kim Williams (Bellevue) 1:05.32; 10, Moore (Sun) 1:09.19; 11, A. Murphy (Ken) 1:09.25; 13, McLaughlin (Sou) 1:09.49. 400 free relay—1, Mercer Island (Kristin Hoffman, Alex Seidel, Cox, Wold) 3:38.43; 2, Hanford (Oberg, L. Tixier, Peacock, S. Tixier) 3:40.79; 13, Southridge (McLaughlin, Schafer, Hamilton, Lyons) 3:51.91; 14, Kennewick (Lester, B. Murphy, A. Murphy, H. Murphy) 3:52.39.

Class 2A

200 medley relay—1, Sumner (Alicia Ditty, Ashley Huynh, Madison Munger, Kallan Gustafson) 1:55.60; 17, Prosser (Kassidy Burnett, Becky Wildman, Hailey Rankin, Karlie Lusk) 2:04.56. 200 free—1, Gwendolyn Roley (Sehome) 2:00.18; 5, Rankin (Pro) 2:02.72. 200 IM—1, Julia Sanders (Hockinson) 2:10.41. 50 free—1, Clare Kucinski-Murphy (Lake Washington) 25.35. Diving—1, Tori Franzen (Squalicum) 180.65. 100 fly—1, Sanders (Hoc) 58.02; 4, Rankin (Pro) 1:01.14. 100 free—1, Abby Sullivan (Tumwater) 53.40. 500 free—1, Kelsey Crane (Klahowya) 5:19.32. 200 free relay—1, Tumwater (Anneke Stoker, Alex Cumings, Lorraine Hack, Sullivan) 1:41.77. 100 back—1, Sullivan (Tum) 59.78. 100 breast—1, Huynh (Sum) 1:08.71. 400 free relay—1, Tumwater (Stoker, Cumings, Hack, Sullivan) 3:43.91; 12, Prosser (Rankin, Lusk, Wildman, Kate Burnett) 4:05.62.

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