It’s been almost two weeks since the Mid-Columbia’s girls swimmers have seen competitive action.
So they should be well-rested as they prepare for the State Swimming and Diving Championships that begin Friday and conclude Saturday at the Federal Way Aquatics Center.
The Mid-Columbia schools are in a region that holds its district meet two weeks before state, while other districts held theirs last weekend.
That can be good, as long as the Tri-City swimmers pace themselves in training leading up to state.
Richland/Hanford head coach Kathy Piper and assistant Randy Willis spend the time leading up to district getting their swimmers in peak performance so they can qualify for state at the district meet.
They continue to push them hard until about five days before state, so they can be rested.
“The type of training they do is changed the last few weeks going into district and state as well,” said Willis. “Quality and lactate tolerance swimming replaces endurance and swimming with paddles and pulling equipment. And all of this is dependent upon the distances they race.”
For standouts such as Richland’s Lisa Bratton and Hanford’s Lisa Tixier — two of the state’s best swimmers — their constant hard training resulted in them swimming tired through district.
But Piper and Willis scaled their training back this week so they’ll be well-rested for the Federal Way meet.
Everyone in the Mid-Columbia is leaving today to make sure they get some pool time in Federal Way tonight, so they get used to the pool and diving boards.
Bratton, who is headed to Texas A&M on a swim scholarship next fall, is expected to have a strong meet.
She should be favored to win the 4A 200-yard IM, an event she won last year as a junior. She’s seeded No. 1 in the event with an All-America Candidate time of 2:03.44.
But it won’t be easy, as second-seeded Carolynn McCann of Gig Harbor also is a candidate with a time of 2:04.95.
The Bombers’ 400 relay team of Alyssa Musick, McKenzie Schroder, Bratton and Lauren Hall enters the meet as the top seed with a time of 3:38.60.
But Willis cautions about labeling them favorites.
“Wenatchee is, in my opinion, the heavy favorite to win both the 200 free and 400 free relays because they have the defending state champion in the 100 freestyle in Hannah Bruggeman, and three state qualifiers in the 50 and 100 free from a very strong freshman class,” said Willis.
But Richland did outswim Wenatchee in the district meet.
In 3A diving, Southridge’s Danielle Freund and Kamiakin’s Danielle Brandon are ranked 2-3, respectively, heading into the competition. They should be battling Brooke Wherley of Marysville-Getchell, the top seed, for the state title.
“Danielle (Freund) has been working very hard on the diving board,” said Southridge coach Jason Hart. “She has been traveling to Moses Lake during the week and last weekend she went to Seattle to dive with her club coach. She is an amazing kid who works truly very hard.”
Freund and Brandon have been good for each other, said Kamiakin coach Kathy Spane.
“The two Danielles have been competing against each other for the last few years,” Spane said.
It’s raised their level of performance over the last few years.
Brandon is also qualified for the 50 free and has been pulling double duty in practice, swimming the 50 free at the Tri-City Court Club, then on Tuesdays and Thursdays jumping in a car and driving to Yakima to work on her diving.
Tixier, meanwhile, is seeded fourth in both the 200 IM and 100 free events.
Tixier’s biggest problem in the 200 IM is that she’ll be going up against Bellevue’s Kim Williams, a two-time champion in the event and still just a junior.
Kennewick brings in a strong contingent, led by senior Samantha Lester and sophomores Alexis and Blair Murphy.
Lester is seeded high in the sprints – the 50 and 100 free.
“Samantha Lester is actually not a swimmer,” said Kennewick coach Micah Larsen. “She tried out for diving a few years ago, and ended up swimming on a whim. She came into the pool so naturally talented it was scary. So to see her seated in the top 10 at state is awesome. Alexis Murphy is also seated in the top 10 in both her events, which I had anticipated after her performance at districts.”
Larsen hopes this could be the Lions’ coming out party to the rest of the state.
“I think people underestimate Kennewick because of our size and our history,” said Larsen, “but we are out to change that assumption this weekend.”
It all begins at 9:45 a.m. Friday.
200 IM, Lisa Bratton, Richland, top seed at 2:03.44
100 backstroke, L.Bratton, Richland, seeded 4th at 57.65
Richland’s 400 free relay, seeded first at 3:38.60
200 IM, Alyssa Musick, Richland, 13th seed at 2:14.41
200 free, McKenzie Schroder, Richland, seeded 13th at 2:00.50
1-meter diving, Kelsea Hinkley, Richland, seeded 7th at 343.35 points
100 butterfly, Musick, Richland, seeded 9th at 59.22
100 butterfly, Lauren Hall, Richland, seeded 10th at 59.56
500 free, Mackenzie Hale, Walla Walla, seeded 11th at 5:21.27
Richland 200 free relay, seeded 11th at 1:43.42.
Richland’s 200 Medley Relay, seeded 17th at 1:56.77
500 free, M.Schroder, Richland, seeded 15th at 5:26.80
100 backstroke, L.Hall, Richland, seeded 15th at 1:02.94
100 breaststroke, Katie Schroder, seeded 21st at 1:11.32
200 IM, Lisa Tixier, Hanford, seeded 4th at 2:11.19
1-meter diving, Danielle Freund, Southridge, seeded 2nd at 405.05 points
1-meter diving, Danielle Brandon, Kamiakin, seeded 3rd at 369.05
100 free, L.Tixier, Hanford, seeded 4th at 53.77
Hanford’s 200 free relay, seeded 4th at 1:43.83
50 free, Samantha Lester, Kennewick, seeded 9th at 25.59
50 free, D.Brandon, Kamiakin, seeded 13th at 25.93
1-meter diving, Kayla Lasater, Hanford, seeded 13th at 304.65
100 butterfly, Alexis Murphy, Kennewick, seeded 6th at 59.61
100 free, S.Lester, Kennewick, seeded 11th at 55.70
100 breaststroke, Cassadie Moore, Sunnyside, seeded 8th at 1:08.64
100 breaststroke, A.Murphy, Kennewick, seeded 10th at 1:09.17.
Hanford’s 400 free relay, seeded 10th at 3:49.96
Kennewick’s 200 Medley relay, seeded 21st at 2:01.00
Sunnyside’s 200 Medley relay, seeded 23rd at 2:02.38
200 free, Mylie Oberg, Hanford, seeded 16th at 2:01.83
200 free, Cheyenne Griffith, Hanford, seeded 23rd at 2:11.33
200 IM, Blair Murphy, Kennewick, seeded 22nd at 2:20.27
50 free, Janae Sullivan, Hanford, seeded 15th at 25.96
50 free, Linnea Peacock, Hanford, seeded 20th at 26.21
1-meter diving, Amanda Andersen, Hanford, seeded 21st at 257.05
1-meter diving, Anna Hall, Kennewick, seeded 22nd at 249.25
1-meter diving, Mackenzie Hammersmith, Hanford, seeded 24th at 242.45
100 butterfly, Rachel Schafer, Southridge, seeded 21st at 1:04.55
500 free, M.Oberg, Hanford, seeded 16th at 5:24.59
500 free, B.Murphy, Kennewick, seeded 22nd at 5:36.85
Southridge’s 200 free relay, seeded 22nd at 1:48.76
100 back, R.Schafer, Southridge, seeded 18th at 1:03.65
100 back, Taylor Fievez, Hanford, seeded 21st at 1:04.09
Kennewick’s 400 free relay, seeded 15th at 3:56.30 Class 2A
Prosser’s 200 Medley relay, seeded 22nd at 2:12.04
Prosser’s 400 free relay, seeded 24th at 4:22.31
State meet schedule
9:45 a.m. – 4A preliminaries
2:30 p.m. – 2A preliminaries
6:15 p.m. – 3A preliminaries
10 a.m. – 4A finals
2:30 p.m. – 2A finals
6:30 p.m. – 3A finals