Richland senior Lisa Bratton finished her high school swimming career on a high note, winning individual titles in the Class 4A 200 IM and the 100 backstroke Saturday at the WIAA state swimming and diving championships in Federal Way.
Meanwhile, Southridge’s Danielle Freund became the first diver from the Tri-Cities to win a state title when she took the 3A crown on Saturday night, setting a school record in the process with 416.35 points.
Bratton, who is headed to Texas A&M next fall to swim, successfully defended her two titles that she won in 2012.
“I’m pretty tired,” Bratton said. “But it was pretty right on where I thought I’d be. I thought the backstroke would have to be faster.”
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Starting the 100 backstroke in Lane 4, Bratton came into the final as the top seed out of preliminaries with a time of 55.14 seconds.
Kentlake’s Kyndal Phillips entered the race second fastest at 55.77 seconds.
“Phillips had great prelims,” said Bratton. “It was close until that last wall. I kicked off the wall and it was pretty painful. But after three or four strokes I could see everyone, so I thought I might win.”
The walls of the pool — and the resulting turns swimmers make — seem to be a key for Bratton’s success.
“A lot of times people can outswim me,” said Bratton, “but I can beat them on the walls. I work those a lot at practice. I pound the walls.”
In the 200 IM — an event that consists of a 50-yard butterfly, a 50-yard backstroke, a 50-yard breaststroke, and a 50-yard freestyle — turning at the walls becomes very important, said Bratton.
“In the longer race like that, a lot of focus is on the turn underwater,” she said.
Bratton again started in Lane 4 as the top seed, in which she swam the event in 2:03.39 in prelims on Friday.
Next to her was Gig Harbor’s Carolyn McCann, who was the second-fastest coming into the final at 2:06.91.
“Everyone thought it was going to come down to the final 50 free,” said Bratton. “We were pretty even on the fly. I got up on her in the backstroke. She touched ahead of me on the breaststroke.”
But in the final 50, Bratton got a great turn on the wall and just out-touched McCann at the finish for a time of 1:59.44. McCann had 1:59.56.
Richland coach Kathy Piper was ecstatic with Bratton’s final high school meet.
“That 200 IM time is the second fastest ever in the state of Washington in any classification,” said Piper. “Lisa has the best walls there are. It’s clearly evident in all the races. She came off the wall and kept her head down.”
To boot, Bratton combined with McKenzie Schroder, Lauren Hall and Alyssa Musick to place second in the 400 freestyle with a time of 3:36.87.
The Bombers — Bratton, Katie Schroder, Musick and Hall — combined to place fourth in the 200 medley relay 1:50.46, which broke the school record the foursome set Friday.
Bratton was just as pumped with those relay finishes.
“We’re excited,” said Bratton. “Our butterflier, Alyssa Musick, she wasn’t feeling very well. She did amazing and she stepped up to the plate.”
Piper said Musick had been throwing up the last few days.
“We couldn’t have gotten where we did in our relay finishes without her,” said Piper.
The Bombers finished fifth as a team with 123 points. Newport of Bellevue won the team title with 232 points.
Freund was 40 points ahead of her nearest competitor after the first eight dives on Friday night.
Kamiakin’s Danielle Brandon, who has competed against Freund all season, finished fourth in the 3A diving.
Freund said she wasn’t aware she had won until after the event was finished.
“I usually don’t listen to scores,” she said. “It helps me stay focused.”
She knew she could win the title.
“Coming into (the event) I was seeded second,” Freund said. “But seeds don’t matter, because scores can be inflated. Today was actually my best day.”
Hanford’s Lisa Tixier completed a strong career by placing fourth in the 100 free and fifth in the 200 IM.
The Hanford 200 free relay team of Kayla Burnight, Tixier, Janae Sullivan and Linnea Peacock finished fourth with a school-record time of 1:40.35.
At Federal Way
State winners and local placers
Team scores—1. Newport 232; 2. Wenatchee 169.5; 3. Gig Harbor 152; 4. Skyline 146; 5. Richland 123. 36. Walla Walla 6.
200 medley relay—1. Gig Harbor 1:47.52; 4. Richland (Lisa Bratton, Katie Schroder, Alyssa Musick, Lauren Hall) 1:50.46. 200 free—1. Madison Pressler (Jackson) 1:53.16; 13. McKenzie Schroder (Richland) 2:01.09. 200 IM—1. Lisa Bratton (Richland) 1:59.44. 50 free—1. Kenna Ramey (Federal Way) 22.96. Diving—1. Hailey Kessler (Auburn) 387.30 points; 14. Kelsea Hinkley (Richland), 275.50. 100 fly—1. Kenna Ramey (Federal Way) 54.32; 9. Lauren Hall (Richland) 59.60. 100 free—1. Marley Cross (Garfield) 51.71. 500 free—1. Brianna Lucien (Mariner) 5:04.46; 11. Mackenzie Hale (Walla Walla) 5:21.31. 200 free relay—1. Newport 1:39.26. 100 back—1. Lisa Bratton (Richland) 54.04; 13. Lauren Hall (Richland) 1:01.90. 100 breast—1. Carolyn McCann (Gig Harbor) 1:01.33. 400 free relay—1. Newport 3:34.00; 2. Richland (McKenzie Schroder, Lauren Hall, Alyssa Musick, Lisa Bratton), 3:36.37.
State winners and local placers
200 medley relay—1. Bainbridge 1:47.44. 200 free—1. Monica Bottelberghe (CR), 1:50.86; 16. Mylie Oberg (Hanford) 2:02.51. 200 IM—1. Kim Williams (Bellevue) 2:00..64; 5. Lisa Tixier (Hanford) 2:08.43. 50 free—1. Anna Keane (Meadowdale) 23.21; 10. Samantha Lester (Kennewick) 25.36; 14. Danielle Brandon (Kamiakin) 26.11. Diving—1. Danielle Freund (Southridge) 416.35 points; 4. Danielle Brandon (Kamiakin) 326.80; 12. Kayla Lasater (Hanford), 286.30; 18. Anna Hall (Kennewick) 177.00. 100 fly—1. Mackenna Briggs (Liberty) 55.02; 9. Alexis Murphy (Kennewick) 59,94. 100 free—1. Emma Ford (Foss) 50.17; 4. Lisa Tixier (Hanford) 52.69; 15. Samantha Lester (Kennewick) 56.45. 500 free—1. Cameron Smith (Seattle Prep) 4:55.46; 14. Mylie Oberg (Hanford) 5:22.56. 200 free relay—1. Lakeside 1:38.24; 4. Hanford (Kayla Burnight, Lisa Tixier, Janae Sullivan, Linnea Peacock) 1:40.35. 100 back—1. Shayla Archer (Bainbridge) 56.38. 100 breast—1. Kim Williams (Bellevue) 1:02.11; 8. Cassadie Moore (Sunnyside) 1:07.35; 14. Alexis Murphy (Kennewick) 1:09.02. 400 free relay—NA.