High School Sports

Girls swimming: Mercer Island keeps Mid-Columbia Invitational title

Mid-Columbia Invitational swimming

Sights and sounds from the Sept. 19 meet at Kennewick's Serier Pool. Richland, Hanford, Kamiakin, Southridge, Kennewick, Walla Walla, Mercer Island and Clarkston competed.
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Sights and sounds from the Sept. 19 meet at Kennewick's Serier Pool. Richland, Hanford, Kamiakin, Southridge, Kennewick, Walla Walla, Mercer Island and Clarkston competed.

The Mercer Island High School girls swim and dive team had all the depth it needed Saturday to repeat as the Mid-Columbia Invitational champion.

The Islanders, whose five-year Class 3A state title streak ended last season, finished the day at Kennewick’s Serier Pool with 455 points. Defending 4A state co-champion Richland was second with 278, and Walla Walla took third with 131.

Wa-Hi’s Mackenzie Hale was the only non-Mercer Island swimmer in the final heat of the 200-yard individual medley, finishing third.

“I do a lot of club swimming, so usually at big meets, I don’t always know who I’m swimming against, so it wasn’t anything super new,” said Hale, who later won the 500 freestyle. “It was a little different at a high school meet to not know who you’re swimming against, but overall it wasn’t super intimidating.”

Walla Walla’s Paige Gardner earned victories in the 50 free and 100 backstroke. Other area winners were Richland’s Claire Schaef (100 free), Alyssa Musick (100 butterfly) and Kelsea Hinkley (diving), and Kennewick’s Alexis Murphy (100 breaststroke).

Schaef touched the wall in 56.19 seconds, beating Mercer Island’s Sydney Seto (58.09) and Julie Baker (1:00.24). The Islanders earned 35 points by finishing 2-3-5-10-11-12 in the 100 free.

“It’s fun to swim with them and race people you don’t really know,” Schaef said. “They can do anything. You don’t know what they’re going to do.”

In the 100 fly, Mercer Island swimmers filled the Nos. 4-10 slots to pick up 42 points.

Mercer Island won all three relays, including the 400 free in a 3A state-qualifying time of 3:50.20. Esther Choe was first in the 200 free, and Maeve Murdoch won the 200 IM.

Motivated by more than defending their meet title, the Islanders happily came back to the Tri-Cities.

“It’s a chance to get more swimmers in and hopefully get the times for districts and qualify for state,” Baker said. “Also, the experience of rooming with your team in a hotel is definitely a good bonding experience. Something like this early in the season is important to have a good, close team.”

Team scores: 1, Mercer Island 455; 2, Richland 278; 3, Walla Walla 131; 4, Hanford 121; 5, Kamiakin 114; 6, Kennewick 66; 7, Southridge 35; 8, Clarkston NP; 400 freestyle relay: 1, Mercer Island A (Alexandra Williams, Tess Ritcey, Maeve Murdoch, Sammie Edwards) 3:50.20 (SQ); 2, Richland A 3:54.24; 3, Mercer Island B 3:56.72; 200 freestyle: 1, Esther Choe (MI) 2:08.15; 2, Lauren Hall (R) 2:08.21; 3, Lauryn Brittain (MI) 2:09.77; 200 individual medley: 1, Murdoch (MI) 2:19.12; 2, Sabrina Kwan (MI) 2:20.85; 3, Mackenzie Hale (WW) 2:22.99; 50 freestyle: 1, Paige Gardner (WW) 26.29; 2, Blair Murphy (Ken) 26.66; 3, Neomi Mennetrot (R) 26.88; Diving: 1, Kelsea Hinkley (R) 235.30; 2, Saige Polanik (Kam) 198.80; 3, Hadley Michaels (MI) 191.60; 100 butterfly: 1, Alyssa Musick (R) 1:02.93; 2, Alexis Murphy (Ken) 1:02.96; 3, Hall (R) 1:03.88; 100 freestyle: 1, Claire Schaef (R) 56.19; 2, Sydney Seto (MI) 58.09; 3, Julie Baker (MI) 1:00.24; 500 freestyle: 1, Hale (WW) 5:34.12; 2, Katie Schroder (R) 5:44.85; 3, Leann Tse (MI) 5:45.24; 200 freestyle relay: 1, Mercer Island A (Murdoch, Heather Robinson, Ellie Williams, Kwan) 1:47.13; 2, Mercer Island B 1:51.24; 3, Richland A 1:53.24; 100 backstroke: 1, P. Gardner (WW) 1:03.62; 2, Madison Thurber (Kam) 1:04.34; 3, Marcia Kim (R) 1:06.71; 100 breaststroke: 1, A. Murphy (Ken) 1:13.49; 2, Schroder (R) 1:14.84; 3, Maddie Elliott (H) 1:15.65; 200 medley relay: 1, Mercer Island A (Kwan, Mari Nielsen, Edwards, Robinson) 2:01.16; 2, Richland A 2:04.05; 3, Mercer Island B 2:04.52.

Katie Dorsey: 509-582-1526; kdorsey@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @KatieS_Dorsey

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