While football, volleyball, soccer and cross country are in full swing this week, swimming is in a holding pattern as far as competition is concerned. The state championships are next week, and some teams are competing in districts this weekend. The Northwest District One meet finals, featuring schools from the Wesco, Cascade Conference and Northwest Conference, are scheduled for Saturday. The CBBN and CWAC teams competed in districts last weekend, meaning they will have been idle for almost two weeks by the time things get rolling in Federal Way.
Knowing the level of competition we have around here, I don't expect there to be much rust. Even during state championship week, the club swimmers still practice, said Kennewick swimmer and state qualifier Hailey Murphy. Still, we see it with professional athletes after bye weeks: It can be tough to get back into the groove after having time off. Hopefully the swimmers are motivated enough to keep up with their practices this next week, so they can show the west-side schools how much talent is over here.
Judging from the updated Mid-Columbia honor roll, it's clear there will be some big-time swims from our area next week. At districts, Murphy and Hanford's Melissa Merrill and Lisa Tixier all swam season-best times in the Class 3A 200-yard individual medley. Hanford's Stephanie Tixier leads the Mid-Columbia in the 100 butterfly after swimming to a district mark of 58.03. Emma Timm-Ballard of Walla Walla shot to the top of the standings in the 100 backstroke with her time of 58.80. And Othello's Natilee Ruiz left everyone in the dust with her district-record time of 52.59 in the 1A/2A 100 freestyle.
The state heat sheets will be available Sunday, so I'm eager to see where everyone stands entering the final week of the season. Right now, Kennewick, Kamiakin and Sunnyside are each sending one competitor to Federal Way, but they might have a chance at snagging a wild card or two.