Hardy, sophs lead Wolves to state finals

And the sophomores shall lead them.

Sequim's Wolves got outstanding swims from sophomores Rachel Hardy in the 50 free and 100 free and Gianna Vennetti in the 100 fly, plus another from a senior-sophomore combo 200 freestyle relay team at the West Central District on Saturday.

Thanks to Hardy's automatic state-qualifying time in the 50, a first place in the 100 and wild card berths from state meet officials in the other races, Sequim is sending four athletes to the state finals in Federal Way Nov. 21-22.

"I think everybody did pretty well," Sequim coach Linda Bingler said. "Normally we don't have prelims in the day and finals at night. It's good for them to get used to it - that's the way it is in college."

After advancing nine athletes in a number of swims to districts, the Wolves came up against some tough swimmers, mainly from Fife and Interlake. The Wolves earned several top-three swims, including both 200 medley and 200 free relays, but automatic state berths were guaranteed for only the top two placers.

Sequim's 200 free team - Hardy, Vennetti, plus seniors Louise Showers and Sarah Keltonic - are headed to Federal Way with a wild card to fill out the tourney field.

Hardy hardly needed such help, swimming to a state-qualifying time in the 50 free in prelims, than topping the field in the 100 at night.

"She really had to hustle (in the 100)," Bingler said. "In the final the other girls really dropped some time."

Now Hardy has another uphill climb: making the finals in her events at state. She's seeded eight in the 50 free, a mark that would put her in the finals if she doesn't make an error, Bingler said.

"I think she's prepared for that," Hardy's coach said. "The spread is very thin between the swimmers - there's not a lot of room for error."

Showers finished sixth in the 200 free finals with a 2:32.35 mark while Vennetti was fifth in the 50 free at 27.34. Rachel Hughes was sixth in the 500 free (7:08.83) and helped the 200 medley relay team, along with Hardy, Keltonic and Vennetti, finish in 2:11.88, about five seconds off the state-qualifying mark.

In team scoring, Sequim finished third out of nine teams. The Wolves amassed 38 points, behind champion Fife (139 points) and

Interlake (61).

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