Girls swim/dive: Two Wolves headed to state meet

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Sequim Gazette staff

Two Wolves are swimming and diving their way to state this weekend.


Junior diver Emily Van Dyken returns for a second time to the 2A state swimming and diving championships with Dani Barrow, a junior, who makes her first trip by qualifying in the 200 individual medley. They’ll swim and dive Nov. 15-16, at the King County Aquatic Center  in Federal Way.


Van Dyken placed eighth with a final score of 243.25 and 139.2 in the preliminaries at the WCD III 2-A Districts meet on Nov. 8-9, in Renton. She joins local divers Lydia Cornelson  (7th) and Haili Farnam (4th) from Port Angeles, and Keira Matkins (6th) and Rachel Ramsey (5th) of Port Townsend.


Barrow learned late Sunday she’d take a wildcard spot into state after placing seventh in the 200 yard IM 2:33.87 preliminary and 2:37.07 seed time. She also took 16th in the 100 yard freestyle but did not qualify for state.   


Head coach Anita Benitez said Barrow’s goal is to make it to the second day of swimming. “To do that, she’ll either need to shave a few seconds off her time or it’s just a crab shoot. You just never know,” she said. “I want her to experience state so that when she comes in next year, she’ll know she’s a real state competitor.”


For Van Dyken, Benitez said practice is the real key.


“We need to work on getting her more practice so that next year she’s practicing five days a week rather than three days a week,” she said.


Due to a limited amount of funding for coaches, Benitez said they could only supervise diving three days a week.


Barrow and Van Dyken weren’t alone at districts as a whole Sequim crew made the trek.


Four-time districts qualifier Cassi Calderon took 17th place in the 100 yard backstroke with a preliminary time of 1:21.26 and a 1:15.30 seed time. Jessica Craig, a sophomore, placed 16th in the 100 yard breaststroke with nearly exact times of 1:28.83 and 1:28.78.


Three relay teams qualified for districts but failed to qualify for state. Calderon, Barrow, Craig and Kayley Lofstrom swam the 200 yard medley and took 11th.


The same team with Victoria Fitzpatrick for Lofstrom also took 11th in the 200 yard freestyle relay while the 400 yard freestyle team of Craig, Fitzpatrick, Lofstrom and Kailee Price took 12th.


The Wolves sent seven alternates including Price, Anika Van Dyken, Kendra Richardson, Jaycee Thompson, Addie Enges, Megan O’Mera and Stephanie Grow.


“It was a fun, good team building activity,” Benitez said. “Hopefully, it helps when they get to districts next year.”
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