Swimmers competing at the 2A district meet include, from left, Amanda Murphy, Annabelle Armstrong, Chloe McKay, Jasmine Itti, Irene Stello, Morgan Cariou, Sydney Swanson, Heidi Schmitt, Sydnee Linnane, Sonja Govertsen, and Claire Cronin. Not Pictured are Aleah Chen and Eislynn Flood. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Girls swim: Wolves look for state spots at districts this weekend

Another strong year for Sequim’s girls swim team means another large contingency of Wolves at districts.

In total, 14 girls will compete or travel as alternates for Sequim to Hazen High School in Renton on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3-4 for the West Central Districts Tournament.

Some swimmers, including the 200 medley relay team of Sydnee Linnane, who will make her fourth trip to state, Sonja Govertsen, Jasmine Itti and Sydney Swanson, already qualified for the 2A state meet set for Nov. 10-11 at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way. But some of them, like Itti in the 50 free and 100 free, and Linnane in the 100 backstroke, are hoping to place or wildcard into individual events for state too.

Govertsen said their relay team is 1 ½ seconds away from a state qualifying time in the 200 free relay but if they place in the top six at districts then they’ll go to state.

“We can make that up,” she said.

Govertsen and the other girls said they’ll be in the right mindset, wearing new suits and the circumstances will be more competitive than usual head-to-head meets.

Head Coach Anita Benitez said this week and last they worked to cut times in both relays focusing on all forms of technique including starts and turns.

Swanson is the newcomer to the relay after teammate Meguire Vander Velde went down with an injury, after qualifying for districts in multiple events.

Govertsen said they most recently came close to an earlier time in the season where they swam a 1:50.00 at the Last Chance Meet on Oct. 24 in Port Angeles, which is within 0.2 of a second of their season’s best time.

Swanson said she’s brought her 50 free times down a few seconds to be closer to Vander Velde’s times.

Girls competing at districts include: Govertsen in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay; Linnane 50 free, 100 back, 200 medley relay, and 400 free relay; Itti 50 free, 100 free, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay; Swanson 200 IM, 100 breaststroke, 200 medley relay, and 400 free relay; Annabelle Armstrong 100 butterfly and 400 free relay; Amanda Murphy, Morgan Cariou, and Heidi Schmitt 400 free relay; Aleah Chen, Claire Cronin, Eislynn Flood, Chloe McKay, and Irene Stello alternates.

Benitez said Murphy and Schmitt might wildcard into other events based on their season times.

Armstrong qualified for districts in the butterfly at the Last Chance Meet with a time of 1:16.01.

Several other girls set personal bests at the meet including Chen in the 50 free (by cutting 2 seconds down to 33.49) and in the 100 free (by 3 seconds to 1:22.03); Paola Villegas in the 50 free (by 2 seconds to 46.60) and 100 free (by 7 seconds to 1:40.63); Quinlynn Young in the 50 free (by 2 seconds to 48.80); Olivia Barrett in the 50 free (by 1 second to 38.69); Cariou in the 50 free (by 2 seconds to 33.91) and 100 free (by 7 seconds to 1:18.00); McKay in the 50 free (by 0.2-of-a-second to 34.62); Stello in the 50 free (by 0.3-of-a-second to 37.57); Flood in the 100 free (by 6 seconds to 1:17.11) and 200 free (by 24 seconds to 2:42.15); Itti in the 100 free (by 1 second to 1:00.74); Murphy in the 100 free (by 0.2-of-a-second to 1:09.49); Kailtyn Davis in the 500 free (by 46 seconds to 8:13.96); Schmitt in the 500 free (by 8 seconds to 6:56.62); and Olivia Barrett in the 100 back (by 2 seconds to 1:34.69).

Benitez said the girls had a great season finishing in fourth place in the Olympic League at 4-3.

“We’ve had a lot of dedication,” she said.

“Bob (Robert Pease, new assistant coach) has a lot of experience and it’s been awesome to see girls improve because of his work.”

Itti said the YMCA of Sequim’s new timing system has been great for swimmers and volunteers too. She and others said that it makes things easier and they can know their times much easier

“You can know right then and there what you swam rather than having to wait a few days to a week to know our actual times when they average the times from stop watches,” Itti said.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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