By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
FEDERAL WAY — The group of Archbishop Murphy swimmers that qualified for the finals at the 2A state meet on Saturday may have been small, but they certainly represented their team well.
Sophomore Kaelee McCloskey qualified in the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly and sophomore Reilly Krueger qualified in 1-meter diving, joined by juniors Sierra Bequette and Claire Main. All four girls placed in the top-eight in their respective events.
McCloskey kicked things off by placing fifth in the 200 IM with a time of 2:19.06. Shortly after, Krueger placed fifth in diving with a score of 299.25. She was followed by Bequette in seventh with a score of 288.65 and Main in eighth with a 286.45.
McCloskey saved the best for last, finishing third in the 100 butterfly in 1:00.70, just behind Sumner’s Madison Munger, who finished in 1:00.51.
“She came charging in and almost pulled it (second place) off,” Archbishop Murphy head coach Mike McCloskey said.
Coach McCloskey, who is also Kaelee’s father, said the time was a school-record. After the race he got a hug from his daughter and was all smiles.
“To go out and get third against that type of competition as a sophomore, we’re happy,” McCloskey said.
Kaelee’s smile was even bigger than her father’s.
“I’m really happy,” McCloskey said. “I worked hard, so I’m happy for this.”
Happiness was a theme for the Archbishop Murphy team. Diving coach JoLynne Leitzel-Abbe was thrilled to get three divers on the podium this year after placing three in the top-10 a year ago.
The sophomore Krueger placed fifth in state for a second consecutive year.
“Reilly is going to be strong,” Leitzel-Abbe said. “She’s also did track. She has that mentality of a high-jumper like, ‘I’m going to do it.’ When she sets her mind to it, it’s great.”
In danger of missing of finishing off of the podium after 10 dives, Main rose to the occasion with her best dive ever.
“It was just fantastic,” Leitzel-Abbe said. “Claire has never done a dive that well, that particular dive that well.”
It was all she needed to join Bequette and Krueger on the podium.
“That was the best dive of the year for her,” Coach McCloskey said. “She stuck it under pressure and moved her three points ahead of ninth place.”
Bequette’s dive was also a personal best, while Krueger’s dive was her second-best ever.
Pullman won the team state championship, pulling it out at the end with come-from-behind win in the 400 freestyle relay. Archbishop Murphy finished in 15th place with 67 points.
“We had a small team this year, but they were really good and super supportive of everyone,” Kaelee McCloskey said. “Our divers did amazing. It was just really good chemistry between everyone.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local team results: 15. Archbishop Murphy 67.
Top local finishers
200 individual medley—5. Kaelee McCloskey (AM) 2:19.06; Diving—5. Reilly Krueger (AM) 299.25, 7. Sierra Bequette (AM) 288.65, 8. Claire Main (AM) 286.45; 100 butterfly—3. McCloskey (AM) 1:00.70.