Jackson sophomore Olivia Hoyla helped the Timberwolves to a fifth-place team finish at the Class 4A girls swim and dive state championships Saturday at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Jackson sophomore Olivia Hoyla helped the Timberwolves to a fifth-place team finish at the Class 4A girls swim and dive state championships Saturday at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

4A state swim and dive: Wesco divers shine; Jackson, Kamiak place top-8

Wesco accounts for 4 of the 8 diving state medalists, while Jackson and Kamiak each earn top-8 team finishes.

FEDERAL WAY — Addison Farman’s nearly decade-long gymnastics career came to an end after an elbow injury prompted her to undergo Tommy John surgery.

But the Glacier Peak sophomore found a new passion in diving.

And she certainly has a knack for it.

Farman captured a second-place medal in the Class 4A diving competition Thursday during the opening day of the high school girls swim and dive state championships at King County Aquatic Center.

Though it was difficult for her to give up gymnastics, things sure seem to have worked out.

“I’m really happy with where I am now,” she said.

Farman posted a score of 339.55 points, finishing 61.2 points behind state champion Olympia sophomore Aoi Kondo. Farman improved her state score by 94.6 points from last year, when she placed 14th as a freshman in her state debut.

Farman began diving about four years ago and took up club diving last year. She said her club training was a major factor in her recent growth.

“I put in the work to be better and I was really happy with how much I grew from it,” she said. “I almost doubled my degree of difficulty in my dives. … I was just really happy that I improved so much from last year.”

After a good opening dive, Farman had a rough stretch over the next three rounds. But she got back on track in the fifth round and found her groove, compiling a strong rest of the meet to climb the leaderboard and finish as the state runner-up.

Her ability to shake off a rough dive or two was another area of growth from last year.

“As a freshman, when she missed, it just kept rolling onto the other dives,” Glacier Peak dive coach Marc Hughes said. “But this year, she was able to mentally get herself back in the game.

“It was really cool to see her go from getting shaken a little bit to getting refocused and being able to put together the pieces.”

Farman’s second-place finish highlighted a banner performance from Wesco 4A divers.

The league accounted for half of the 4A state diving podium, with Glacier Peak and Jackson combining for four of the eight state medalists.

Glacier Peak freshman Claire Butler took fifth place with 312.40 points, followed by Jackson senior Lauren Wierschke in sixth at 311.65 points and Jackson sophomore Anna-Lyn Wilson in eighth with 296.35 points. It was the third state medal for Wierschke, who placed third last year and eighth as a freshman in 2019.

“That was amazing to have 50 percent of the podium represented by Wesco,” Hughes said. “We started the season (with) a lot of young talent and I said, ‘I think we could have a really good showing (at state).’

“But I did not necessarily expect that we’d see half the field standing on the podium at the end. And to have it such a young field too. That was really exciting to see.”

JACKSON CLAIMS 5TH-PLACE TEAM FINISH

Celina Hernandez-Murillo and the Timberwolves earned a pair of relay medals en route to a fifth-place finish in the 4A state team standings. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Celina Hernandez-Murillo and the Timberwolves earned a pair of relay medals en route to a fifth-place finish in the 4A state team standings. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Led by its talented quartet of underclassmen swimmers and a pair of state-placing divers, perennial powerhouse Jackson finished the three-day meet Saturday by placing fifth in the 4A state team standings with 152 points.

It was the Timberwolves’ sixth top-five team finish in the past eight state meets. Jackson finished just five points behind fourth-place Moses Lake, which captured the final team trophy.

“It was really cool,” Timberwolves freshman Elissa Anderson said. “I’m proud of everyone. I love the community and how supportive and nice they all are. … We all help each other a lot, both (with) technique and just lifting each other up.”

Anderson and Olivia Hoyla each claimed a pair of individual medals for Jackson.

Anderson placed second in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:57.66, finishing 3.65 seconds behind state champion Tahoma sophomore Elayne Chen. She also placed seventh in the 100 butterfly with a time of 59.65 seconds.

Hoyla, a sophomore, followed last year’s 200 individual medley runner-up finish with a fourth-place medal in the event at 2:10.61. She also placed sixth in the 100 butterfly with a time of 59.56 seconds.

Anderson, Hoyla, freshman Julia Song and junior Celina Hernandez-Murillo also teamed for a pair of relay medals. They placed fifth in the 400 freestyle relay at 3:42.30 and sixth in the 200 freestyle relay at 1:41.87.

And in diving, Wierschke and Wilson added a pair of podium finishes for the Timberwolves.

KAMIAK HAS ANOTHER STRONG SHOWING

Kamiak junior Claire Smith claimed a pair of third-place individual state medals and anchored the Knights to a third-place state relay medal. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Kamiak junior Claire Smith claimed a pair of third-place individual state medals and anchored the Knights to a third-place state relay medal. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

At its on-campus pool, perennial powerhouse Kamiak has a wall filled with plaques for every top-four individual or relay state finish.

The Knights will be adding another five plaques to that wall.

Led by standout junior Claire Smith, Kamiak racked up five top-four individual and relay finishes and placed seventh in the 4A team standings with 121 points. It was the Knights’ seventh consecutive top-eight team placing at state.

“We weren’t really looking at placing (as a team) until the very, very end,” Kamiak coach Chris Erickson said. “It was really on each individual’s performance and how we could do better than we did yesterday. And they did. So it was really fun.”

After capturing the 4A butterfly state title last year, Smith added a pair of third-place individual state medals to her collection.

Smith placed third in the 100 butterfly with a time of 56.95 seconds, finishing 0.74 seconds behind state champion Redmond senior Michelle Chen. And she took third in the 100 backstroke with a time of 59.14 seconds.

Smith’s butterfly time was actually 0.15 seconds faster than the state-winning time she swam last year.

“That was my only goal,” Smith said of improving her state butterfly time. “… I just wanted a best time. I wanted to get out there and race and get a best time for myself.”

Smith also anchored the Knights to a third-place medal in the 400 freestyle relay. Smith and sophomores Iris Cho, Julia Lorenzo and Janey Ryu posted a time of 3:41.26, which was a 3.66-second improvement from their pre-state seed time.

“That was a team effort,” Erickson said. “They dropped (nearly) four seconds, and it was about a second for all of them.”

Lorenzo and Ryu added a pair of fourth-place individual state medals. Lorenzo took fourth in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:00.01, moving up from a 19th-place finish last year as a freshman. And Ryu placed fourth in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:15.88.

“They’ve worked really, really hard the past year,” Smith said. “… They’ve improved so much, and they’re going to improve so much more. I’m really, really proud of them. They’re such awesome girls.”

OTHER LOCAL MEDALISTS

Glacier Peak sophomore Alena Lehmann placed seventh in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:01.33.

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