SNOHOMISH — Head coach John Neff told his Glacier Peak swimmers and divers at the beginning of the year that he felt they had the talent and depth needed to go through their season unbeaten and claim league and district titles.
Heading into this week’s Class 4A District 1 championships, the Grizzlies had already checked the first two accomplishments off that list.
They finished the job Saturday at Snohomish Aquatic Center.
Glacier Peak delivered first-place finishes in five of 12 events and the Grizzlies’ impressive depth racked up plenty of meaningful points throughout the day as the team secured its first district title since moving up to 4A in 2016.
“We talked at the beginning of the season about what our values are, about the humility and the effort that it takes to really succeed at this level,” Neff said. “And every time I gave them a challenge they would meet it and then some. When you look at a result like this, people want to give me praise, but that’s not really fair because these girls took every single day and they trained with a seriousness that is a coach’s dream. When it comes down to it, I’m so proud of every single one of these girls and what they accomplished.”
The results were a dominant showing by Glacier Peak, which racked up a team score of 534 and finished 101 points ahead of second-place Jackson.
The contributions came from a number of different athletes. Three swimmers won individual titles, the Grizzlies’ 200-yard freestyle relay team earned a victory and 11 Glacier Peak athletes had at least one finish of sixth place or better throughout the day.
“I just want to say from top to bottom in every grade that we have leaders,” Neff said. “We have girls that care about the program and care about that there’s a legacy that extends beyond them. And that’s something no amount of top-level swimmers is gonna make up for, that kind of culture. I’m just blessed.”
Senior Macy Fidler led the Grizzlies with a pair of individual titles. She swam the 100 backstroke in 1 minutes, 1.02 seconds and the 100 butterfly in 1:00.07.
“My times weren’t that great, but my main focus was placing for the team and not just myself,” Fidler said. “I’m proud of myself, though. It was very special. I’m glad it went the way it went.”
Fidler also teamed up Alanna Keegan and sisters Ellie and Lily Lao for Glacier Peak’s 200 freestyle relay win. The Grizzlies finished just .59 seconds off a school-record pace with a time of 1:42.61.
Lily Lao gave her team its first individual title of the day when she swam 200 freestyle in 2:02.01 to edge teammate Alexa Sullivan by .22 seconds.
The team’s fifth event win came when freshman Alena Lehmann led a 1-2-3 Glacier Peak finish in the 500 freestyle with a 5:29.81 pace. That was one of four events that featured at least two Grizzlies in the top three.
“It’s so cool,” Fidler said. “It makes me feel good about the whole team, and leaving the team the way it is makes me so happy and excited to see what Glacier Peak can do in the next few years.”
Lake Stevens’ Butler sprints to pair of individual titles
Lake Stevens senior Madelynn Butler was one of two athletes who earned two individual victories at the district meet.
Butler sprinted her way to 24.45-second finish in the 50 freestyle and a 53.11-second finish in the 100 freestyle. Both were 4A state qualifying times.
She also swam an impressive anchor leg in the 200 freestyle relay. Butler entered the water with two competitors in front of her and moved into second before falling just short of chasing down Fidler.
Kamiak wins 2 relays, 1 individual race
The Knights started and ended the meet with victories from their 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams.
Julia Lorenzo, Sophia Ryu, Claire Smith and Janey Ryu teamed up to produce a state qualifying mark of 1:52.1 in the 200 medley relay. The quartet then ended the afternoon with a state qualifying time of 3:42.93 in the 400 freestyle.
Sophia Ryu claimed the district title 100 breaststroke, swimming the race in a state qualifying time of 1:07.59.
Jackson claims victory in 2 events
Freshman Olivia Hoyla represented the Timberwolves at the top of the podium after the third race of the day. She took home the district title in the 200 individual medley after finishing the event with a state qualifying mark of 2:10.63. Hoyla also hit a state time in the 100 breaststroke, finishing second at 1:08.23.
Senior diver Leah Wierschke gave Jackson its second event win of the day with an 11-dive score of 391.8.
Other state qualifiers
The Jackson 200 medley relay team of Lexi Hawkns, Hoyla, Arie Parungao and Celina Hernandez-Murillo qualified for state with 1:53.13 finish.
Glacier Peak’s Keegan produced a state qualifying mark of 24.95 second in the 50 freestyle.
Addison Farman of Glacier Peak and Jackson’s Lauren Wierschke each qualified for state in diving. Farman posted a score of 382.05 and Lauren Wierschke 375.15.
The Lake Stevens 400 freestyle relay team of Autumn Marlatt, Savannah Foley, Charlotte Lamb and Butler qualified for state after swimming their event in 3:45.42.
Note: All district champions qualified for the state tournament.