SNOHOMISH — Up until a few years ago, the Glacier Peak and Snohomish high school girls swim and dive teams had spent a decade practicing together and traveling with each other to meets.
But never before had the two crosstown programs squared off head-to-head.
That is, until Tuesday afternoon.
In the first-ever dual meet between the two teams, Glacier Peak clinched the Wesco North crown and capped a perfect regular season with a 110-76 win over Snohomish in front of a packed crowd at Snohomish Aquatic Center.
“It makes me so happy,” Glacier Peak senior standout Macy Fidler said of her team’s undefeated dual-meet season. “Like, no words can describe how I’m feeling. I’m just very happy. … It’s incredible.”
And as for the atmosphere at the first-ever crosstown showdown between these two programs?
“Honestly, unforgettable, just because we used to swim all together,” Fidler said. “And then competing against each other, it’s crazy.”
For the first decade after Glacier Peak opened in 2008, the two programs practiced together in the same pool. They also traveled together to compete in tri-meets, with Glacier Peak and Snohomish each facing a common opponent, but never each other.
Glacier Peak and Snohomish fully split their programs in 2018 and have practiced separately since then.
However, in 2018 and 2019, Glacier Peak was in the Wesco South and Snohomish was in the Wesco North. And this past spring was an abbreviated season.
So it wasn’t until this season, when Glacier Peak joined the Wesco North, that the two programs squared off in their first-ever dual meet.
“To be able to come here and have the stands just full of blue and red has just been awesome,” said Snohomish coach Jenny Service, who’s in her third season as the Panthers’ head coach and her 15th season with the program overall. “And the girls all know each other from club or from school or ASB. And so seeing all the camaraderie between the two schools and just the mixture of everyone cheering for everyone just warms my heart.”
Each team won six of the 12 events Tuesday, but Glacier Peak (10-0, 9-0 Wesco North) earned the victory with its superior depth. It capped a milestone regular season for the Grizzlies, who beat perennial powerhouse Kamiak in a non-league meet early on and then dominated their Wesco North slate.
“This is a culmination of the work that they put in — and really, I would say, that our team has put in over the last four years,” Glacier Peak coach John Neff said.
Fidler, a two-time Class 4A state qualifier in the 100-yard butterfly, won that event in 1 minute, 1.02 seconds on Tuesday. She also teamed with junior Alexa Sullivan and sophomores Ellie Lao and Lily Lao to win the 200 freestyle relay.
Glacier Peak also had a pair of tight 1-2 individual finishes between teammates. Lily Lao beat Sullivan by 0.32 seconds to win the 200 freestyle, while junior Isabella Hoopes edged freshman teammate Alena Lehmann by a mere 0.13 seconds to win the 500 freestyle.
A few events later, Lehmann cruised to victory in the 100 breaststroke.
Addison Farman, another Glacier Peak freshman, took first place in diving with 231.35 points.
“Really what’s amazing is that through (this) entire time, these girls have been so positive to each other,” Neff said. “My top state-level girls are sitting there screaming their lungs out for somebody that’s swimming their first 100 fly or their first 500 free. That’s the culture of our team. And we don’t get to 10-0 without that kind of leadership.”
Snohomish (6-3, 6-2) was led by sophomore phenom Mary Clarke, who sped to victories in the 50 freestyle (25.00) and 100 backstroke (59.56). Both of those times would’ve earned top-15 finishes at the most recent 3A state meet in 2019.
Last month, Clarke won both the 50 and 100 freestyle races at the prestigious Mukilteo Invite. And as a freshman this past spring, she broke the Snohomish program record in the 50 freestyle.
“She’s super close in a couple of our other (records),” Service said. “She hasn’t broke any yet this year, but she’s like hovering right on the cusp. So districts and state is gonna be incredibly exciting.”
Snohomish senior Anna Kowalchyk, a two-time 3A state qualifier in the 100 breaststroke, won the 100 freestyle (55.76) and the 200 individual medley (2:16.55).
Clarke and Kowalchyk also helped the Panthers to a pair of relay victories. The two teamed with senior Rylee Johnston and sophomore Grace Andrews to win the 200 medley relay (1:54.80). And in the final event of the meet, Clarke, Kowalchyk, senior Macky Blackwell and junior Kimi Nakamura-Doudt won the 400 freestyle relay (3:45.63). Both times would’ve earned top-15 finishes in the 2019 3A state meet.
“You just look at some of those relays, and man, they move,” Neff said.
Both teams also celebrated senior night midway through the meet, which included short speeches from the coaches about each of their seniors.
“The girls all know each other,” Neff said. “They all love each other. And so that’s what makes meets like this really fun. Even though there is that rivalry factor — even though we’re on opposite sides of the district — we have a long history of being together. There’s no animosity, no hard feelings. We just get out there and we have fun.”