FEDERAL WAY — As a sophomore, Jackson’s Nicole Limberg broke through and won her first individual state championship in the 100-yard breaststroke.
She apparently liked the feeling so much she decided to win two as a junior. Limberg swam to victory in the 200 Individual Medley and the 100 breaststroke Saturday at the 4A state swimming and diving championships.
“It’s really exciting,” Limberg said. “I didn’t know what to think of it, I was like, ‘Oh my God.’”
Limberg placed second in the 200 IM with a time of 2:06.14 a year ago. She improved on that time by nearly a second this year, finishing in 2:05.17.
“Last year I wasn’t expecting to get second,” Limberg said. “This is year I definitely wanted to add more confidence and I could do better.”
Jackson head coach Drew Whorley was all smiles talking about his star junior after the meet.
“I’m just really happy for her and I’m proud of her,” Whorley said. “She’s worked incredibly hard between last year and this year. Last year, she was trying to hold people off in the freestyle and this year people were going to have a tough time coming to get her.”
Limberg defended her championship in the 100 breaststroke, finishing first with a time of 1:03.53 and joining Newport’s Yulia Groysman as the only 4A swimmers to win multiple individual state titles this year.
Limberg was joined on the podium for the 200 IM by teammate Chloe Limargo, who finished third with a time of 2:07.90.
The Timberwolves finished fourth overall one year after tying Richland for the state championship. With a talented freshman class, Skyline won this year’s team title in a run-away.
“Kudos to those guys and Newport and Wenatchee,” Whorley said. “We came back and swam faster across the board and that was our goal.”
Carlton and Frey win state titles for Mount Vernon
A pair of Emmas delivered state titles for Mount Vernon Saturday.
Sophomore Emma Carlton won the state championship in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.29, an automatic All-American time. Later in the meet, sophomore teammate Emma Frey joined her as a state champion with a win in the 100 backstroke in 56.70.
Carlton was one of three local swimmers to place in the top eight in the 50 freestyle. Lake Stevens’ Gabby Marlatt finished third in 24.15 and Snohomish’s Madelynn Donohue finished seventh in 25.02.
Carlton, who was named the swimmer of the meet, also finished second in the 100 butterfly in 54.44, getting out-touched at the wall by Wenatchee’s Jessica Wierzbicki, who finished in 54.42.
Frey added a fourth-place finish in the 200 IM to help the Bulldogs place sixth in the team scores.
King County Aquatic Center
Team scores (Top 10): 1. Skyline 293, 2. Newport 257, 3. Wenatchee 235½, 4. Jackson 147, 5. Richland 130, 6. Mount Vernon 108, 7. Gig Harbor 101, T8. Issaquah 100, T8. Kamiak 100, 10. Stadium 89. Other local teams: 14. Lake Stevens 52, 23. Snohomish 23.
Winners and local placers only
200 Medley Relay–1. Skyline 1:47.01, 4. Jackson (Madison Pressler, Nicole Limberg, Chloe Limargo, Alexis Nims) 1:49.18; 200 Freestyle–1. Yulia Groysman (Newport) 1:51.21, 4. Angeline Dovinh (Kamiak) 1:55.43; 200 Individual Medley–1. Nicole Limberg (Jackson) 2:05.17, 3. Chloe Limargo (Jackson) 2:07.90, 4. Emma Frey (Mount Vernon) 2:08.02; 50 Freestyle–1. Emma Carlton (Mount Vernon) 23.29, 3. Gabby Marlatt (Lake Stevens) 24.15, 7. Madelynn Donohue (Snohomish) 25.02; Diving–1. Kelsea Hinkley (Richland) 421.70; 100 Butterfly–1. Jessica Wierzbicki (Wenatchee) 54.42, 2. Emma Carlton (Mount Vernon) 54.44; 100 Freestyle–1. Willow Lopez-Silvers (Curtis) 52.39, 5. Angeline Dovinh (Kamiak) 53.60, 6. Gabby Marlatt (Lake Stevens) 53.74, 8. Madelynn Donohue (Snohomish) 55.00; 500 Freestyle–1. Yulia Groysman (Newport) 4:56.68; 200 Freestyle Relay–1. Newport 1:39.25, 2. Kamiak (Song-Nhi Vo, Rosanna Holod, Stina Seaberg, Angeline Dovinh) 1:39.27; 100 Backstroke–1. Emma Frey (Mount Vernon) 56.70; 100 Breaststroke–1. Nicole Limberg (Jackson) 1:03.53; 400 Freestyle Relay–1. Skyline 3:31.59, 4. Jackson (Chloe Limargo, Alexis Nims, Nicole Limberg, Madison Pressler) 3:37.03, 6. Kamiak (Song-Nhi Vo, Angeline Dovinh, Stina Seaberg, Rosanna Holod) 3:40.07, 8. Mount Vernon (Kaitlyn Ware, Kathryn Larrick, Emma Frey, Emma Carlton) 3:46.22.
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on Twitter at @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.