Kamiak’s Claire Smith competes in the 100 yard butterfly Thursday afternoon at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo, Washington on October 6, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Kamiak’s Claire Smith competes in the 100 yard butterfly Thursday afternoon at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo, Washington on October 6, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Jackson races past Kamiak in battle of girls swim powers

The Timberwolves win 106-77 in a matchup of two teams that have combined to win at least a share of every Wesco 4A conference title since 2015.

MUKILTEO — In most years Wesco South girls swim and dive powers Jackson and Kamiak clash in the final dual meet of the season.

The teams have combined to win at least a share of every conference title since 2015 and often times that final meet of the season decides who’s crowned league champion.

In a bit of change from the norm, the unbeaten Timberwolves and Knights squared off in a midseason battle Thursday at Kamiak High School.

This time Jackson came out on top and took the upper-hand in the Wesco South race.

The Timberwolves delivered six first-place finishes, dominated the diving portion of the meet and used their depth to rack up important points on their way to a 106-77 victory.

“I felt like we were solid,” Jackson coach Drew Whorley said. “Typically this meet comes at the end of the season and I feel like we’re a little more refined and ready for it. I watched it today and told the girls that we’ve got a lot of stuff to clean up.

“… I’m excited about the training that we have coming in front of us so that we can get ready for the postseason. I think this (meet) is a great test for us. I’m really proud of how they raced.”

Sophomore Olivia Hoyla delivered a pair of individual victories for the Timberwolves (5-0). Hoyla, the 2021 Class 4A state runner-up in the 200-yard individual medley, topped Kamiak junior Claire Smith, the defending 4A 100 butterfly state champion, in the 200 IM with a state qualifying time of 2 minutes, 11.79 seconds. The sophomore also posted a winning 1:12.99 pace in the 100 breaststroke. Both times were season bests, according to Whorley.

“I’m happy for her,” Whorley said. “She works really hard.”

Freshmen Julia Song and Elissa Anderson added to a strong showing by Jackson’s underclassmen. Song won the 200 freestyle by just under four seconds with a winning time of 2:01.62, and Anderson delivered a victorious 25.51-second pace in the 50 freestyle. Song also took second in the 100 freestyle and Anderson finished second in the 100 butterfly.

Hoyla, Anderson, Song and junior Celina Hernandez-Murillo teamed up for a win in the 200 freestyle relay. The quartet finished the race in 1:44.15 to lead a one-two Timberwolves finish.

Senior Lauren Wierschke headlined a Jackson sweep in the diving portion of the meet with a first-place score of 202.30.

The Timberwolves also delivered three of the top four times in the 200 freestyle, 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle relay.

Kamiak (5-1) started and ended the meet on a high note.

Julia Lorenzo, Janey Ryu, Iris Cho and Smith led the Knights’ 200 medley relay team to winning time of 1:56.35 in the first race of the meet. The same four closed out the meet by racing to a 3:46.45 pace in the 400 freestyle relay, edging Jackson’s second-place relay team by just .62 seconds.

Smith trailed Anderson by nearly a full second 50 yards in the 100 butterfly, but the junior came through with a strong kick down the stretch to win the event in 1:00.38. Smith also took second in the 200 IM.

Cho, a sophomore, outlasted Song in the closest finish of the meet to win the 100 freestyle. She finished the race in 57.31, a mere .12 seconds ahead of Song.

Sophomore Ryu took an early lead in the 500 freestyle and never relented on her way to a victorious 5:22.85 pace.

Lorenzo, a sophomore, won the 100 backstroke by nearly seven seconds at 1:02.54.

Senior Parker Forsythe, a South Whidbey student who swims with Kamiak, posted a 2A/1A state qualifying time of under 2:23.00 in the 200 IM. She finished fourth in the event.

“I thought we did a nice job with season-best times,” Kamiak coach Chris Erickson said. “That’s what we were looking for. We knew (Jackson) had a lot more depth than we could manage. … We’re just happy that we swam well.”

Jackson 106, Kamiak 77

At Kamiak H.S.

200 medley relay—Kamiak (Julia Lorenzo, Janey Ryu, Claire Smith, Iris Cho) 1:56.35; 200 freestyle—Julia Song (J) 2:01.62; 200 individual medley—Olivia Hoyla (J) 2:11.79; 50 freestyle—Elissa Anderson (J) 25.51; Diving—Lauren Wierschke (J) 202.30; 100 butterfly—Smith (K) 1:00.38; 100 freestyle—Cho (K) 57.31; 500 freestyle—Ryu (K) 5:22.85; 200 freestyle relay—Jackson (Hoyla, Celina Hernandez-Murillo, Anderson, Song) 1:44.15; 100 backstroke—Lorenzo (K) 1:02.54; 100 breaststroke—Hoyla (J) 1:12.99; 400 freestyle relay—Kamiak (Cho, Lorenzo, Smith, Ryu) 3:46.45.

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