SNOHOMISH — Saturday was a great day for Jackson girls swimming at the 4A Northwest District Championships. It was an even better day for Mia Chang.
Chang won a pair of individual titles — breaking the meet record in the 100-yard backstroke — and helped the Timberwolves win the team title at Snohomish Aquatic Center. Jackson scored 525.5 team points and topped second-place Kamiak, which amassed 400 points.
“(She was) incredible,” Jackson coach Drew Whorley said. “She’s absolutely a pretty phenomenal talent. We have trouble with someone of her caliber even deciding what events she’s going to swim in. She was good on Thursday, but I say all the time, she’s a big-game swimmer. She showed up on the biggest day of her season thus far, and she was at her best.”
Chang touched the wall in 54.56 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke, breaking the mark of 55.61, set by Mount Vernon’s Emma Frey in 2017, by nearly a full second.
“I was really happy with how today went,” Chang said. “It feels really good. I honestly was not expecting that, I wasn’t thinking about it at all. To put up the best time and break the record, it’s just amazing.”
Chang, who is coming off back-to-back third-place state finishes in the 100 backstroke, should be primed to contend for a title during next weekend’s state meet at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
“I feel pretty good, I’m really excited,” Chang said.
Jackson was dominant for most of the season, carrying a 10-0 meet record into Saturday’s district meet, where the Timberwolves got it done with their depth.
The Timberwolves had 20 top-eight finishers in the 11 different swimming events and four top-10 finishers in the diving competition.
“Everybody contributed across the board,” Whorley said. “This was a full team effort.”
Along with winning the 100 backstroke, Chang took first in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2 minutes, 2.06 seconds.
Parker Hoppe was the other Jackson swimmer to win an individual district title on Saturday, taking the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:25.86.
“I don’t think anyone would have realized she would have been a district champion two years ago,” Whorley said of Hoppe. “She came to us when she was still kind of new to the sport and trying to figure it out. She works as hard as anyone in the pool, so to see that happen for her today, that was just really exciting for the team.”
The Timberwolves’ 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relay teams also won district titles in 1:38.59 and 3:35.43, respectively.
Five different Timberwolves swimmers (Chang, Heidi Ly, Hoppe, Emily Mun and Jenna Kim), two divers (Lauren and Leah Wierschke) and three relay teams will represent Jackson during next weekend’s state meet.
It will cap what has been a storybook season for Jackson.
“There’s a lot of excitement and I think the team had some expectations coming in because this was obviously a goal,” Whorley said. “I’m really impressed by how well we swam today. We have our relays qualified for next week. So we’re trying to come in to this meet and be good, but also have some gas left in the tank for next week.”
2 Kamiak relays, Monroe’s Grove swim state times
Monroe’s Mia Grove and Kamiak’s 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay teams didn’t enter Saturday with state qualifications, but they left with them.
Grove swam 24.71 in the 50-yard freestyle to eclipse the 24.90 4A state threshold, Kamiak’s 200-yard freestyle relay qualified with a time of 1:41.94 (1:42.5 qualifying time) and the Knights’ 400-yard freestyle relay finished in 3:42.79 to beat the 3:45.00 qualifying time.
Shorecrest captures 3A title, topping Snohomish
After being edged by Snohomish last year, the Scots reclaimed the 3A district team title by scoring 471 points to the Panthers’ 430, who took second.
Shorecrest was bolstered by a first-place finish from its 200-yard medley relay team, which broke the 3A district meet record with a time of 1 minutes, 50.97 seconds, breaking the mark of 1:51.31 set by an Oak Harbor quartet in 2016.set by Oak Harbor in 2016 with a 1:50.97 time
Freshman Natalie Lesh turned in a winning time in the 500-yard freestyle (5:12.76) and Shorecrest’s 200-yard freestyle relay team touched the wall first in 1:41.06.
Additionally, plenty of swimmers and relay teams exited Saturday night with personal bests and/or state-qualifying times: Lesh in the 200 freestyle (2:00.81), Snohomish’s Kendall Bensen in the 200 individual medley (2:11.08), Snohomish’s Kayli Kersavage in diving (443.70), Shorewood’s Grace Lindberg (57.8) and Shorecrest’s Paige Moss (59.57) in the 100-yard butterfly, Everett’s Summer Dean (5:20.36) in the 500 freestyle, Shorecrest’s 200 freestyle relay (1:41.06) and Shorecrest’s 400 freestyle relay (3:44.2).