Snohomish girls take aim on crown

By BOB MORTENSON

Herald Writer

FEDERAL WAY – At least there was nothing fuzzy about the math.

In what became clear at Thursday’s prelims, in which Snohomish advanced 10 individuals and all three relays to today’s finals, is that the Panthers have a solid shot at claiming a third straight state 4A swimming and diving championship.

But, it won’t come easy, not with Gig Harbor looking to send the Panthers and their title hopes to the murky depths of the otherwise pleasant King County Aquatic Center.

“Gig Harbor is going to fight hard,” said Snohomish coach John Pringle. “They want that trophy back real bad.”

The Snohomish bid for another title is again being led by high school All American Erica Chandler, a junior, who enters today’s finals as the No. 1 seed in the 100- and 200-yard freestlyle events, after posting times of 52.15 seconds and 1:51.27, respectively.

Chandler is seeking a third straight individual title in the 200 freestyle. From the outset Chandler demonstrated she was in no mood to take prisoners in the prelims as she simply blew away the field in the 200 freestyle and finished more than two seconds ahead of her nearest challenger.

“I think we have a very good shot,” Chandler said. “If we don’t make any mistakes we can do it.”

Her teammate, Christine Neely, is the No. 1 seed and leads a trio of Panthers into the finals of the 100 backstroke. Neely, a senior, has hopes of claiming her third title in four years in that event. Fellow seniors Ashley Boxman and Katherine Cuevas qualified fourth and ninth, respectively.

Snohomish and Gig Harbor are the only schools to qualify all three relays for the championship finals. Those relays, together with the Panther depth in the backstroke, will be critical if the Panthers hope for a three-peat.

Oak Harbor’s Chauntelle Johnson and Kyla Meuer gave the Wildcats a solid position as each qualified for the 50 and 100 freestyle championship finals. And the pair also led the Wildcats to the No. 4 seed in the 200 medley relay.

Other top performers included Sehome’s Gretchen Plank, who qualified No. 2 in the 100 backstroke.

Woodinville’s Emily Schmied qualified fourth in the 100 butterfly and fifth in the 200 freestyle, just ahead of Edmonds-Woodway’s Sarah Spillman, who qualified sixth.

Spillman also qualified as No. 6 in the 500 freestyle. Woodinville’s Kelsey Withrow is in the seventh spot in that event.

Bothell’s Shelbi Settlage and Cascade’s Rachel MacNeill are seeded fourth and seventh, respectively, in the 200 individual medley. Settlage also qualified fourth in the 100 breaststroke. Kamiak’s Jill Spencer and Ashley Best, and Bonna Pak of Mountlake Terrace are seeded sixth, seventh and eighth in that event.

In the relays the Panthers grabbed the No. 2 seed in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle before capping off the night by earning the top seed in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:40.32. Gig Harbor countered that by qualifying fifth, first and third in the 200 medley, 200 free and 400 free relays.

“We’ve been focusing on that last relay all year,” Pringle said of the 400 free. “I feel that if we need it to win the meet, we can do it.”

Brimming with the right mix of talent and justifiably confident, the Panthers may indeed be poised to become the first Snohomish team to earn three consecutive state championships in any sport.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Glacier Peak’s Karsten Sweum (10) poses for a portrait as The Herald's All-Area Baseball Player of the Year at Glacier Peak High School on Tuesday, June 18, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2024 Baseball Player of the Year: Glacier Peak’s Karsten Sweum

The smoke-throwing senior left-handed pitcher struck out more than two batters per inning.

Lake Stevens’ Trey Nance deals early in the game during a playoff loss to Bothell on Saturday, May 4, 2024, in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2024 All-Area baseball team

Editor’s note: The Player of the Year and All-Area teams were chosen… Continue reading

Glacier Peak grad King comes up just short in Olympic bid

King placed third in the men’s 50 freestyle at U.S. Olympic trials, but still could qualify in a relay.

Shorewood senior Isaak Abraham poses for a portrait as The Herald's Boys Soccer Player of the Year at Shorewood High School on Wednesday, June 19, 2024 in Shoreline, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2024 Boys Soccer Player of the Year: Shorewood’s Isaak Abraham

The Stormrays senior forward led Shorewood to Wesco 3A/2A and Class 3A District 1 titles.

Everett’s J’aiden Cranwell-Meneses leaves a Monroe defender in the dirt while advancing the ball during a 3A District soccer match on Thursday, May 2, 2024, at Monroe High School in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2024 All-Area boys soccer team

Editor’s note: The Player of the Year and All-Area teams were chosen… Continue reading

Lake Stevens High School graduate Taylor Roe competes for Oklahoma State University at the 2024 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on June 8 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo courtesy of Oklahoma State University)
Taylor Roe competes at the Olympic trials this weekend

Now that the Lake Stevens H.S. graduate’s decorated college running career is done, the pro ranks are next.

Jean-Luc Baker leads advanced students through a warmup during the Seattle Skating Club 2024 Your True Step figure skating seminar on Saturday, June 15, 2024, at Olympic View Arena in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Patterson: What’s next for local Olympian Jean-Luc Baker?

The Edmonds ice dancer brought Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen to town with Your True Step.

Soccer legends to be part of local Copa America watch party

Pete Fewing, Marcus Hahnemann will be on hand at Angel of the Winds Arena for next Thursday’s U.S. game.

Mukilteo’s Beard places second in hammer at U20 nationals

The King’s High School sophomore has a chance to represent the U.S. at U20 worlds.

Sounders complete purchase of NWSL’s Seattle Reign

Now both of Seattle’s pro soccer teams are under the umbrella of one ownership group.

Logan Gilbert of the Seattle Mariners throws a pitch during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at T-Mobile Park on June 16, 2024, in Seattle, Washington. (Alika Jenner / Getty Images)
Mariners week: Gilbert’s brilliance lifts Seattle to sweep

Seattle’s 8 1/2-game lead in the AL West is its largest since the 2001 season.

AquaSox week in review: Mariners’ Polanco does rehab stint

Everett wins five of six on the road against Eugene; Schreck and Garcia have big weeks.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.