On Saturday, there were two thoughts in the minds of swimmers at the District 1 4A Girls Swimming and Diving Championships: Swim a time to get into the state meet or, if they had already posted a state-qualifying time, to get a feel for some strong competition.
Jackson chose the latter.
The Timberwolves had been there and done that with setting state qualifying times.
But notch five All-American times? They did it Saturday, posting four All-American automatic times — in the 200-yard medley relay, the 200 individual medley relay, the 50 freestyle and the 500 freestyle. The Timberwolves breezed to the team victory with a total of 456 points, 83 ahead of second-place Shorewood at 373.
“We looked at the meet and talked about what our strengths are before we headed into this weekend,” Jackson head coach and 2008 Wesco Coach of the Year Drew Whorley said. “You just get them relaxed and with some confidence and they can do what they did today whenever they want.”
For all teams involved in the meet, it was an extremely fast pool that provided multiple records, whether Wesco records or personal bests.
But Jackson was on a whole different level. Every single Timberwolves swimmer had her fastest time of the season.
In the 200 medley relay, Jackson began the day by laying down a one minute, 48.98 seconds, besting the All-American Automatic time of 1:49.32. It was two seconds faster than Thursday’s preliminary mark.
“That’s what people keep telling us,” Whorley said in regards to the whirlwind of talk about the Timberwolves being the team to beat at state. “I truly believe if they keep showing up and working hard, they can accomplish anything.”
Amber McDermott — a 15-year-old who has been swimming since the age of seven — swam three personal All-American Automatic times for Jackson, and contributed in both the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay. The comical thing is she “wasn’t really looking for All-American times.”
“I want to win state in both of my individual events,” Amber McDermott said. “Sure, we don’t want to be too confident and cocky, but I think we can do it. I think there is a pretty good chance we can win state.”
Amber’s sister, Courtney McDermott, swam a state-qualifying time of 1:56.06 in the 200 freestyle.
Stanwood made history, sending its first-ever swimmer to state. Alisa Stang achieved the feat and will swim in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke. Stang set six school records during the district meet.
Sarah Clark set a meet record with a score of 408.80 points in the diving event for Marysville-Pilchuck. Kamiak’s Fiona Weeks improved her score from Friday’s prelims by nearly 106 points to place second with 369.55 points.
Alana Pazevic of Jackson missed an Automatic All-American time by .01 on Thursday with a 23.87, but improved to 23.74 in winning the 50 freestyle ahead of Kamiak’s Louise Moores at 24.61 and Snohomish’s Madelene Baker at 25.56.
Cassie White of Lake Stevens was the only swimmer to break the one-minute barrier in the 100 butterfly, stopping the clock at 59.56.
Kamiak was third overall with 297 team points and has a solid team in the 200 freestyle relay that finished behind Snohomish.
The state meet is next Friday and Saturday at the King County Aquatics Center.
Casey Donovan writes for the Herald of Everett.