Shorewood’s Williams breaks five minutes in 500 freestyle
By Drew Turner
For the Enterprise
In an historic, record-setting girls state swimming and diving championships Nov. 13-15, Shorewood and Shorecrest represented the city of Shoreline quite well.
The Thunderbirds tied for 12th place in the Class 4A division out of 49 teams, and the Scots were 15th out of 35 Class 3A schools.
Shorewood junior Laurin Williams qualified for All America status with a school-record 500-yard freestyle time of 4 minutes, 56.52 seconds and a third-place finish.
Williams shattered her preliminary qualifying time of 5 minutes, 1.38 seconds, a previous school record that was quickly surpassed.
“I knew Laurin would break five minutes in the 500, but I was surprised at how far she went under it,” Thunderbirds coach Susie McDowell said.
“I was really proud of the girls,” McDowell said. “They went into the meet with high expectations and they had a great time while swimming well. In all cases where we should have qualified for the finals, we did. No glitches.”
The Scots placed two in the top-15 in the 500, the meet’s longest individual distance event. Allyson Kim took two seconds off her preliminary time en route to a 9th place time of 5:12.25 and Laura Millet’s 5:17.31 time earned her 12th place among 3A competitors.
“Laura Millet bounced back to have a good swim. It really was. The 500 was a strong swim. Not her best performance, but a strong swim,” Shorecrest coach Bill Murray said of Millet’s improvement from her preliminary time of 5:19.55
The two schools combined for 11 top-15 finishes in their respective meets at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way.
“Overall, it was an incredibly fast state meet. I don’t know if the state of Washington has ever seen so many record-setting times,” Murray said. “Our girls did a lot of solid performances.”
The 200 and 400 free relay squads set both team and school records.
The quartet of Kim, Guin Becker, Danielle Good and Millet combined to finish 12th in the 400 relay in 3:51.83. The time was an improvement of more than three seconds from their preliminary qualifying time of 3:54.57.
“In the 400, they broke it (the school record) by about two seconds. That’s a good drop,” Murray said.
Claire Wickstrom, Good, Kim and Millet placed 14th in the 200 relay in 1:46.87, an improvement of nearly a second from the preliminary heat.
“I have always told my team that as soon as we have a team that qualifies, they are sure to break a school record,” Murray said.
At the 4A level, the Shorewood team of Williams, Helen Jenne, Amber Armstrong and Tara McIntyre placed 10th out of 27 teams in the 200 relay in 1:43.78.
The talented foursome also came in 11th out of 25 teams in the 400 relay in 3:46.05.
In the 200 free, McIntyre of Shorewood placed sixth in 1:56.85 and Kim came in 10th in 1:58.62 for the Scots. The senior placed 11th in the 100 free in 54.89 seconds, giving her season-best times in both events.
Williams, a junior for the Thunderbirds, set a school record while swimming all four events in the 200 individual medley (backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle) in a 9th place time of 2:09.82.
McDowell credited Williams despite a pre-race equipment malfunction.
“Again, breaking her own school record from the prelims (2:10.59) with quick thinking to borrow a swimmer’s cap that had just gotten out of the water as hers broke right before she got on the blocks,” she said.
In diving competition, Shorecrest sophomore Neva Mahler picked up four team points with her 13th place performance that garnered 240.25 points.
“I am really proud of them,” Shorecrest’s Murray said. “They had a good meet and are setting up strong for next year.”
King’s sophomore Annemarie Thayer, who swims for Ballard, set a state record in the 100 backstroke with a winning time of 53.95 seconds.
Thayer swam the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke at the Olympic Trials last summer.
Thayer also took third in the 200 individual medley finishing in 2:04.12.
She helped Ballard to a fourth-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay and a fifth-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay.