The result may seem almost routine. On Saturday, Nov. 16, the Mercer Island High School girls swim and dive team won the last event of the night, the 400 Freestyle Relay, and captured their fifth consecutive Washington 3A State Championship at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. The Islanders won with a team score of 296. Lakeside finished second, scoring 279, and Bainbridge Island was third with a score of 256.
“From the beginning, I knew this one would be tough,” said coach Chauntelle Johnson. “We have a lot of girls, but few with any big meet experience.”
The Islanders were led by sophomore Sabrina Kwan, junior Leah Fisk and senior captains Caitlin Cox and Alex Seidel, but it was a team effort. Every swimmer qualified on Friday for state finals, setting up a finals competition with Lakeside and Bainbridge Island.
“We have always been a team that relies on its depth,” Johnson said. “This season was no different. I’m really proud of our seniors. They really set the tone and helped the younger athletes be more prepared.”
Mercer Island came in fourth in the Medley Relay with their group of Caitlin Cox, Sophia Raisys, Sabrina Kwan and Alex Seidel. In the 200 Yard Freestyle, Leah Fisk finished third while Caitlin Cox, Maeve Murdoch and Audrey Hixon came in 7th, 8th and 12th, respectively. In the 200 Individual Medley, captain Emily Olsen finished 12th and Esther Choe finished 16th. In the 50 Yard Freestyle, Sabrina Kwan finished 2nd and Heather Robinson came in 16th.
For Mercer Island dive, Hadley Michaels placed 16th, Emily Lightfoot placed 17th and Kayla Varney placed 22nd. In the 100 Yard Butterfly, Sabrina Kwan finished 2nd, Alex Seidel finished 4th and Emily Koksu finished 14th. In the 100 Yard Freestyle, Maeve Murdoch finished 7th, while senior captains Emily Olsen and Sabrina Steinhauer finished 10th and 12th, respectively. Senior Rachel Hecker finished 16th in the 100 Yard Freestyle. In the 500 Yard Freestyle, Leah Fisk finished 3rd, Audrey Hixon finished 8th and Angela Riggins finished 12th. For the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay, the group of Maeve Murdoch, Leah Fisk, Sabrina Kwon and Emily Olsen finished 3rd. In the 100 Yard Backstroke, Caitlin Cox finished 3rd, Alex Seidel 4th and Kristin Jradi finished 15th.
With an 11-point Islander lead over Lakeside heading into the last event of the night, Mercer Island’s Alex Seidel, Maeve Murdoch, Caitlin Cox and Leah Fisk combined to swim the 5th fastest time in 3A state history, winning the 400 Freestyle Relay with a time of 3:34.35. It was the Islanders’ only victory during the meet.