Islander girls swim takes third at state

Islanders Madeline Chandless in the 100-yard butterfly event at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Saturday. - Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter
Islanders Madeline Chandless in the 100-yard butterfly event at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Saturday.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter

The Islander girls swim team placed third at state behind broken records, state titles and personal bests.

Mercer Island scored 221 points, four behind Juanita, as Kennedy took the title (310) on Saturday at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

The Islanders were led by senior Rachel Godfred, who broke two school records on her way to winning two individual state titles.

While Godfred won the 500-yard freestyle, Islander sophomore Lauren Poli took care of the sprints, finishing second in state during the finals of the 50-yard freestyle. Her time of 24.11 earned her an All-American Consideration. The time also broke the Mercer Island High School sophomore record for the event.

Teammate and junior Stephanie Hammond earned 11th overall during the 50-free, swimming a time of 25.64.

The Mercer Island 200-yard medley relay team of Godfred, Poli, Madeline Chandless and Mary Zajac kicked off the state meet by placing second overall with a time of 1:50.62, which was also good enough to earn an All-American Consideration.

Poli stepped back on the podium late in the evening to accept the third-place medal in the 100-yard breaststroke. Her time of 1:05.09 was also good enough for automatic All-American status.

Teammate Talia Homchick swam during the consolation final, finishing 15th in state with a time of 1:14.97.

Both the 200-yard freestyle relay team, Jennifer Pak, Hammond, Poli and Olivia Graham, along with the 400-yard freestyle relay team, Pak, Olivia Graham, Godfred and Charlotte Graham, took fourth overall at state during their respective finals.

The 200-free relay team finished in a time of 1:41.91, while the 400-free relay team completed the final in a time of 3:39.60, three seconds better than its preliminary time.

Senior Olivia Graham’s swim in the 200-yard individual medley might have been overshadowed by Godfred’s domination of the event, but her time of 2:14.37 was one of the best in her career and good enough to earn her a fifth-place medal.

“[Our senior class] has a bunch of talented kids,” said Mercer Island swim coach Jeff Lowell. “But each class is different.”

Pak, a junior, won the consolation final of the 200-yard freestyle to take ninth overall in state.

“This meet is a lot faster than last year,” said Pak. “Last year and the year before, I was really nervous, but I am a lot more calm today.”

Her time of 1:57.32 was a second and a half faster than her preliminary time.

“Yesterday, eight of 10 things went really well,” said Lowell. “Overall, this meet has been pretty solid.”

Teammate Charlotte Graham placed 14th overall during the event with a time of 2:01.17.

Pak also won the consolation final of the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 54.83, while Olivia Graham took 13th overall in a time of 55.36.

Mercer Island freshman Madelin Chandless showed that the future of the girls’ swimming program is safe by taking 10th overall during the 100-yard butterfly. Her time of 1:01.46 was more than a full second better than her preliminary time on Friday.

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