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Swim takes dual meet title
By Matt Phelps
For many girls swim team members, Friday's meet against Bellevue was monumental. The seniors competed for the final time at Mary Wayte Pool as Islander teammates. The meet gave freshman Rachel Godfred one last opportunity this season to earn state times in the final leg of all eight individual events. But for the team it was another chance to defeat their biggest rival, Bellevue.
And Mercer Island crushed the Wolverines 113-72, clinching the 3A KingCo dual meet title. The win is nothing new to the team. The Islanders have defeated Bellevue each year for the dual meet title for the past three years only to watch the Wolverines finish first in state.
``Bellevue is always a big rival for us,'' said Islander senior Rae Rosenblatt-Hood. ``It is always the biggest meet of the year. I hope that we can finish in the top two or three at state.For now, I just want everyone to swim their best and enjoy this meet.''
For Rosenblatt-Hood and other seniors the meet was a time for reflection before the post season.
``We know all 72 girls now and that is an accomplishment in itself,'' said the senior. `` High school has gone by really fast and I am going to miss the atmosphere.''
The occasion was bittersweet for senior Erin Garcia.
``Some of my best friends have been on Bellevue,'' said Garcia, who took second with state times in the 200-yard freestyle (2:02.44) and the 100-yard butterfly (1:01.40). ``Over all I just wanted this to be a good meet for everyone.''
The 200-yard freestyle relaysaw the Islanders take first place with the state time of 1:43.92. The team was comprised of sophomore Hannah Bliss, junior Melissa Taylor, senior Jenny Mohler and Garcia. The Islanders also took second during the event.
The Islanders also won the 400-yard freestyle. The freestyle team epitomized why Mercer Island has been so dominant this season. Garcia, Taylor, sophomore Melissa Chandless and freshman Rachel Godfred represent all four classes and show the depth of the team. The Islanders defeated their closest Bellevue opponent by three seconds with a time of 3:50.25.
Godfred qualified for her eighth event for state with her time of 1:01.25 in the 100-yard backstroke, a full three seconds under the state time (1:04.00). She also had a state time en-route to winning the 200-yard individual medley (2:14.21).
``I am going to compete in the two events I feel I am best in at state,'' said Godfred. ``This has been a great year. I feel a lot more relaxed than I did at the beginning of the year because I know a lot more people on the team.''
Chandless won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:10.68 and Amy Wolf took second with a time of 1:13.46. Chandless also took first with a state time in the 100-yard freestyle (56.48).
Sophomore Olivia Boeck finished second in the 100-yard backstroke with a state time of 1:02.44.
In the 500-yard freestyle, Taylor placed second with a time of 5:31.83 and Mohler took second in the 100-yard freestyle (57.61)
Bliss took second in the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 26.10 while Holly Frost had one of her best meets of the year scoring 212.15 to take second behind defending state champion Diana Wilcox (249.20).
The Islanders will host the 3A KingCo championship meet preliminary races Friday and then the finals on Saturday at Mary Wayte Pool. Both events will take place at 4:30 p.m. Next week will be districts at the University of Washington's Hec-Ed pool.