After a big showing at the Thunderwolf Classic in Arizona, where the Islander girls swim team took second against 20 of the nation’s best teams, Mercer Island came back to Washington state and lost its first in-league meet in three years to Juanita High School, 95-88, on Sept. 23 at Juanita Pool.
“Because of the trip, we wanted to give some kids some time to catch up on school work and get everyone healthy,” said Islander coach Jeff Lowell.
The Islanders took just five first-place finishes out of the 12 events in which they competed, as three of the team’s best swimmers — Rachel Godfred, Charlotte Graham and Jennifer Pak — did not compete.
Mercer Island’s first victory during the meet came during the third event when Olivia Graham won the 200-yard individual medley (2:15.95). Sara Markwith’s victory in the 100-yard butterfly (1:03.27) restored some confidence to the team. Mercer Island’s only relay win of the night came as Mary Zajac, Alyssa Hatsukami, Markwith and Lauren Poli took first in the 200-yard freestyle relay with the team’s only state time of the meet (1:46.89).
Poli would add the Islanders’ only other first-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:07.10).
Mercer Island came back against Inglemoor with a 109-74 victory as Godfred and Pak returned to action.
“Again, we didn’t have everyone for that meet, but it was nice to see them bounce back,” said Lowell.
Godfred and Pak led the Islanders in Arizona as Mercer Island scored 246 points and placed second behind Xavier College Preparatory. Xavier was ranked 10th in the nation last year and had many swimmers who competed in the Olympic time trials.
“We had a pretty good meet,” said Lowell. “I was happy with the results.”
The win for the Islanders came with one first-place finish. Godfred swam with a time of 2:08.15 during her victory in the 200-yard individual medley. Godfred then came back to take second in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 59.24. The squad’s 200-yard freestyle relay team — Godfred, Pak, Poli and Olivia Graham — placed third overall with a time of 1:42.51, while the team of Godfred, Poli, Charlotte Graham and Lauren Deiparine also finished third in the 200-yard medley relay (1:55.30). The final top-five finish for the Islanders came in the 400-yard freestyle relay with the team of Olivia Graham, Charlotte Graham, Markwith and Pak earning a time of 3:46.37.
For all of the finish times and places for the Thunderwolf Classic, see page A11.