Islander girls swimming gets rare tie against JFK
By Matt Phelps
Mercer Island Reporter
Qualifying for state in all eight individual girls swimming events is no easy achievement. Islander Rachel Godfred achieved “Ironman” status for the second consecutive year during the final week of the regular season during 2006. This year she did it in the first four meets of the season.
“She is the first person, that I have coached, to get it in her first three years,” said Mercer Island High School swimming coach Jeff Lowell. “She is definitely the first [Islander] in over a decade.”
Godfred might be the first in school history, but specific records are not available.
“She has put in a lot of work,” said Lowell. “From November to August, building on what she did last season.”
The short amount of time that it has taken Godfred to achieve “Ironman” status this season is astounding. Godfred picked up her final state time against Sammamish on Thursday as she swam the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:12.22.
“I have swum in every meet so far, and I just ended up getting them,” said Godfred.
The junior said that what she really wants is to earn “Ironman” status during each year she swims for the high school. Now she has just one year left to accomplish that goal.
Islanders crush Sammamish
While Godfred’s state time in the 100-yard breaststroke was the most relevant to the Islander record book, the Mercer Island quest for the 3A KingCo title was focused on the Totems during a 120.5-49.5 victory. Godfred also took first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:59.90), as the Islanders took first place during every event and second place in five of the 11 events.
“It is nice to swim against people you know,” said Islander Olivia Boeck. “It is also nice to be able to work on off-events.”
Other first-place finishes included: Veronica Bone in the 200-yard individual medley (2:29.00), Melissa Chandless in the 50-yard freestyle (26.54), Boeck in the 100-yard butterfly (1:04.96), Lauren Poli in the 100-yard freestyle (57.33), Charlotte Graham in the 500-yard freestyle (5:44.52) and Hannah Bliss in the 100-yard backstroke (1:07.86).
“We are doing so well this year,” said Boeck. “We have added a lot of great swimmers.”
One of those swimmers is Poli, a freshman, who now has three state qualifying times.
“This is a lot more fun of an environment to swim in than club,” said Poli. “It is fun to swim after school with all your friends.”
Poli may be new to the Islander team, but her goals are the same as those of the upperclassmen.
“Just trying to get state times and improve with every meet and practice,” said Poli. “We just want to make the team better.”
against the Lancers
The Islanders are still on pace for an undefeated regular season, as they had last year. But Mercer Island did get a rare tie on Sept. 18 against state title contender Kennedy High School, 93-93.
“It doesn’t happen much,” said Lowell about the tie. “They are really good. One or two things could have swayed the outcome. I am happy with where we are. They are the other best team in the state.”
The Islanders took just one first place during the four-team meet, Godfred’s state time in the 200-yard individual medley (2:10.62). Mercer Island did manage to show off its depth with seven second-place finishes by four different athletes and in all three relay events.
The meet was also the first in the dual meet series. With the tie, Mercer Island agreed to take on Bainbridge Island during the second meet to be held on Oct.13.
“We haven’t faced Bainbridge in a couple of years, so it will be fun,” said Lowell. “They have everyone back from last year, so they are a strong team.”
The Islanders will continue their quest for the 3A KingCo dual meet title tomorrow as they travel to Issaquah to take on the Eagles. On Saturday, the team will face many of the opponents they will see at the state meet as they travel to the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way at 9 a.m. for the Mukilteo Invitational.