Mercer Island High School (MIHS) athletes registered first place in nine of 12 events to blast their team to the 3A girls state swim and dive title on Nov. 12 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
The Islanders accumulated a colossal 385 points to lead the way and were followed by Bellevue with 242 and Bainbridge Island with 218 to complete the top three.
Alexa McDevitt and Piper Enge — who was named swimmer of the meet — notched two titles each and both swam on a pair of victorious relays. McDevitt won the 200-yard freestyle (1:48.79) and 500-yard freestyle (4:53.59), and Enge topped the field in the 200-yard individual medley (1:59.94) and 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.69).
Both girls also swam on the winning 200-yard freestyle relay (1:35.70) along with Meg Dahlin and Hope Enge, and the meet-closing 400-yard freestyle relay (3:23.43) with teammates Gracyn Kehoe and Clare Watson.
Watson also won the 50-yard freestyle (23.08) and Kehoe took first in the 100-yard freestyle (51.04).
In the diving arena, Brooke Andrews ruled the 1-meter event with 432.35 points.
To complete a full sweep of major awards, Islander head coach Chauntelle Johnson was named coach of the year at the state meet. She was mightily impressed with how her team performed at state, and all season.
“The girls kind of started the year with big goals, and those goals really included both individual goals, but really this overarching team goal. They really put together a nice body of work that was culminated by great performances yesterday (Nov. 12),” she said.
MIHS swimmers broke the state record in the 400 free relay final by three seconds and Piper Enge set a state record in the 200 IM (1:58.13) in prelims. Over the course of the season, the Islanders broke school records in 10 of the 12 events, and current team members hold 11 of the 12 top MIHS marks.
Watson and Kehoe described their experience swimming on the stellar 400 free relay.
“I’ve swam with Alexa and Gracyn for seven years and I’ve known Piper for a few years, so it was just really nice to finish the state meet with some really fast people who I’d known for a while,” Watson said.
Added Kehoe: “It’s a great group. We were all super hyped and we just wanted to do it for the team and get the record.”
In the 50-free final, Watson felt that she accomplished her goals of having fun and trying her best during the lightning-fast race. She exited the pool with a good feeling of having defeated some fierce competitors in a race that she jumped into for the first time this season.
“I like it because it’s really mental, so it’s kind of over before it starts, which is kind of cool,” said Watson, who experimented with different approaches to the 50 free to notch faster times each race.
Over at the 100 free, Kehoe was stoked with the result when her top time flashed on the scoreboard.
“I knew that it was going to come down to the finish and I just tried to get my hand on the wall because the competition was just really tight and close,” said Kehoe, who was back in the pool with some of her MIHS teammates the morning after state for Bellevue Club Swim Team training.
“The grind doesn’t stop,” she said with a laugh.