Mercer Island High School sophomore Piper Enge shredded through the pool and grabbed a pair of state records at the 3A state swim and dive meet on Saturday at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way.
Islander junior Brooke Andrews notched the 1-meter diving crown and her team placed third overall.
Enge received the lofty moniker of swimmer of the meet for her stellar first-place performances in the 200-yard individual medley, 1:59.92, and the 100-yard breaststroke, 1:00.44. Both marks are automatic All-American times.
Andrews amassed 406.65 points, an All-American qualifying amount, and could receive the honor when they are announced at a later date.
Enge also swam on the second-place and school-record-setting 400-yard freestyle relay, 3:32.23, with a trio of freshmen, Isabel Peng, Ava Tang and Amelia Han. In the 200-yard medley relay, MI took sixth, 1:49.93, with Enge, sophomore Vivian Woare, sophomore Ella Grogan and junior Flora Cruzen. Grogan and Cruzen also placed sixth as part of the 200-yard freestyle relay, 1:40.22, with Tang and senior Austin Whelan.
“This is an incredible accomplishment for this team after a fourth-place finish in 2019. Only two athletes from that 2019 state team competed today — Flora Cruzen and Brooke (Andrews). Lots of young athletes and a bright future for the program,” said head coach Chauntelle Johnson.
MI was seeded fifth in the team standings heading into the meet and Johnson feels that leaping up to third displayed how hard the girls worked during the season and at state.
Johnson said that Enge and Andrews proved their dominance by winning every one of their events this season. They’re well-liked by their teammates and are solid, humble student-athletes, the coach added.
The Islander coach is happy to be along for the ride with the two state champs.
“It’s hard to be nervous because they are just such clutch performers that it’s not a matter of what the result is going to be. It’s going to be how high is the score going to be for Brooke? What’s the time going to be for Piper?” Johnson said.
Enge said there was heaps of excitement and adrenaline unleashed at the meet and she was ready to make a splash in her events.
“This was my first state meet, so I had heard how fun it’s going to be, but I had never been to a meet like that with so many supporters and everyone was cheering,” said Enge, who was proud of all her teammates who made an impact at state.
When she blasted through her individual races and glanced up at the scoreboard, she was elated. The blistering times were close to what she was shooting for entering the meet.
“That was super exciting to look up at the scoreboard not knowing at all what I was going to see and knowing that I hit that time,” she said.
Andrews, whose final tally was tops in all divisions at state, said that after reaping success early in the season, she was motivated to keep working hard and beating her personal bests each time out.
“Despite having a year of complications with COVID and everything, it feels really good to know that I hold the first-place title now,” she said.
Her best dives at state were a reverse with one-and-a-half flips and an inward dive pike. After nailing a score of eight out of 10 on the inward pike to begin the competition, she picked up steam with each subsequent dive.
“I feel like after I did my inward and got good scores on that, it just sets the mood and everything feels really good. From there, the rest of the meet just goes in your favor,” she said.