|PAC Swimmers in Columbian Newspaper|| |
Nov 8, 2010
Clark County high school swimmers keep aiming high
Monday, November 8, 2010
High school swimming has come a long way in my 10-year tenure at The Columbian.
In my first couple of years in Vancouver, the district meets were the highlight for most high school swimmers in Southwest Washington. Just making it to state was the big goal.
Once at state, among the 24 seeded swimmers, most of Southwest Washington’s automatic qualifiers were seeded 22nd, 23rd or 24th.
But slowly that began to change. First, we saw several swimmers reach the state finals. Then the state titles began to roll in. Last season we saw Jessica Bottelberghe of Columbia River, Nikki Cannon of Hudson’s Bay and Julia Sanders on Hockinson claim state titles. All three will return to Federal Way to defend their championships this weekend.
Last weekend, those swimmers and several others were making big splashes at the 4A and 3A district swim championships.
With the return of Bottelberghe and Cannon — and the emergence of freshmen sisters Monica Bottelberghe and Carly Cannon — the 3A district meet in Kelso on Saturday was a showcase of local swimming talent. Add to that the fact that Mountain View moved down to the 3A level, giving Peggy Liang her first shot at 3A state crown.
On Saturday, six of the 11 races at the 3A district meet was either won by a Bottelberghe or won by a relay team featuring a Bottelberghe (or two).
Jessica Bottelberghe won the 200 individual medley (by 12 seconds) and the 100 butterfly (by five seconds). Monica Bottelberghe won the 200 freestyle (by nine seconds) and the 100 freestyle.
Both Bottelberghe sisters — along with Anderson sisters, Melanie and Alex — won the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay.
All those River wins led the Chieftains to capture the 3A district team championship by edging out Camas 348-318.
The other five events were won by Liang (50 freestyle), the Hudson’s Bay 200 free relay team of Breaunna Atwell, Arisa Laochumnanvanit, Byranne Hughes and Nikki Cannon, Ada Beale of Camas (500 freestyle), Carly Cannon of Hudson’s Bay (100 backstroke) and Jessica Patterson of Kelso (100 breaststroke).
Entering last weekend, Monica Bottelberghe had the state’s best times in the 100 and 200 free events in Class 3A. Liang had the third-best time in the 50 free.
Jessica Bottelberghe had the state’s best times in the 100 fly and 200 IM entering the weekend. She then posted season-bests in both events on Saturday. River’s 400 relay led the state, while the medley relay ranked No. 2 in the season.
At the 4A meet in Vancouver, it was the Union show. The Titans, in their first year competing at the 4A level, won all 11 events to swim away with the district team title by outdistancing Skyview 461-280.
Felicia Williamson (200 free, 500 free), Alice Chang (200 IM, 100 back), and Andrea Young (50 free, 100 free) won two district titles each. Katie Odiorne (100 fly) and McKenna Spieth (100 breast) each won one district title.
The Class 2A state swimming championships begin Thursday with preliminary heats and will conclude Friday with the finals. Class 4A and 3A prelims and finals will be Friday and Saturday in Federal Way.