FEDERAL WAY, Wash., November 16. BAINBRIDGE High School senior Emily Silver set Washington state high school records in the 50 and 100 yard free. In the process she became the first swimmer – female or male – to win two state titles in the same events for four consecutive years. But it was the girls of Bellevue High who kept doing what it does best at the Class 3A/2A state meet almost every year – winning the team crown yesterday at King County Aquatic Center.
For the third straight year and fourth in five seasons, Bellevue won the 3A/2A state title.
Bellevue Wins Team Title
Bellevue won with 240 points, despite not having a single individual or relay champion. The Wolverines' best finishes were seconds in the 200 and 400 free relays as they repelled challenges from Mercer Island and Bainbridge, which tied for second.
"We're not going to surprise people coming in here because of our reputation, but it's nice to come without being the favorite," Bellevue coach Paul Von Destinon said. "Being underdogs kind of took the pressure off. We had a heck of a meet yesterday, and we just had to hang on today."
Bainbridge, led by senior Emily Silver's remarkable four-peat in the 50 and 100 free in all-time state-record times, finished tied with Mercer Island for second with 221 points.
The Spartans had three individual champions — junior Sarah Gleason also repeated in the 500 free — and a third 400 free relay title in four years, with Silver anchoring.
Mercer Island made a run at Bellevue early in the day, but the Wolverines essentially closed out the Islanders and secured their title with a 3-4-7 finish in the 100 breaststroke, the second-to-last event.
Holy Names, sparked by double winner Leann Toomey, pulled off a big surprise by taking fourth despite having only six swimmers, with 179 points.
Toomey, a senior, was the meet's only other double winner beside silver, swimming an automatic All-American time of 55.26 in the 100 fly and a consideration time of 1:52.36 in the 200 free.
Silver’s Quadruple Double
Silver, whose attempt at a quadruple double received major media attention, got the ball rolling in the 50 free, as she cracked the 23-second barrier with an outstanding 22.99, breaking the state high school mark of 23.16 set by Mercer Island’s Megan Oesting in 1990. After touching the wall, Silver pumped her fist in jubilation and flashed the crowd a smile that could have illuminated all of King County.
"My finish, I kind of took an extra stroke and I think I probably could have gone faster if I hadn't," she said. "But I went under (23 seconds), and that's what I was trying to accomplish. It's such a big relief to have that over with and not to have to worry about it anymore."
In sum, though, Silver was just savoring the moment. "It was awesome," she said. "I don't think I could have asked for any more."
But there was more.
An hour later, Silver took the 100 free in 50.16, another state record, earning herself a spot in state athletic history. By winning both events, she became the only swimmer in any classification, male or female, to win four consecutive individual titles in two events. Silver bettered the state mark of 50.29 set last year by Emily Kukors.
"It's sort of surreal, I guess," Silver said of her performance, which earned her WIAA Swimmer of the Meet honors.
Bainbridge coach Greg Colby, who along with Mercer's Jeff Lowell and Bellevue's Paul Von Destinon was named a Washington Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association Coach of the Year, said Silver has all the components to win: God-given talent, the right environment and personal motivation.
In February, Silver plans to leave school to train with the Irvine Novaquatics team under Coach Dave Salo for the 2004 Olympic Trials.
Last week she decided to accept a scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley, where she will join her sister, Helen, an All-American sophomore backstroker.
Bainbridge senior Emily Silver became the first boys or girls swimmer in state history to score a four-peat in two individual events at state. Her state-winning times were faster each year in both events:
Year 50 freestyle 100 freestyle
2000 23.49 51.24
2001 23.44 (23.42p) 50.62 (50.58p)
2002 23.31 50.48
2003 22.99* 50.16*
* State and meet records
Girls swimmers and divers who have won four consecutive state championships in the same event:
Years Swimmer School Events
1987-90 Megan Oesting Mercer Island (AAA) 100 freestyle
1989-92 Leslie Mix Issaquah (AAA) 100 backstroke
1988-91 Chara Ammerman Issaquah (AAA) Diving
1990-93 Rhonda Rhoades Curtis (AAA) 100 breaststroke
1999-2002 Annika Giesbrecht Mercer Island (3A) Diving
2000-2003 Emily Silver Bainbridge (3A) 50 free, 100 free
CLASS 3A/2A STATE SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
At King County Aquatics Center, Federal Way
Finals — Event winners and locals
200-yard medley relay– 1, West Valley-Yakima, 1:50.23**
200 freestyle– 1, Leann Toomey (Holy Names Academy), 1:52.36**;
200 individual medley– 1, Lauren Hall (HNA), 2:06.83
50 free– 1, Silver (Bai), 22.99#!*
1-meter diving– 1, Samantha Young (Shorecrest), 412.30
100 butterfly– 1, Leann Toomey (HNA), 55.26*
100 free– 1, Silver (Bai), 50.16#*!
500 free–1, Gleason (Bai), 5:03.99**
200 free relay– 1, Mercer Island, 1:40.77**
100 backstroke– 1, Megan Wheeler (WVY), 56.01*
100 breaststroke– 1, Meredith Bush (HNA), 1:06.42.**
400 free relay–1, Bainbridge (Gleason, Santelli, Miller, Silver), 3:35.60**.
*-automatic All-American; **-All-American consideration; #-new state record; !-new meet record