Silver Is Golden at Washington 3A/2A High school Champs: Sturdy Sets Two State Records

FEDERAL WAY, Wash., November 16. HER last name may be "Silver" but all she knows is gold.

Bainbridge High junior sprinter Emily Silver, whose older sister Helen is a froshwoman on Cal's team this season, raced to victories in the 50-100 frees for the third consecutive time this evening in the finals of the Washington girls' 3A/2A swimming and diving championships here.

Her winning times (prs 23.31-50.48) move the Seattle-area prepster into a position to achieve what no other Washington female swimmer has, a double "four-peat."

However, Mercer Island senior diver Annika Giesbrecht knows the feeling of perfection that Silver will shoot for next season. Giesbrecht made Washington history with her fourth 1-meter diving title in four years.

Bellevue High's Wolverines, by virtue of their victory in the concluding 400 free relay, won their second-straight championship, 260-244, over Mercer Island. It was also Bellevue's third title in the last four years. Bainbridge, paced by Silver, was third (185).

Silver, a junior who, along with her sister, trained briefly with Coach Dave Salo's powerhouse Irvine (CA) Nova team last summer, said she was "thrilled" with her three-peat and hopes to go four-for-four next season. Her times are automatic All-America qualifiers and had she gone this fast last year would have ranked among the Top 10 in both races.

"It's rewarding but I just do whatever my coach thinks is best with workouts. I'm excited but I just want to do my best. Then I'm satisfied," she added. Silver has also been a part of four winning Bainbridge relay teams so if she doubles again next season and her team wins a relay (which it did not tonight) she'll finsih her career with double-figure gold totals.

Her 50 win broke the old state record of 23.46 from 1999 by former Lakes High and current UCLA star Sara Platzer, whose 22.44 from last season's NCAA Division 1 Championships is the Bruin record.

Friday night, Auburn High senior Emily Kukors — competing in the 4A Championship — broke the 100 free record of 50.33 that had also been Platzer's with her 50.29. Silver will be shooting for that standard next season.

Another double-champion and double state record-setter was Anacortes senior Rebecca Sturdy, who more than lived up to her name.

The "sturdy" Ms Sturdy capped her high-school career with a third conecutive 100 butterfly title (54.49) and a second record via a win in the 100 backstroke (55.27). The latter title was Sturdy's first in the dorsal race.

Sturdy's 55.27 breaks the state record of 56.04 set by Foss' Alycia Ladd in 1993, and her time also topped the meet mark of 56.42 by Bainbridge's Helen Silver in 2000. In the 100 fly, Sturdy broke her own state record of 54.72 that she established as a junior. Both times are automatic All-America qualfiers and had she swum them last season would have ranked second (fly)and seventh (backstroke) nationally.

(The fastest Washington 100 fly time is a 53.99 by Dana Kirk from last season. Kirk is younger sister of Stanford's double American 100-200 yard breaststroke record-holder Tara, and has joined her on The Farm this fall.)

"We weren't expecting a title, but we worked toward it," Bellevue Coach Paul Von Destinon said after handing yellow roses to each member of his team in the post-meet celebration. "It just comes together. That win in the last event just capped it off. We knew we couldn't make a mistake."

Bellevue won the title without any individual winners. Blythe Murray was one of two contributing seniors, and she polished off the title by anchoring the 400 free relay win.

Giesbrecht became just the second Washington diver to win four consecutive state titles, pulling out a victory in 1-meter diving dramatically on her 12th and final dive.

Giesbrecht needed 40 points on her final dive to wipe out a rare deficit — to Peninsula's Halia Saucier — to triumph. With 50.40 points on her final dive, a one-and-a-half somersault pike, she finished with a personal-best winning total of 425.05. The Islander senior nailed her dive perfectly to capture the event by 10.60 points.

"I always seem to save my best dive for last," Giesbrecht said. "I knew it was close, that it was my last dive and it could be the difference. I felt I could only think about the dive."

Liberty senior Alissa Hollowell scored for her first state championship by splashing to victory in the 200 IM (automatic All-American 2:06.64); and Issaquah senior Sarah Davis took second in the 100-yard breaststroke and 200 individual medley, coming back from knee surgery.

— Bill Bell



FEDERAL WAY, WA., NOV. 16, 2002

25 YD Pool

* State Record

FINAL TEAM SCORES (Top 3) – 1, Bellevue, 260; 2, Mercer Island, 244; 3, Bainbridge, 185.

1-Meter Diving — 1, Annika Giesbrecht, Mercer Island, 425.05; 2, Hali Saucier, Peninsula, 414.45; 3, Samantha Young, Shorecrest, 377.65.

200 medley relay — 1, Issaquah, 1:52.68; 2, Bellevue, 1:53.36; 3, Mercer Island, 1:53.74.

200 freestyle — 1, Rikki Covey, West Valley (Spokane), 1:51.97; 2, Meika Weiner, Bellingham, 1:52.33; 3, Blythe Murray, Bellevue, 1:52.53.

200 individual medley — 1, Alissa Hollowell, Liberty, 2:06.64; 2, Sarah Davis, Issaquah, 2:08.26; 3, Hillary Preston, Bellevue, 2:11.74.

50 freestyle — 1, Emily Silver, Bainbridge, 23.31; 2, Summer Jackson, Sequim, 23.66; 3, Brittany Epperson, Tumwater, 23.95.

100 butterfly — 1, Rebecca Sturdy, Anacortes, 54.59; 2, Leann Toomey, Holy Names Academy, 56.49; 3, Blythe Murray, Bellevue, 56.78.

100 freestyle — 1, Emily Silver, Bainbridge, 50.48; 2, Brittany Epperson, Tumwater, 52.02; 3, McKenzie Fowler, Seattle Prep, 53.72.

500 freestyle — 1, Meika Weiner, Bellingham, 4:57.26; 2, Rikki Covey, West Valley (Yakima), 5:05.25; 3, Sarah Gleason, Bainbridge, 5:08.78.

200 freestyle relay — 1, Bellevue, 1:38.91; 2, Seattle Prep, 1:39.79; 3, Mercer Island, 1:40.68.

100 backstroke — 1, Rebecca Sturdy, Anacortes, 55.27*; 2, Alissa Hollowell, Liberty, 58.15; 3, Megan Wheeler, West Valley (Yakima), 58.90.

100 breaststroke — 1, Summer Jackson, Sequim, 1:04.97; 2, Sarah Davis, Issaquah, 1:06.18; 3, Piper Petterson, Lakeside, 1:07.09.

400 freestyle relay — 1, Bellevue, 3:35.10; 2, Mercer Island, 3:39.69; 3, Bainbridge, 3:39.78.

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