FEDERAL WAY, WA., Dec. 11. OLD King Midas had a golden touch and that of the Silver sisters at the Washington state girls' 3A/2A Swimming and Diving
Championships was equally gilded.
The meet was held Veterans Day (Nov. 11) at the King County Natatorium, perhaps the fastest pool in the West if not the entire United States.
And it was Bainbridge High's Silver sisters, senior Helen and soph Emily, who were among the meet's brighest stars, with the former splashing to her third consecutive 100 back title and her younger sibling racing to golds in the 50-100 frees.
However, their heroics were not quite good enough to help Bainbridge retain its team championship, as Bellevue — last year's runners-up — won a tight
232-227 battle, with Mercer Island (170) third.
The "older" Silver also swam leadoff on Bainbridge's runner-up 200 medley relay while both sisters were members of the winning 400 free relay, Emily leading off (50.89) and Helen anchoring (52.06).
Silver "junior's" 50 free clocking in the prelims — 23.42 — was her pr as well as a state meet record, breaking the old standard of 23.46 by current UCLA soph Sara Platzer from two years ago.
At night Silver clocked 23.44 and won by nearly eight tenths, with W.F. West's Lindsay Gall (24.19) second. Silver's time also qualifies her for automatic All-America status.
In the 100 Silver was even more dominant, winning in an All-America auto 50.62 to second-place Summer Jackson (Sequim's) 52.76. In the prelims Silver was a tad faster, going a pr 50.58 (hey, Emily, you gotta set the record at night when it counts!) Platzer also holds the meet and state record here (50.33) so Silver is already within a couple of tenths with two years remaining.
No Washington girl has ever won the 50-100 frees at the state meet three-consecutive seasons but Silver is determined to become the first. She's also determined to become the first under 50.0.
Her sister's winning 100 back swim (56.63) was just off her meet record 56.42 she set as a junior last season. The state record is 56.04 by former University of Washington All-America Alycia Ladd from 1993, and Silver's winning swim is an auto All-America cut.
Silver was third her freshman season but has dominated the event since, and no other swimmer has ever swept this race three-consecutive years in the nearly 30-year history of the meet.
Spokane West Valley junior Rikki Covey was also a double gold-medalist, taking numero unos in the 200 free (1:51.50 with a pr 1:51.28 in the prelims) and the 500 free (4:56.34, auto All-America).
Highline junior Maski Moore chased Covey to victory in both the 200-500 frees, taking second in both with 1:51.62-5:01.02 efforts — each All-America consideration.
Kennedy senior Katie Willis was the meet's other doubler, splashng to wins in the 200 IM (2:03.24) and 100 breast (1:03.71). Her 200 IM effort came close to the meet record of 2:02.00 by USC All-America Corrie Murphy, and her time in the 100 breast was a mere .26 off the meet record of 1:03.45 by Lola Woodworth from last season.
Anacortes junior Rebecca Sturdy lived up to her name with a fine 55.30 100 fly win and also led off her school's winning 200 medley relay in a quick 26.88. She'll be after Dana Kirk's 53.99 100 fly state record next season.
Diving honors went to Mercer Island junior Annika Giesbrecht with 404.65 points off the 1-meter board.
A source close to the Washington prep scene tells swiminfo.com that this year's group of seniors "may be the class in state history" and many of them are headed for NCAA Division 1 universities.
Willis will be joining 2000 Pac-10 champs University of Arizona's Wildcats next fall while 100 back rcord-holder Woodworth is signing late but is interested Auburn. Silver also is signing late but is considering UCLA, defending Pac-10 champs; Northwestern, Cal and Georgia, triple-defending
NCAA Champs. Dana Kirk will be joing her sister Tara at Stanford, and of course Tara is defending NCAA 100 breaast champ.
– Bill Bell