Bremerton's Kirk wins two races, swimmer of the year honors

Bremerton senior Dana Kirk smashed the state record in the 100-yard butterfly and held off three-time defending champion Erica Chandler of Snohomish to win the 200-yard freestyle during Saturday’s state 4A swimming and diving championships at the King County Aquatic Center.

Kirk was named the Washington Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association 4A Swimmer of the Year. The WISCA, since 1996, has used complicated “power points tables” to determine the winner. Kirk’s 317 points is the largest power-point total for a state high school swimmer — boy or girl.

Kirk won her specialty, the 100 fly, in 53.99, bettering the 54.44 time she swam during Friday’s prelims. That was one day after Rebecca Sturdy of Anacortes clocked a 55.30 time during the 2A/3A prelims. The previous record (56.90) was set in 1993 by Sammamish’s Maureen Phillips.

Phillips, who went on to swim at Arizona, presented Kirk with her first-place medal on Saturday.

Kirk, who has a best of 52.92, had hoped to challenge the national high school record of 52.42.

“I really wanted it, but I’ll race again,” said the Goodwill Games silver medalist. “I’ll be ready next time. It wasn’t a bad swim, so I’m not totally disappointed.”

Earlier in the meet, Kirk opened a sizeable lead over Chandler in the 200 free, then held her off. Her winning time (1:49.46) was the second-fastest in state history. Chandler’s time (1:50.23) was the fourth fastest.

“That was gutsy,” Bremerton coach Mike Fitzgerald said. “We knew that girl had a stronger last 100, but Dana just gave it all at the front and said, ‘Catch me if you can.’ ”

Kirk, Bremerton’s student body president and a 4.0 student, has narrowed her college choices to Stanford and Auburn. Her sister, Tara, is a sophomore at Stanford, where she won the 100 breaststroke and was part of two NCAA champion relays a year ago.

Dana said she planned to visit Auburn over the Nov. 17-18 weekend and will sign a letter of intent by Nov. 21.

Kirk’s two wins enabled the Knights to place 20th in the team competition with 40 points.

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