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Top teams live up to billing
You could hear the screams from outside the Olympic Aquatic Center as the girls from Gig Harbor and Central Kitsap high schools urged their teammates on in what was the biggest one-on-one meet in the Narrows League Bridge Division this year.
If its loud, we want to swim fast, CK senior Erin Matthew said
Inside the noise was deafening as each event down to the wire, many determined by less than a second on the clock. Though many of the races went the Tides way and eventually the final score of 113-72, CK coach Patti Matthew was pleased with what she saw.
It was as good as we thought it would be, Matthew said. It was one of those things where I told the girls This is our pool, this is our home. Just go for it and have a good time doing it. And they did and thats what mattered.
The OAC pool lived up to its reputation for being fast with a total of #21 individuals and relay teams from both teams reaching state qualifying times. It also helped improve the girls efforts as they prepared for districts starting on Halloween.
Its fun to have some really good, healthy competition, Tides coach Peg Johnson said. Thats what we were planning on and its what we needed at this point of the season.
CK senior Ashley Heaslip was the only new Cougar to qualify for state in the 100 backstroke, though several others improved on previously set marks. It was a goal Heaslip has been shooting for all season.
Me and my friend (Gig Harbors) Lindsey Leaf told each other last night that since we havent made it yet, we would do it today, Heaslip said. We held the pack so it was exciting.
Heaslip finished the 100 backstroke in 1 minute, 3.34 seconds, followed immediately behind by Leaf at 1:03.40.
Erin Matthew said everyone swam well.
We lost but we had so many best times and that is what counts, Erin Matthew said. We had a lot of district cuts, best times and goals made and thats what is most important. We knew what we had to do and we did it but they did more. We knew it was going to be that way.
Erin Matthew set her own mark by reaching a goal of breaking 1:10 in the 100 breaststroke with a first-place, state-qualifying time of 1:09.56. Sarah Baker and Andria Giovanni also had lower times in several of their events.
Outside the screaming, there was an air of familiarity among the competitiors as five Cougars swim with the Gig Harbor Swim Club alongside many of the Tides in the offseason.
A lot of these girls swim together at Gig Harbor and there were a lot of parents that took time off from work to be here today, Patti Matthew said Theyre good friends with them so they were happy to see them.
Baker won the 500 free in 5:11.46.
The vaunted Cougar relay teams, where Patti Matthew hoped to score some points, had their own problems.
We knew everything was going to be close and I knew relays would be a determining factor, Patti Matthew said. If you subtract diving it was really close, but they pretty much took us.
CK hosts Shelton at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.