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Twelve swimmers to suit up for state
MARYSVILLE Going into the district competition, when teams would get their final chance to qualify swimmers for state, M-P had two swimmers bound for Federal Way.
But by the end of the day Nov. 3, 10 more members of the Tomahawk swim and dive team extended their season another week, earning either an outright or a wildcard berth to state.
Additionally, the Tomahawks took fourth place as a team at the district meet, their 394.5 points just six-and-a-half points behind third-place Shorewood.
Last year we only scored 220 points for sixth, so thats a big jump for us. Next year were going after top three, said M-P swim coach Jaci Legore Hodgins.
Junior Kami Girard had earned a lane in the pool at the King County Aquatic Center early in this season to compete in the 100 backstroke, and sophomore diver Sarah Clark took her earliest opportunity to earn a nod in the 11-throw diving competition.
But with two relays and another diver stepping up at district finals, the Tommies are going to need a bigger bus when they travel to state Nov. 9-10.
Along with Clark, who has outscored every diver she has faced this season, junior Liz Kuljis will suit up for the state diving competition on a wildcard berth.
They put their heart and soul into the season and it really panned out for them, said M-P dive coach Dick Caldwell of his diving team. Sarah lived up to my expectations and way beyond. Same with Liz she worked extremely hard and that paid off by her getting to the state meet, so that was really gratifying to see.
Clark improved almost 20 points on her last 11-dive competition, winning the meet with a 374.45 score, just a few points from All-American Consideration. Kuljis moved up two places from her last competition to snag the state spot, while teammate Kalyn Thomas also climbed a spot to finish seventh.
The 200 medley relay of Girard, Melinda Blomberg, Amy Renslo and Michaela Caldwell all put together great splits to break the state-qualifying 1:58.00 time for the first time this season. When they finally made the mark, they did so with almost a second to spare, in 1:57.07.
The Tomahawks 400 freestyle relay of Amanda Vincelette, Renslo, Jewel LeValley and Girard finished fourth overall, earning a wildcard berth to state.
Freshmen Amanda Collins and Melody Travis, and sophomore Leah Gordon and junior Emily Reinig will join their teammates as alternates.
According to Legore Hodgins, the team had ideal performances from preliminaries Nov. 1 to finals Nov. 3. Swimmers improved in the prelims to earn a lane at finals, but saved their best effort for the latter meet.
LeValley, a freshman, capped a personal best in 200 freestyle with a 20-second improvement in her 500 freestyle over three days.
She went into the meet with a 5:46 time, she swims a 5:32 in prelims and 5:26.74 in finals. State is a 5:25.35. Big big deal, Legore Hodgins said.
That was a big, big team victory for us, she added.