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Marysville-Pilchuck swimmers 13th at state — Clark (dive), Taylor (IM) place third
FEDERAL WAY — The Tomahawks capped a breakthrough season with a 13th-place finish at the state meet Nov. 14.
In a crowded Warehouser King Country Aquatic Center, the Marysville-Pilchuck girls fell just 11 points short of an ambitious goal to make the top 10. The team finished with 79 points, including a pair of top 3 finishers in Hannah Taylor and Sarah Clark.
"It's hard to be disappointed right now because of how much we have accomplished this season," said Marysville coach Jaci LeGore Hodgins, referencing the Tomahawks' tremendous improvement from placing 27th in 2008.
Clark, a senior diver, looked completely relaxed during the final, vaulting her way through three solid dives to move five spots up the standings to third — the highest of her four years at state — with a score of 345.8.
"She just puts herself in a good place Friday and comes back with three strong dives on Saturday," LeGore Hodgins said. "I can't say enough about her dedication and ability to put up her best when it means the most. No matter what, every year she has improved."
Junior Marysa Eastman came in 10th with a score of 318.6, earning seven points for her team. With another strong showing, the Tomahawks scored 23 points from the diving board, and LeGore Hodgins credits that to coach Dick Caldwell.
"Marysville has always been a powerhouse in diving," she said. "This year is one of the first in a while that we've been able to contribute on the swimming side."
Taylor was a large part of the contribution, placing third in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:07.84. Taylor was also seventh in the 100-yard breast stroke, finishing in 1:07.34, and a member of the eighth-place 400-yard freestyle relay team. Other members of that team included Jewel LeValley, Megan Shoemaker and Kendall Vincelette.
The meet concluded a breakthrough year for the Tomahawks, and LeGore Hodgins, who won coach of the year for both the Wesco Conference and the state. This year saw almost every school record broken — some more than once — and resulted in a second place finish for the team at the conference meet.
LeGore Hodins said that her team didn't accomplish their goals coming into the state meet, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
"We're leaving hungry tonight, and that's a good way to leave, especially when you're young," she said.
Just three of the 11 Marysville swimmers and divers were seniors.