It didn’t take much for Emma Chard to bring some tradition to a meet that’s a little untraditional.
Chard, a senior at Foss High School, broke a pair of meet records Saturday in her home pool at the Falcon Relays. Her victory in the 100-yard freestyle, in 52.74 seconds, beat a 27-year-old mark, and she also recorded the fastest time in the 200 individual medley – 2:10.64 – since 2002.
“I was really happy with my swims,” she said. “I was able to get down on my times.”
Chard said her early success has alleviated some pressure. She has competed in the 3A state meet the past three years, placing second in the 100 breaststroke and third in the 100 freestyle.
With her times Saturday, she has qualified for this year’s state meet in seven individual events – and plans to tackle the 100 butterfly this week.
“I know I can go that fast – and I can get faster,” she said. “Our team can, too, so this is a stepping stone to see how fast we can go.”
The Falcon Relays is unique in that it combines the times for two events for scoring, and includes 50-yard races for events traditionally swam at 100 yards.
Foss senior Sarah Sachs qualified for state in the 100 backstroke, in 1:02.40, and also won the 50 freestyle in 26.06.
“I didn’t expect to make state in September,” she said. “I thought OK, maybe October. But it’s nice to be swimming fast at this point.”
Gig Harbor won the team competition with 63 points, ahead of Foss (46) and Wilson (42).
“It’s a real fun meet; it gives us an opportunity to get that team spirit built up,” said Gig Harbor coach Mike Kelly. “There’s a lot of good camaraderie among the teams.”
Gig Harbor had so many swimmers that it competed as two teams – the Tides and the Whites.
“It was still competitive, but there was a great sportsmanship,” said Gig Harbor’s Emma Campbell, a junior who won the 200 freestyle (2:13.33) and 50 butterfly (33.47).
The Tides were anchored by a pair of freshmen. Ursula Andren recorded a 4A state-qualifying time of 1:08.94 in the 100 breaststroke , and Anna Furrer set a personal best in the 500 freestyle, 5:25.55.
“It’s incredibly exciting,” Andren said. “A lot of people don’t do the breaststroke because they think it’s a little easy. But it’s a lot harder than it looks.”
Gig Harbor won the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, and Foss won the 200 freestyle relay.
Other individual winners were Foss senior Yana Kuloff in the 100 individual medley (1:11.85) and Gig Harbor freshmen Alana Ponce in the 50 backstroke (31.09) and Mackenzie Bailey in the 50 breaststroke (36.80).