Chard churns up records

Contributing writerNovember 10, 2013 

RENTON — It wasn’t enough for Emma Chard to break a meet record. She had to do it twice.

On Saturday, the Foss High School senior won the 100-yard freestyle at the West Central District III swimming championships at Hazen High School in 51.66 seconds. That bested the record of 52.02 she set in prelims the day before.

And Friday’s effort broke the record of 52.15 that Chard herself set in 2012.

“It felt good,” said Chard, who is committed to swim at Boise State next year. “I wasn’t expecting it, but I knew I could get it, so I just went for it.

“I’m pretty exhausted,” she said, adding that the competition at districts gave her an extra push. “But it’s like a good tired, though.”

Chard said knowing this is her final week of high school swimming is bittersweet.

“I’m both sad and glad it’s going to be over,” she said. “But (college) is going to be the beginning of a new swimming career, so I’m excited.”

Kennedy Catholic won the team competition with 211 points. Peninsula was second with 194, and North Thurston’s 193 total took third.

North Thurston sophomore Arielle Howard said that when her coach told her the times she would need for state at the beginning of the season, she summarily dismissed them as being unattainable.

On Saturday, she was happy to be wrong as she won the 50-yard freestyle in 25.85, and also had a state qualifying time of 56.02 in the 100 freestyle, in which she finished third.

“I was like nope, those are so far away,” Howell said with laugh. “It was a goal in the back of my mind, but it kind of a hopeful one, so I’m happy that it happened.”

Decatur senior Lanie Vuong said winning the 100 butterfly (1:03.23) was especially meaningful because it meant her streak of state appearances would be extended to four despite being sick last week.

“It feels amazing,” she said. “I’m so excited that I’m going for my fourth time. I feel accomplished and since this is my senior year, that was my goal for the beginning of the season.”

Other individual winners were Kennedy senior Vanessa Moffatt in the 200 freestyle (1:58.46) and 500 freestyle (5:14.05), Kennedy sophomore Angela Gagliardo in the 200 individual medley (2:12.60), Hazen senior Talisa Wibmer in the 100 backstroke (59.59) and Auburn Mountainview senior Hanna Houck in 1-meter diving (333.20 points).

Kennedy won the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, and North Thurston won the 200 freestyle.

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