The Peninsula High girls swim team is riding its strong senior class to a good season.
The Seahawks are 4-1 overall in dual meets this season, with the only loss coming to Port Angeles.
Senior captains Claudia Reutercrona, Sabrina Butorac, Constance Kirby and Athena Petterson have guided the Seahawks to its four wins.
“We went into the season thinking we’ll have more of a challenge with the new league,” Butorac said. “In our first meet against North Thurston, we performed really well and beat them. It was a surprise. It put us in a really good mood for the rest of our meets.”
The shift to the Class 3A South Sound Conference has been beneficial, in terms of facing better competition, Reutercrona said.
“It’s definitely been much more challenging of a season than we’ve had before, (with) stiffer competition,” she said. “It’s caused us to work harder than we have in the past. We’ve seen a lot of really good improvement from everyone.”
While the Seahawks have yet to post any state-qualifying times, longtime coach Craig Brown said he’s pleased with his team’s effort.
“As far as a dual meet team, we’re pretty decent,” Brown said. “It’s nice to swim against good competition. It brings the best out of everybody. I’m pleased with where we’re at and where we’re going. I’m just hoping some of the younger girls can continue improving. I’ve got a great group of seniors.”
The Seahawks are about two seconds off a state-qualifying time in the 200-meter medley relay, and junior Lissa Racette is about two seconds off a state-qualifying time in the 100 butterfly.
“I really feel like the last three meets will push us even harder,” said Butorac, who swims the backstroke. “I feel like the state qualifications will come soon.”
Freshmen Ellie Hood and Emma Keith have helped round out the team, which is looking forward to its meeting with crosstown rival Gig Harbor on Oct. 13.
“We’re all super excited and anxious for that meet,” Reutercrona said. “It’s going to be a tough one.”
The girls see it as a friendly rivalry.
“When you have that friendly rivalry, it pushes you even harder,” Butorac said.
The senior captains hope to get as many girls as possible into the West Central District 3 meet, and from there, see what happens.
“I’m focusing more on the team and not just myself,” Butorac said. “I want to see improvement from everyone. I want to see everyone doing their best.”