The South Sound Relays girls swim meet means nothing to any school’s position in the standings, but the meet means something to the schools that swim in it.
The midseason relay meet underwent its seventh annual incarnation Saturday at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, where it’s all relays, all the time, which accords it a unique status in the South Sound swimming world.
“We’ve never done this meet,” said Puyallup coach Casi Messineo, who brought 22 of her team’s 69 swimmers to Evergreen and did well enough to claim second place.
Olympia, co-host of the meet along with Black Hills, won the team championship for the fifth time in the meet’s history, returning the title to the Bears after Rogers of Puyallup won last year.
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Olympia amassed 954 points in team scoring, which awarded 47 points for first place.
Puyallup was second with 885, followed by Steilacoom with 728 and Rogers 703. Lakes finished with 369 and South Kitsap 207.
Olympia set the tone in the meet’s first event, the 400-yard medley relay. Senior Ally Norman overtook Puyallup’s Chelsea Kegans in the third (butterfly) leg, and the Bears went on to one of their three wins.
Puyallup earned first-place finishes in the 2x50 free relay (Sara Anderson and Kaitlyn Liu) in 54.44 seconds; the 2x100 backstroke relay (Kacey Kiuchi and Kegans); and the 400 freestyle relay (Anderson, Kegans, Gabi Dunayski and Kiuchi).
Steilacoom won two events — the 2x200 freestyle relay (Rachel and Emily Forbes) in 4:30.65 and the 2x100 freestyle relay (Rachel Forbes and Amanda Just) in 2:01.45.
The meet was close enough at the top that Olympia coach Mel Smith said he warned his team not to false start in the 400 free relay, the last event of the day.
The Bears didn’t false start and finished third behind Puyallup and Steilacoom, but gained enough points to win the meet.
“This is a preview of postseason,” Messineo said.