When Athena Petterson was an eighth-grader, she watched the Peninsula High School boys swim team compete in the state finals at the King County Aquatic Center.
Now a junior, Petterson may get to experience swimming in the finals for herself. With her second-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle race with a time of 5 minutes, 27.96 seconds at last week’s Class 3A district meet, Petterson qualified for state prelims.
She’s currently slotted in at the 17th spot. If she wants to qualify for finals on Saturday, she’ll need to place in the top 16 in prelims.
“I’m going to do everything I can to get into the top 16 because I’ve wanted to go to state finals as long as I’ve known about it,” Petterson said.
She’ll have some other opportunities to swim in the state finals, too. All three Peninsula relays qualified for state — the 200 medley relay and the 200 and 400 free relay. Petterson is on all three relay teams.
“I’m proud of everyone on the relays and all their hard work,” Petterson said. “Everything has paid off, and I’m so excited.”
Peninsula won the 3A South Puget Sound League and took fourth at the district meet last weekend.
Sophomore Lissa Racette will also be joining Petterson in all three relays. Racette also took first in district in the 100butterfly with a time of 1 minute, 1.04 seconds, a season best.
“I was really pleased,” Racette said. “I wasn’t expecting to win districts, the person ahead of me did really well the first day. When I won, I was very excited.”
Peninsula had a young team this year, so qualifying for state in so many events has been a pleasant surprise for the Seahawks.
“I’m excited to go against the faster swimmers and for them to push me harder,” Racette said. “Most of our team was freshmen this year. Just the effort they put in at practice was really good.”
The Class 3A swim meet begins with prelims on Friday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. Finals begin on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 2:15 p.m. Diving is event No. 5.