The Gig Harbor High girls swim team is feeling confident heading into the Class 4A state swim meet this weekend at King County Aquatic Center following a big victory in the West Central District III swim meet two weekends ago at Curtis High School.
Gig Harbor won the meet with 338 points, edging Stadium (319), Puyallup (259), Curtis (255) and others.
The Tides were propelled to the title by strong individual swims and relays. The Tides took first in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1 minute, 41.37 seconds and took second in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:52.90.
“It’s always fun winning,” said Gig Harbor coach Mike Kelly. “The relays we put together, I’m always optimistic they’ll be strong. … It was a real solid performance for everyone.”
Junior Ursula Andren, who has been one of Gig Harbor’s top swimmers all season, took first in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:06.30 and took third in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:15.86. Andren is currently ranked No. 3 in the state for the 100 breast and is hoping for a top-three finish at state.
“I’m pretty confident,” she said. “I’m really excited to go. It’s sort of melancholy because it’s my junior year. I know I’ll only have one more year after this. I’m very confident going into state this year.”
Former Tide Carolyn McCann holds the state record in the event with a time of 1:01.33. While Andren isn’t likely to get there, she hopes she can get close.
“I think I can get maybe around three seconds to it, maybe less,” Andren said. “I just know that I trust Mike’s training to get me where I want to be. (Seeing McCann’s time on the pool wall) has always motivated me. But I know that I’m always shooting for what’s best for me and for what I want to do and how I’m going to better myself.”
Andren expects the relay teams to have a strong showing at the state meet.
“We’ve all been working really hard on relay exchanges and technique and speed in our relays,” she said. “We’re really excited for the relays. We’ve all been working really hard on it. I’m sure we can do even better in state.”
Kelly is confident the team will have strong swims at state.
“They know they have to really work hard just to get into the top 10,” Kelly said. “That’s how loaded up the whole meet is going to be. Skyline has got a handful of freshmen that are doing phenomenal times. Newport, Wenatchee, Jackson — the traditional top teams are strong. We’re going to try to get our hits in wherever we can and do the best we can. We’ve got some things that might help us out.”