Rogers High swimmers Mackenzie Hill and Natalie Hert are like-minded when it comes to responsibilities for the Rams’ girls swim team.
In a sport that is very individualistic, where swimmers are facing the clock as much as their opponents, Hill and Hert decided to make their senior season worth more than solo accomplishments.
It’s better bringing eight friends with you to state instead of going by yourself.
“I felt by dropping one of my individual events, I can help make all three of the relay teams stronger,” Hill said.
“It’s better bringing eight friends with you to state instead of going by yourself,” Hert added.
And that selfless attitude from two of Rogers’ top swimmers led the team’s 200-yard freestyle (sixth place, 1:47.94) and 400 free relay (seventh; 4:01.90) at the West Central District 3 meet at Curtis High over the weekend.
Both teams were anchored by Hill, the No. 2 swimmer, and Hert, the No. 4, at the district meet.
The two girls’ choices paid off big for Rogers as both relay teams qualified for the state meet.
“(All the) relays teams have a high chance of going to state this year,” said Hill, who dropped the 200 IM at district in favor of participating in all three relays. “It’s important to help those teams.”
The relays have a high chance of going to state this year. It’s important to help those teams.
Rogers’ 200 free relay team consisted of Brynley Shakespeare, Hill, Sophia Ko and Hert, with alternates Brynley Shakespeare, Sophia Ko, Asia Stayhorne, and Laura Todd. Rogers swim coach Heather Hoskins expects the 200 free relay at state to consist of Shakespeare, Hill, Ko and Hert.
“The thing is with our 400 (free) relay, (is) we could be so much faster if me and Kenzie would swim it,” said Hert, who dropped her 100 free for the relays.
Swimmers from the 400 free relay team that qualified for state are Hert, Hill, Becca Patterson and Shakespeare, who are all expected to be in the lineup at state, with alternates Todd, Hannah Lewis, Strayhorne and Ko.
By subtracting two from their individual events, Hill and Hert paved the way to send 10 Rams to the state meet at the King County Aquatic Center.
They have the same attitude and desires to help each grow together. It’s a special group of girls out there.
Rogers coach Heather Hoskins
“I always tell them they’re just like that (state-winning) team,” said Hoskins, who compared the current team to the back-to-back Class 4A champions from a decade ago (2003-2004). “They have the same attitude and desires to help each grow together. It’s a special group of girls out there.”
The 200 medley relay is looking to be a wild card entry at state, and Hill has the chance to compete as a wild card in the 100 butterfly. Hert has the chance to do the same in the 50 free.