High School Sports

Stadium’s Kaycee Simpson, Taylor Kabacy swim way to finals in four events apiece

Stadium's Kaycee Simpson, Timberline's Hannah Barker get through to state swim finals

Stadium senior Kaycee Simpson helped her team to state finals qualifying finishes in the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay. She personally qualified in the 200 individual medley with a fifth place time of 2:09.49 and also in the 100 fly with
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Stadium senior Kaycee Simpson helped her team to state finals qualifying finishes in the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay. She personally qualified in the 200 individual medley with a fifth place time of 2:09.49 and also in the 100 fly with

Stadium senior Kaycee Simpson not only swam her way to the finals in two individual events at the 3A State Girls Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday, she helped take part in two Tigers relay teams, too.

Simpson, Riley Anderson, Ashlea Liljar and Taylor Kabacy qualified second for the 400 freestyle relay with a preliminary time of 3 minutes, 36.21 seconds, less than two seconds behind Bellevue’s squad, at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

Simpson and Liljar, along with teammates Jordan Konecny and Shianne Lindh, also qualified fifth for the 200 medley relay finals in 1:51.27.

By herself, Simpson qualified fifth in the 200 individual medley (2:09.49) and 100 fly (58.01).

“(Simpson’s) been doing the 100 and 200 her whole high school career,” Stadium swimming coach Amanda Spinker said. “She’s just gotten better, better and better. She really just takes off. She’s an absolute racer.”

Tigers freshman Kabacy also turned in strong individual performances.

Kabacy placed seventh in the 200 freestyle (1:54.91) and qualified for the finals with a seventh-place finish in the 500 freestyle (5:08.28).

Timberline’s Hannah Barker and North Thurston’s May Lawson-Rivera are among the other local standouts who will be swimming in the state finals Saturday.

Barker placed second in the 100 backstroke preliminaries with a time of 58.32 seconds.

“I tend to overthink longer races, but the 50s and the 100s I just go, go, go,” Barker said. “Prelims are great, but finals is the real rush for me.”

Barker also set a personal best split time of 52.58 during the opening leg of the 200 free relay. Barker and her Timberline teammates (Becky Falash, Stella Mason and Elaine Rocamora) finished 22nd in that event with a time of 1:49.13.

“I saw great fight from my team,” Timberline coach Marie Ratcliff said. “We don’t have a lot of depth. We don’t have a lot of club swimmers.

“These girls work really hard. They do CrossFit, they do dry-land training. For them to make it here is a huge accomplishment.”

Lawson-Rivera took sixth for North Thurston in the 200 individual medley with a finals qualifying time of 2:11.71.

Class 2A

Steilacoom freshman Emily Forbes helped her team to a sixth-place qualifying time of 3:52.68 for the state finals. The Sentinels also qualified sixth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:44.82). Forbes individually qualified for the finals by finishing fifth in the 50 freestyle (25.31) and seventh in the 100 freestyle (55.39). Forbes’ sister Rachel, a junior, also swam in four total events and took part in both relay preliminary races.

Class 4A

Curtis senior Willow Lopez-Silvers, the defending state champ in the 100 freestyle, finished ninth in the preliminaries (54.40), but she did help the Vikings relay team qualify in seventh place in the 200 medley relay (1:52.93) along with Molly Hickey and Emily VanZonneveld and Katie VanZonneveld. .

Puyallup junior Kacey Kiuchi qualified third in the 100 backstroke preliminaries in a time of 57.92.

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