A mixture of experienced swimmers and fresh faces will compete for their chance at a state championship at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center on Saturday.
Among them are Sumner’s Mikaela Miele and Curtis’ Leigh Lopez-Silvers.
Miele qualified fourth in both the 200 yard freestyle, with a time of one minute and 54.93 seconds, and the 500 yard freestyle, coming in at 5:07.12.
Her qualifying time for the 500 free broke a 41-year old school record.
“It feels really good, I haven’t been under a 1:55 in a year and a half,” she said. “I had my best time in the 500 and broke [the school’s] record. Ever since freshman year, I’ve gotten closer and all my training paid off.”
Miele, as a senior, leads the Spartan swim team by getting her teammates to cheer each other and build the team’s confidence.
It showed as other Spartans qualifying for consolation brackets were sophomore Marin Wilson in the 200 free with a time of 1:59.08 and sophomore Emma Huynh in the 100 free at 55.07.
Another experienced swimmer getting her last licks in at the state championships is Puyallup’s Kasey Kiuchi.
Kiuchi will get her shot at a state title in the 100 backstroke as she qualified for fifth with a time of 57.86, and in the consolation brackets of the 200 IM and the 200 free style relay.
Lacey Wright, a senior from Olympia didn’t make any final events but will have her final swims in the consolation 200 free style and 500 free style.
With seniors getting their last shot at state, a group of younger swimmers is making their names known for the future.
Leading the way is Curtis freshman Lopez-Silvers, embracing her sister Willow’s clout but making a name of her own.
“She will always be my older sister, but she’s also fast,” Lopez-Silvers said. “I like being associated with her but I am still my own person.”
The younger Lopez-Silvers may just get that as she qualified in two relays for the Vikings: the 200 medley and the 400 free.
She also just barely missed the mark for 200 free style, coming in .2 seconds behind Wenatchee’s Jordan Hartley for the last spot in the finals; as well as finishing 10th in the 100 butterfly.
Mount Rainier sophomore Grace Felner had a big day as well, qualifying for the finals in three different events.
Felner came in second in the 200 IM with an All-American consideration time of 2:04.01, fifth in the 100 free at 51.83 and will compete for consolation in the 200 free relay.
Gig Harbor did not have many swimmers make it to their finalist spots in their respective events, but the Tides are well-represented in diving.
After the semifinals, freshman Krystia Mischel is the highest diver for the Tides, finishing her round with a score of 254.20 points.
Three other teammates follow Mischel in the standings: Natalie Davidson in 13th (212.45), Madelyn Johnson in 16th (206.50) and Kristen Vorpahl in 17th (205.35).
In the pool, the Tides’ sophomore Megan Hanson was narrowly beat out for the final spot in the 200 yard freestyle as her 1:59.27 time was edged out by just .28 seconds thanks to Melanie Bantle from Holy Names Academy.
The Stadium Tigers also saw close finishes as senior Meghann McLaughlin finished in 13th for qualifying in the 200 free at 2:00.96 and freshman Cierra McCarty finished 12th in the 50 free at 25.05.
Rachel Forbes won’t be competing for her last state 50 free alone as she will be accompanied by her sister Emily.
Rachel qualified for sixth place with a time of 25.54, and Emily in seventh just .04 seconds behind.
Teammates Megan Murphy and Sydney Lange were also helpful to the Forbes sisters as all four qualified for second in the 200 free relay at a time of 1:42.63.
Murphy was also close to making a couple of events on her own, finishing ninth in the 100 back and 12th in the 100 breaststroke.