In her first high school state swimming meet, Mount Rainier sophomore Grace Felner showed grace under pressure with top three finishes in both of her individual events at the state swimming and diving championships.
Felner kept pace with friend, and eventual champion, Newport’s Samantha Baron in the 200-yard individual medley to place second. She followed that performance with a third-place medal in the 100 freestyle and swam in the Rams two relays, the 200 free and 200 medley.
Felner’s time of 2:03.45 was a personal best and made the cut for All-American consideration.
“Sam’s one of my best friends, and I wanted to race her,” Felner said. “I wanted her to get first. I wanted to be neck-and-neck and drop time. We both did, and I’m really excited.”
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Felner and Brown were in the middle of the pack during the first two events of the IM, but both poured on the speed in the breaststroke.
“The key to the IM is the breaststroke,” Felner said. “It’s a really hard stroke to learn and get good at. I’ve gotten a lot better at it, so I wanted to take advantage. Second place, I’ll take it.”
Mount Rainier coach Chris Veraya said Felner’s potential is high and smiles as he thinks about the star he has in the making.
“Rare athletic talent,” Veraya said. “There’s a really bright future for her in anything she does aquatic-wise the next few years.”
Felner’s time of 50.84 in the 100 free put her among the top 10 all-time in that event.
Sumner’s Mikaela Maile’s endurance came through for the Spartans as she swam three distance events and 900 yards at least. Maile, a senior, finished fourth in the 500 freestyle in 5:08.26, and was sixth in the 200 free in 1:56.09 earlier in the meet.
After accepting her medal in the 500, she immediately joined her teammates to swim in the consolation finals of the 200 free relay. The Spartans won the heat, placing ninth overall.
Puyallup senior Kacey Kiuchi was fourth in the 100 backstroke in a time of 56.94.
Curtis’ 400 free relay, which included Leigh Lopez-Silvers, Katie VanZonneveld, Molley Hickey and Emily VanZonneveld, finished in fourth place in 3:37.48. The Vikings placed seventh in the 200 medley relay in 1:50.81. Individually, Emily VonZonneveld was fifth in 1:07.46.
Central Kitsap had a dominant regular season in the pool.
In fact, the Cougars won every meet they entered this season.
They finished ninth with a final team score of 90 points on Saturday at the King County Aquatic Center.
The Cougars’ top race of the day was their fifth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay comprised of Taylor Sims, Olivia Gibson, Chelsea Miller and Haley Morkert. Morkert also finished fifth in the 50 freestyle. The team of Sims, Gibson, Morkert and Tatiana Tubberville finished eighth in the 400 freestyle relay.
Taylor Sims finished eighth in the 200 individual medley and ninth in the 100 butterfly, while Morkert finished 11th in the 100 free.
Capital, which finished 13th overall, had Alexa Nooney and Camden Martin finished sixth and seventh in the 100 backstroke.
The team of Nooney, Martin, Olivia Young and Cynthia Czikall finished eighth in the 200 medley relay.
Staff writer Jerod Young contributed to this report