A tenth of a second is the amount of time that can make a swimmer’s day — or keep them up at night.
On Saturday, the latter scenario was far more likely for Gig Harbor sophomore Anna Furrer, who just missed qualifying for the 4A state meet in the 500-yard freestyle during the Falcon Relays at Foss High School.
“It’s kind of frustrating,” said Furrer, who clocked a winning time of 5 minutes, 22.09 seconds, and also placed second in the 100 freestyle.
In 2013, Furrer didn’t get a state cut until the district meet. This year, qualifying quickly is her goal.
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“Last year, it took me a while to get it, and this year, I know I can do it,” she said, adding that faster flip turns will be key in dropping time. “I just have to put a lot more energy into practice.”
Despite being exhausted at the Saturday morning meet, Furrer said she would rather do the 500 than the 100 freestyle.
“I can pace myself,” she said. “It’s not an all-out sprint (with) all of the energy being taken out of your body.”
Despite bringing just a dozen swimmers to the meet, Gig Harbor, the lone 4A competitor, easily captured the team title with 68 points, ahead of Wilson (50) and Foss (33). The Tides won nine individual events and three relays, including the 200 freestyle relay, in which it tallied a state-qualifying time of 1:22.51.
Gig Harbor coach Mike Kelly said he was resting most of the team for a meet with Big 9 powerhouse Wenatchee later Saturday, but that he saw some “real nice swims” from his swimmers in the early meet at Foss.
“Everyone was just kind of swimming to win our events and keep the points coming in (while) conserving a little bit of our energy,” he said.
Gig Harbor senior Emma Campbell said she was pleased to win the 200 freestyle with a season-best time of 2:10.47 because she has a “love-hate relationship” with the race.
“It’s one of my best events, personally, but it’s a little tiring and it hurts at the end,” she said. “You just have to kind of push through it and get to the last 50.”
Wilson junior Maddie Dodge, who won the 100 freestyle in 56.21, and was second in the 500 freestyle (5:26.74), said that swimming against Gig Harbor is “kind of nerve wracking.”
“But it feels really good to be able to race against them and get some competition.”
As for winning, she added, “It feels pretty good. I think the training is paying off so far.”
Other individual winners included Gig Harbor sophomore Ursula Andren in the 200 individual medley (2:22.47) and 100 breaststroke (1:13.39) and Wilson junior Karli Stevenson in the 100 butterfly (1:14.64).
Bellarmine Prep coach Matt Ellis saw the kind of speed and pack running that could handsomely pay off down the road — possibly by November’s state championships in Pasco.
Junior Jack Yearian pulled away the last half-mile to cruise to the Curtis Invitational 5-kilometer boys title at Chambers Bay’s Central Meadows, winning in 15 minutes, 33 seconds. The Lions won with 73 points.
“A controlled race by Yearian,” Ellis said. “(Cameron) Wyman, (Jack) Metcalfe and (Will) Sherman raced great as a pack. We are still working on a No. 5 (runner).”
On the girls side, the defending Class 4A state champions Lions also took care of business by winning with 100 points.
Andrea Masterson, of Lakeside High in Seattle, set the girls’ course record in 17:17.