High School Sports

Prep roundup: Ursula Andren sets PR in 100 breaststroke, helps Gig Harbor win 4A district swimming title

Gig Harbor High School’s Ursula Andren wasn’t your stereotypical teenager Friday night.

She said she went to bed before 9 p.m. and gave up sweets for fruits and vegetables. She had the 4A West Central District girls swimming championships to prepare for.

“I had a good night sleep and I tried to keep my body healthy, so instead of eating a bunch of carbs, I had a smoothie, I had a banana and I had a little protein shake.”

Hey, whatever works.

Andren nearly jumped out of the water, slapped it and shouted in excitement when she finished just ahead of Puyallup’s Mackenzie Mergel to win the 100 breaststroke in 1 minute, 6.30 seconds on Saturday at the Curtis Aquatic Center.

It was a personal-best time, more than two seconds faster than her preliminary time and .24 ahead of Mergel.

It also helped Gig Harbor win the 4A WCD III title with 338 points to second-place Stadium’s 319. Puyallup took third with 259 points and Curtis was fourth with 255.

The top six from each event advanced to the 4A state championships, which will be held Nov. 13-14 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

That is, unless you were like Andren, with a first name fit for a swimmer, and had already had a state-qualifying time in an event. Andren entered with the third-best 100 breaststroke time at the 4A level (1:07.80).

“I’m still hungry for more,” Andren said. “I’m not satisfied yet. But I’m proud of myself to have come this far this season.”

Andren also finished third in the 200 individual medley about two seconds behind winner Kaycee Simpson of Stadium.

Simpson finished in 2:13.01. Not quite as fast as her state-best 2:10.60 she swam at Mount Tahoma, but good enough for first.

“For me it was like, I’m happy I did it but I still think I can go faster,” Simpson said. “I can’t wait for state to go faster.”

Teammate Shianne Lindh took second in that race in 2:14.71, more than three seconds better than her preliminary time.

Puyallup dominated the relay events, with its foursome of Kacey Kiuchi, Mergel, Lindsey Muiznieks and Gabi Duyaski taking the 200 medley relay in 1:50.12.

Maddie Joy, Muiznieks, Kiuchi and Mergel then won the 400 freestyle relay in 3:40.06 for Puyallup, shaving more than three seconds off their preliminary time.

Mergel also took first in the 200 freestyle in 1:56.08 and second in the 100 breaststroke.

Timberline’s Hannah Barker watched from second place as Curtis’ Willow Lopez-Silvers broke her school’s record in the 100 backstroke on Friday.

So Barker figured she should go break Timberline’s school record in the finals of the same event Saturday — her own record.

She finished in first place in the 100 backstroke with a personal-best time of 57.79 seconds Saturday in the finals. Lopez-Silvers took second in 59.19 seconds, which was .14 seconds slower than her school-record time the junior set the previous day.

“Going into the finals I knew Willow was going to go for it,” said Barker, who also took first in the 500 freestyle and helped two of Timberline’s relay teams qualify for the 4A state championships. “So I just went my best. I thought, ‘I’m just going to go for it, I’m going to break my own record.’ And I did.”


Cascade Christian 40 at Bellevue Christian 8: This isn’t the same Cougars who graduated most of its team from last year’s 1A state championship squad.

But once again, they’re 1A Nisqually champions.

Cascade Christian (7-1; 4-0 1A Nisqually) led 40-0 before Bellevue Christian scored its first touchdown in the fourth quarter and the Cougars earned the top seed to the 1A district playoffs.

Any question Cascade Christian would repeat as league champs?

“There were questions, yeah there were,” Cascade Christian coach Randy Davis said. “But we don’t ever say that. As coaches, sure. But we tell the players there is a bar set and we don’t want them to go below that bar. And we’ve been on the incline all year long.”

Peyton Berry ran for two touchdowns, as did Zackery Bartolome in a rain-soaked game in Bellevue. Quarterback Josh Seaton did most of his damage on the ground, also running for a touchdown.

Cascade Christian will face the winner of Tuesday’s game between Chimacum and Coupeville next week.

TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677