Bellingham city athletes swept the top three places in the 200 freestyle in the preliminaries of the Class 2A State Girls' Swimming State Championships in what proved to be a successful first day on Friday, Nov. 15, at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
Bellingham's Madeline Gillman led the charge with a time of 1 minute, 58.94 seconds. She was followed by Sehome's Gwen Roley in 15:95.25 and Sydney Wong in 2:00.22, as all three swimmers qualified for the championship final.
"Those three should battle it out for the lead," Sehome coach Don Helling said in a phone interview. "Our district was well represented."
The state finals are scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16. Either Squalicum or Sehome has won the 2A team title three of the past four years.
Perhaps the swimmer of the day on Friday was Sehome's Nina Djukic, who qualified for the championship final in the 100 freestyle with the seventh-fastest preliminary time (57.30 seconds). She entered the day seeded 22nd in the event.
"She really pulled through and had a couple of swims that really blasted her best times," Helling said. "We had a couple of good swims today, especially in the relays dropping some time, but Nina was really impressive."
Djukic also qualified for the consolation final in the 100 backstroke with the 13th-fastest time (1:07.02), working her way up from being seeded 19th in the event.
She rounded out her day by helping the Mariners turn in the fourth-fastest time in the 400 freestyle relay (3:52.15).
Sehome and Squalicum qualified for the championship finals in all three relays, and the Red Raiders will join them in the 200 freestyle relay. Bellingham also made the consolation finals for the 400 freestyle relay.
In addition to Gillman's top time, Wong posted the day's fastest mark in the 100 freestyle (55.20 seconds).
Gillman also was third fastest in the 500 freestyle (5:26.12). Bellingham teammates Ariel McGavock and Ellie Kindlund were third (296.20 points) and eighth (272.25), respectively in the diving after the first day.
Hannah Holmgren was a double championship final qualifier individually for Sehome in the 100 freestyle (eighth, 57.72) and 100 breaststroke (fourth, 1:11.63).
"Hannah really had a couple of good races for us today," Helling said.
Roley also was a double qualifier, as she was third fastest in the 100 backstroke (1:01.13).
Squalicum's Josephine Hegeberg was second fastest in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.02) and also qualified for the championship finals in the 200 individual medley (seventh, 2:21.45).
The Storm's Samantha Jones was sixth in the diving competition after the first day with 275.35 points, while Madi Krussow was 15th with 251.75.
Also qualifying for the consolation finals on Friday were: Sehome's Shirley Lam and Ellie Poehlman in the 200 freestyle; Squalicum's Shaye Fowler in the 200 IM; Poehlman and Bellingham's Anna McNabb in the 500 freestyle; Squalicum's Abby VonFeldt, Lynden's Sarah Hollander, Sehome's Megan Mundell and Lam in the 100 backstroke; and Fowler and Bellingham's Yvonne DuBois in the 100 breaststroke.
"I think we got a shot at a top four trophy," Helling said. "That was our goal all along. We have to hold our spots and try to move up. I think there are a couple places we can. It should be pretty exciting."
WHATCOM COUNTY PRELIMINARY RESULTS
The top eight finishers in each event in the preliminaries advance to the finals, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 16, at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Finishers nine through 16 will swim in the consolation finals:
200 MEDLEY RELAY SWIMMERS* TIME (Pl.)
Squalicum Abby VonFeldt 1:57.46 (3)
Sehome Megan Mundell 1:59.21 (6)
Lynden Sarah Hollander 2:18.08 (24)
200 FREESYLE SCHOOL TIME (Pl.)
Madeline Gillman Bellingham 1:58.94 (1)
Gwen Roley Sehome 1:59.25 (2)
Sydney Wong Squalicum 2:00.22 (3)
Shirley Lam Sehome 2:09.02 (15)
Ellie Poehlman Sehome 2:09.19 (16)
200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY SCHOOL TIME (Pl.)
Josephine Hegeberg Squalicum 2:21.45 (7)
Shaye Fowler Squalicum 2:31.03 (16)
Abby VonFeldt Squalicum DQ
50 FREESTYLE SCHOOL TIME (Pl.)
Maddie Dohm Squalicum 27.01 (17)
Sophie Grambo Sehome 27.47 (20)
DIVING SCHOOL SCORE (Pl.)
Ariel McGavock Bellingham 296.20 (3)
Samantha Jones Squalicum 275.35 (6)
Ellie Kindlund Bellingham 272.25 (8)
Madi Krussow Squalicum 251.75 (15)
100 BUTTERFLY SCHOOL TIME (Pl.)
Savannah McGhee Squalicum 1:10.07 (23)
100 FREESTYLE SCHOOL TIME (Pl.)
Sydney Wong Squalicum 55.20 (1)
Nina Djukic Sehome 57.30 (7)
Hannah Holmgren Sehome 57.72 (8)
Megan Mundell Sehome 1:00.10 (20)
Sophie Grambo Sehome 1:00.69 (21)
500 FREESTYLE SCHOOL TIME (Pl.)
Maddie Gillman Bellingham 5:26.12 (3)
Ellie Poehlman Sehome 5:53.22 (12)
Anna McNabb Bellingham 6:03.66 (15)
Ava Baumgarten Sehome 6:11.19 (21)
Miranda Blackburn Sehome 6:11.32 (22)
200 FREESTYLE RELAY SWIMMERS* TIME (Pl.)
Sehome Gwen Roley 1:46.35 (2)
Bellingham Ellie Kindlund 1:49.95 (6)
Squalicum Janae Gallant 1:50.44 (8)
Lynden Sarah Hollander 1:55.20 (21)
100 BACKSTROKE SCHOOL TIME (Pl.)
Gwen Roley Sehome 1:01.13 (3)
Abby VonFeldt Squalicum 1:06.23 (11)
Sarah Hollander Lynden 1:06.45 (12)
Nina Djukic Sehome 1:07.02 (13)
Megan Mundell Sehome 1:07.20 (14)
Shirley Lam Sehome 1:07.20 (15)
100 BREASTSTROKE SCHOOL TIME (Pl.)
Josephine Hegeberg Squalicum 1:10.02 (2)
Hannah Holmgren Sehome 1:11.63 (4)
Shaye Fowler Squalicum 1:14.67 (10)
Yvonne DuBois Bellingham 1:16.41 (12)
Lauren Avery Sehome 1:17.25 (17)
400 FREESTYLE RELAY SWIMMERS* TIME (Pl.)
Sehome Gwen Roley 3:52.15 (4)
Squalicum Abby VonFeldt 3:57.28 (8)
Bellingham Madeline Gilman 4:00.43 (10)
Lynden Shelby Umbaugh 4:16.72 (22)