High School Sports

She didn’t get title she wanted most, but she didn’t come home empty-handed, either

Squalicum’s Syndney Wong, top, tries to stay ahead of Bellingham’s Maddie Gillman in the 500 freestyle in September 2013 at the Arne Hanna Aquatic Center in Bellingham.
Squalicum’s Syndney Wong, top, tries to stay ahead of Bellingham’s Maddie Gillman in the 500 freestyle in September 2013 at the Arne Hanna Aquatic Center in Bellingham. The Bellingham Herald

You can’t argue with the results Sydney Wong had during her high school swimming career at Squalicum – she swam two years and won a state title in the 100 freestyle each year.

Wong backed up the Class 2A state title she won as a freshman by winning the 3A crown as a senior last month. For that accomplishment and a strong senior year that also included a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle at state along with being a part of a pair of top-nine relay finishes at state by the Storm, Wong has been selected The Bellingham Herald’s All-Whatcom County Girls’ Swimmer of the Year.

“Sydney swam for us as a freshman and a senior,” Squalicum coach Randy Elsner said. “I think I saw a little bit more focus in her this year. She knew what she wanted and she went after it.”

What Wong wanted as a sophomore and junior was to focus on her club swimming with the Bellingham Bay Swim Team. During that time, she developed into a swimmer capable of earning a Division I scholarship to University of San Diego next year.

But as a senior, Elsner said, she wanted even more.

“From my vantage point, she just wanted to be with her friends and have a good time experiencing what we have to offer in a high school program,” Elsner said. “I think it’s very valuable, and it’s different from what the club offers.”

Wong, who couldn’t be reached for this story, returned to the Storm with a strong list of goals.

While duplicating her win in the 100 free was among those, Elsner said, it wasn’t the title she most wanted.

“I think if you ask her, she’ll tell you her favorite event is the 200 free,” Elsner said. “I saw a little frustration in her when she watched a girl win it that she knew was someone she could beat. Rather than getting down, she channeled it all into the 100 and said, ‘I’m taking this one.’ She simply wanted it more.”

Wong ended up turning in a time of 52.28 seconds in the 100, putting an exclamation point on her high school career.

“With Sydney, she knows what she wants and she goes after it,” Elsner said. “That’s a very important character trait. She’ll put up with a lot to reach her goals. She’s going to go very far because of that.”

All-Whatcom County Girls’ Swimmers of the Year

2005: Kelly Runestrand, Squalicum

2006: Kelly Runestrand, Squalicum

2007: Jessica Vlasic, Squlicum

2008: Jessica Vlasic, Squalicum

2009: Ali Fisher, Sehome

2010: Carlee Bock Squalicum

2011: Carlee Bock, Squalicum

2012: Tori Franzen, Squalicum

2013: Gwen Roley, Sehome

2014: Gwen Roley, Sehome

2015: Yanran Le, Squalicum

2016: Sydney Wong, Squalicum

2016 All-Whatcom County Girls’ Swimming first-team

Swimmer

School

Yr.

Event

Sophia Booth

Squalicum

Sr.

400 freestyle relay

First-team All-NWC in the 400 freestyle relay ... Helped Squalicum post a time of 3:37.98 in the finals of the Class 3A Northwest District Championships.

Ellary Boyd

Ferndale

Fr.

50 freestyle

Third-team All-NWC in 50 freestyle. ... Finished 15th in the 50 freestyle at the Class 3A State Championships with a time of 25.30 seconds.

Kristina DeKoster

Squalicum

Sr.

Relays

First-team All-NWC in the 200 freestyle relay and third-team in the 200 medley relay. ... Helped Squalicum place sixth in the 200 freestyle relay at the Class 3A State Championships and finish 24th in the preliminaries in the 200 medley relay.

Kyrie Fairbairn

Ferndale

So.

200 freestyle

Second-team All-NWC in 200 and 100 freestyles. ... Finished 21st in Class 3A state preliminaries of 200 freestyle in 2:01.67. ... Finished 22nd in state preliminaries of 100 freestyle in 56.85 seconds.

Grace Kim

Sehome

So.

200 individual medley

Second-team All-NWC in 200 IM, and 100 breaststroke, first-team in 200 medley relay and third-team in 400 freestyle relay. ... Finished 11th at Class 2A State Championships in the 200 IM in 2:22.20. ... Placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke at state in 1:08.93 and helped Sehome place sixth in the 200 medley relay and finish 14th in the 400 freestyle relay.

Joyce Kim

Sehome

Fr.

100 butterfly

Finished 24th in the Class 2A state preliminaries in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:10.10. ... Finished 14th at state in the 100 backstroke in 1:05.18 and helped Sehome place sixth in the 200 medley relay and finish 14th in the 400 freestyle relay.

Wanling Kratzman

Sehome

So.

100 freestyle

Finished 20th in the Class 2A state preliminaries with a time of 1:00.21. ... Helped Sehome place sixth in the 200 medley relay and finish 14th in the 400 freestyle relay and 16th in the 200 freestyle relay at state.

Yanran Le

Squalicum

Jr.

100 breaststroke

First-team All-NWC in 200 IM, 200 freestyle relay, 100 breaststroke and 400 freestyle relay. ... Finished second at the Class 3A State Championships in the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.87. ... Also placed fifth in the 200 IM at the 3A state meet in 2:08.17 and helped Squalicum place sixth in the 200 free relay and finish ninth in the 400 free relay.

Sarah Leung

Sehome

Fr.

500 freestyle

Third-team All-NWC in 500 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay and first-team in 200 medley relay. ... Finished 12th at the Class 2A State Championships in the 500 freestyle in 5:39.07. ... Finished 16th in the 100 breaststroke at state in 1:15.39 and helped Sehome place sixth in the 200 medley relay and finish 14th in the 400 freestyle relay.

Helene Synnott

Squalicum

So.

Diving

First-team All-NWC in diving. ... Placed seventh at the Class 3A State Championships with 240.95 points.

Tiana Varang

Squalicum

So.

100 backstroke

First-team All-NWC in 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay and second-team in 50 freestyle. ... Finished 11th in the 100 backstroke at the Class 3A State Championships in 1:01.03. ... Also finished 13th at state in the 50 freestyle in 25.27 seconds and helped Squalicum place sixth in the 200 free relay and ninth in the 400 free relay.

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