High School Sports

Bellingham Red Raiders girls’ swimming preview

Coach: Jeff Anderson

Last year: 6-2 overall, 5-2 NWC (third place). ... Only losses came to Squalicum and Sehome, which finished 1-2, respectively, in the conference. ... Finished ninth overall at state, winning an academic state title. ... Sent Madeline Gillman, Ellie Kindlund, Ariel McGavock, Anna McNabb, Yvonne DuBois and the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams to state. ... Gillman placed third in the 200 freestyle and fourth in the 500 freestyle.

Swimmers to watch: Anna McNabb (Sr.), Dani Cummins (Sr.), Grace Dahl (Sr.), Erin Wood (Sr.), Chloe Steinkamp (So.), Sydney Terrell (So.), Sunni Sternhagen (Jr.)

Outlook: If not for Sehome’s and Squalicum’s reign atop the NWC, Bellingham’s solid program wouldn’t be overshadowed. The Red Raiders, after sending several swimmers to state last year, again look to have a competitive program under Anderson, who’s excited for his group. “I have a solid team,” Anderson said in a phone interview. “We’re not super fast or super deep ... (but) I like us to battle for a pretty high position with the other teams involved in the district.” Among the several returners he has, McNabb, Cummins, Dahl and Wood provide leadership. McNabb is returning off a strong 2013, and her freshman sister, Emme McNabb, has brought a level of excitement, Anderson said, and is competing time-wise with many of the upperclassmen. Sternhagen also should be one of the top-end divers in the conference and compete for a spot at state.