Prep girls swim and dive: Athletes and teams to watch


The high school girls swim and dive season is heating up as teams hit the pool this week for their third week of action.

District meets take place during the first weekend of November and the state championships are set for Nov. 11-12 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

Here’s a plunge into some of the top individuals and teams in the area this season:

SWIMMERS AND MISCELLANEOUS TO WATCH

Cascade’s Saige Anderson starts her dive during the Class 3A girls state swim and dive state championships on Nov. 13, 2021, in Federal Way. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Saige Anderson, sr., Cascade

Anderson finished sixth at the Class 3A state championships last fall with an 11-dive score of 283.35. She’s the reigning 3A District 1 diving champion.

Mary Clarke, Jr., Snohomish

Clarke is the defending 3A state champion in the 50-yard freestyle and was the runner-up in the 100 freestyle at the state championships last fall. She won the 50 freestyle with a 23.51-second pace and finished the 100 freestyle in 51.19 seconds. Clarke is the reigning 3A district champion in both events and set the district record in the 50 freestyle last fall. She also holds Snohomish’s program records in both events.

Summer Dean, sr., Everett

Dean finished 11th in the 500-yard freestyle and 14th in the 200 freestyle at last season’s 3A state championships. She swam the 500 freestyle in 5 minutes, 11.14 seconds and the 200 freestyle in 1:58.15. She’s the reigning 3A District 1 champion in both events.

Addison Farman, soph., Glacier Peak

Farman took 14th place at the 4A state championships last fall with an 11-dive score of 244.95. She also took second at the 4A District 1 championships.

Aila Howson, soph., Shorewood

Howson finished 14th in the 100 breaststroke and qualified for the 200 individual medley at the 2021 3A state championships. She swam the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.22 and is the reigning 3A District 1 champion in the event.

Olivia Hoyla, soph., Jackson

Hoyla was the 4A state runner-up in the 200 individual medley and took 13th in the 100 breaststroke at the state championships in 2021. She finished the 200 IM in 2:08.91 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.63. She’s the reigning 4A district champion in the 200 IM.

Lily Lao, Jr., Glacier Peak

Lao placed 15th in the 100 freestyle and qualified for the 200 freestyle at the 4A state championships last fall. She swam the 100 freestyle in 56.96 seconds. Lao is the reigning 4A District 1 champion in the 200 freestyle.

Alena Lehmann, soph., Glacier Peak

Lehmann took 14th in the 500 freestyle at the 4A state championships last fall. She finished the race in 5:32.07 and is the reigning 4A District 1 champion in the event.

Emily Olson, sr., Archbishop Murphy

Olson finished 15th in the 100 backstroke at the 2A state championships in 2021. She swam the event in 1:07.91.

Claire Smith, jr., Kamiak

Smith is the defending 4A state champion in the 100 butterfly and took ninth in the 200 individual medley at the state championships last fall. She finished the 100 butterfly in 57.10 seconds and the 200 IM in 2:10.77.

Megan Wang, soph., Jackson

Wang took 13th in the 100 backstroke at the 4A state championships last fall with a time of 1:02.83.

Lauren Wierschke, sr., Jackson

Wierschke placed third in diving at the 4A state championships in 2021. She finished with an 11-dive score of 300.15.

TEAMS TO WATCH

Glacier Peak

Glacier Peak's Lily Lao, left, and Alexa Sullivan celebrate a one-two finish in the 200-yard freestyle during the Class 4A girls District 1 championships meet at Snohomish Aquatic Center on Nov.  6, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Glacier Peak’s Lily Lao, left, and Alexa Sullivan celebrate a one-two finish in the 200-yard freestyle during the Class 4A girls District 1 championships meet at Snohomish Aquatic Center on Nov. 6, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

The Grizzlies went unbeaten last season en route to the Wesco North and 4A District 1 championships, the latter of which came in a dominant performance by the squad as it finished 101 points ahead of second-place Jackson. GP got it done thanks to a blend of top-level swimmers and strong depth. At the district meet, the Grizzlies won five events, had two or more top-three finishers in four events and had 11 different athletes post a sixth-place finish or better. GP was represented in all but one event at the state meet last season, and brings back five of its seven individual state qualifiers, including district champions junior Lily Lao (200 freestyle) and sophomore Alena Lehmann (500 freestyle). The Grizzlies placed 16th at state last fall and are 4-0 this season.

Jackson

The perennial Wesco power Timberwolves are coming off another strong season that saw the program take second at the 4A district meet and send six individuals and one relay team to the state championships meet. Jackson returns four of those six individual qualifiers, including reigning district 200 individual medley champion sophomore Olivia Hoyla, who took second in the state meet in the event as a freshman. The Timberwolves, who placed 12th as a team at the state meet, sport one of the area’s strongest diving duos with senior Lauren Wierschke and sophomore Ana-Lyn Wilson, who placed third and 15th at state, respectively, last fall. Jackson is 3-0 this season.

Kamiak

Kamiak's Claire Smith swims in the 200-yard individual medley during the Class 4A girls state swim and dive championships on Nov.  13, 2021, in Federal Way.  (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Kamiak’s Claire Smith swims in the 200-yard individual medley during the Class 4A girls state swim and dive championships on Nov. 13, 2021, in Federal Way. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Another perennial power in Wesco, the Knights sent all three of their relay teams and four individuals to state last season. Three of those individual state qualifiers are back this fall, headlined by defending 4A state 100 butterfly champion Claire Smith, a junior. Kamiak also welcomes back the bulk of the members from its relay teams, which delivered a pair of top-eight finishes at state. The Knights are the reigning 4A District 1 champion in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, and they delivered the area’s top finish by placing eighth at the 4A state meet last fall. Kamiak is 4-0 this season.

Shorecrest

The Scots took third and finished just 13 points behind champion Snohomish at the 3A District 1 championship meet last fall with a team powered by mostly underclassmen. Shorecrest returns individual district champions sophomore Quinn Whorley (100 butterfly) and sophomore Aila Howson (100 breaststroke), as well as all four members of its district champion 200 freestyle relay squad. All six of the Scots’ six individual state qualifiers from last fall are back. Shorecrest also sent all three of its relay teams to state and returns all but one member of those teams. The Scots, who placed 26th at the 2021 state meet, are off to a 3-1 start this season, with the lone loss coming to Jackson.

Snohomish

Snohomish's Mary Clarke (right) reacts to breaking the Class 3A District 1 meet record in the 100-yard freestyle at the Snohomish Aquatic Center on Nov.  6, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Snohomish’s Mary Clarke (right) reacts to breaking the Class 3A District 1 meet record in the 100-yard freestyle at the Snohomish Aquatic Center on Nov. 6, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

The Panthers went 6-3 last fall and came through when it mattered most by claiming the 3A District 1 championship in a tight meet that came down to the final relay. Snohomish delivered first-place finishes in five of 12 events at districts, with standout Mary Clarke leading the way in a star performance. Clarke was a part of four of those wins, claiming individual titles in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle while also anchoring the Panthers’ victorious 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams. The junior is the defending 50 freestyle state champion and one of two returning individual state qualifiers for Snohomish, alongside junior Grace Andrews. Snohomish placed 12th at the state meet last fall and is 5-0 this season.

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