Team unity brings girls swim to third consecutive State championship


Kenadi Browne, Editor-in-Chief

On November 12, the Liberty girls swim team won the 2A State championship for the third year in a row, and as if that wasn’t enough, the team also surpassed expectations with a relay team win as well as two individual wins.
Senior Belle Wong brought home a championship medal and set a new 2A state record point total in diving with a score of 338.80, and junior Abby Russell clinched a win in the 200 individual medley event with a time of 2:05.90.
“To be able to close out senior year with a personal championship and a team championship was really, really exciting,” Wong said. “It’s not very often that happens.”
Wong scored three 8.0s in her final dive, scores which are typically only given in the Olympics.
She cites the team’s closeness and supportive atmosphere as the reasons for their success.
“We got to travel as a whole team up to Anacortes, so there was some great team bonding. There was the feeling that everyone had each other’s back. No one was there to take someone else’s title or anything like that.”
Russell, who finished ahead of the three-time defending state champion from Pullman, says that swim coach Kris Daughters placed a higher emphasis on coming together as a group than winning.
“I don’t even think our coach told us if we were seeded to win or not. I think she just wanted us to go out and race and have fun,” Russell said. “We wanted to rally the team and have as much spirit as possible going into the meet.”
Daughters, who has been coaching swim for twenty years, agrees.
“I think that these kids do a great job of swimming for a team effort—in this case winning the state championship again,” Daughters said. “They can do even more amazing things than when they’re doing it just for themselves.”