The Patriot Press

Will it be a four-peat for Girls Swim and Dive?

Brian Kim, Staff Writer

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This year Liberty Girls Swim and Dive is taking on State with renewed vigor. The reason? This could be their chance to take home four state wins in a row.

The team began its run of state championships when Liberty moved to the 2A WIAA classification in 2014. That first year, the team won by over 100 points, but in the succeeding years, the point spread between first and second place has diminished, and this year looks to be the most competitive.  Liberty’s two rivals–North Kitsap and Port Angeles–have added talent and depth since last year.

Coach Kris Daughters is optimistic but believes the team would need to be on their peak performance to be successful.

“I think we have a chance,” Daughters said. “But I don’t think it’s a for sure thing”.

“A couple of phenomenal swims would have to happen,” captain Abby Russell added. “Our relays would need to get carry more [weight] and get faster. That’s the only way that we could win.”

The team will also have to rely less on diving star Belle Wong, who was last year’s state champion.

Despite the graduation of Wong, the team has quickly developed new talent in diving.

“We have Ting Pan, Kasey Ton, Grace Miner, and Eleanor Brecht, and they’re all super good,” captain Valerie Adams said.

Pan, Miner, and Brecht all qualified for State at last weekend’s district championships.

“This is one of our secrets to success over the past few years: having a number of talented divers when our competition either has fewer or none at all,” Daughters said.

Some other secrets to the team’s success include the three powerhouse swimmers on this year’s team: Russell, who was last year’s state champion in the 200 IM and is ranked first again; and juniors Reegan Weber and Alexa Hoeper, who are both seeded top four in their events.

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Will it be a four-peat for Girls Swim and Dive?