Wa-Hi swimmers sink Davis, Ike

Wa-Hi's girls swim team notches the two Big Nine victories behind a strong team showing Thursday at Harvey Pool.

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Wa-Hi swimmer Tori Jones (left) butterfly strokes in sync with an Eisenhower swimmer during the 200-meter individual medley event Thursday night. Jones won the event in 2:29.79, and also won the breaststroke against Davis in 1:22.54, while that time was good for second against Eisenhower.

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Wa-Hi swimmer Jessica Hutton (center) takes a breath of air on her dive from the starting blocks during the first heat of the 50-meter freestyle event Thursday night at Whitman's Harvey Pool.

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Wa-Hi swimmer Maya Rapp comes up for air on the breast stroke during the 200m individual medley event Thursday evening.

WALLA WALLA - Wa-Hi's girls swim team opened its regular Big Nine dual meet season with a pair of Homecoming wins Thursday at Whitman's Baker Ferguson Fitness Center/Harvey Pool, defeating Eisenhower and Davis.

In the three-team event, the Blue Devils (2-0) topped Davis, 139-19, and Eisenhower, 124-43, behind a number of outstanding performances.

"You know, the thing about tonight was that I couldn't really even pick out any standout players because everyone on our team contributed, and there were so many girls setting lower times than they have before," said Wa-Hi head coach Brad Daly. "I think the real stars tonight are our up-and-coming swimmers."

Versus Davis, Wa-Hi benefited from several clear-cut victories, earning wins from Max Timm-Ballard in the 200-meter freestyle (2:10.51) and 500-meter freestyle events 5:34.20.

Tori Jones also scored a pair of wins over Davis, taking the 200 individual medley (2:29.79) and the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:22.54.

"We ran pretty well in pretty much every event," Daly said. "I mean, it's still early in the season so there are things we need to work on like our turns, and we need to do some speed work, but we have to be pretty happy with where we are right now considering what time of the year it is."

Ballard-Timm also scored a second-place finish against Eisenhower in the 200-meter freestyle, and first in the 500-meter freestyle, while Jones' times were good for first in the 200-meter individual medley and second in the 100-meter breaststroke versus Eisenhower.

The Blue Devils also got impressive work from their relay teams. The group of Jones, Cheyenne Schoen, Timm-Ballard and Jessica Hutton won both the 200-meter medley relay (2:05.32) and the 200-meter relay (1:50.57) to score eight points in each event.

"This was a total group effort, which is exactly what you want to see as a coach," Daly said. "We had girls either win or come close in every event, which is a really good sign of where we are right now and where we can go moving forward."

Wa-Hi won, or had a swimmer place second, in all 11 events. Hutton won the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 26.70 to edge her teammate Abby Crowley by less than a tenth of a second to score 10 points combined for the Blue Devils, and Crowley zipped to a win in the 100-meter freestyle, posting a 58.86 second swim.

"When you have a team like this that is so dedicated and hard working it really makes you proud," Daly said. "Their effort was inspired, which is inspiring to us as a coaching staff."

Elli Rassbach posted a time of 1:08.59 to dominate the 100-meter backstroke, scoring another win for Wa-Hi, and the team of Crowley, Miranda Huff, Rassbach and Timm-Ballard took the 400-meter relay (4:06.31).

"To get something positive from everyone is really the best you can hope for," Daly said. "A group effort is what every team shoots for, and that is exactly what we got tonight. Every girl can go home and be proud of how she swam."

Up next for Wa-Hi is a trip to Richland for a meet on Tuesday.

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