Wa-Hi girls' swim team secures 146-136 victory over Pullman Saturday

A Late 400-yard freestyle relay win powers the Devils to the win over the Greyhounds in the non-league match Saturday.

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Wa-Hi's Cheyenne Schoen takes a deep breath during the butterfly portion of the girl's 400-yard medley relay Saturday morning.

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Wa-Hi swimmer Emma Timm-Ballard comes up for air during the breast stroke portion of the girls 400-yard medley relay Saturday morning during their meet at Whitman's Harvey Pool.

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Water falls from the face of Wa-Hi swimmer Choici Stroe as she comes up for air during the breast stroke leg of the girl's 200-yard individual medley Saturday morning.

WALLA WALLA - Wa-Hi's 400-yard freestyle relay team came in first in the last event of the day Saturday in a non-league girls' dual swimming meet against Pullman.

The Blue Devil quartet of Cheyenne Schoen, Anna Reid, Abby Crowley, and Emma Timm-Ballard touched home first in 3-minutes-54.43 to edge out Pullman. The Greyhounds finished in 4:04.93.

The win clinched the meet for the Blue Devils as Wa-Hi pulled out a 146-136 win.

"The outcome of the meet came down to the last relay," Blue Devil coach Katharine Curles said. "Our team of Cheyenne, Anna, Abby, and Emma won all three relays. It was a great meet."

The foursome won the opening event (200 medley relay) in 2:04.11. Touched first in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:48.27 and capped the meet with the win in the 400 freestyle relay.

"We are playing with the (swimming) order for these girls and fine tuning what they can do," Curles said of the relay team. "I'm excited to see how they continue to be competitive at the district, and optimistically the state level."

Schoen added a win in the 200 freestyle with a 2:06.16 swim.

Elli Rassabach took home first-place points for the Blue Devils in the 200 IM. Rassabach finished in 2:37.15.

"We had a lot of girls get great individual times," Curles said. "Elli swam the 200 IM for her first time this season. I needed an IMer, and she volunteered and did an incredible job."

Crowley won the 50 free in 25.98. Timm-Ballard earned the other Wa-Hi individual win with a 1:01.51 swim in the 100 butterfly.

Rassabach swam a 6:15.16 in the 500 freestyle to finish second behind Pullman's Alicia Hughes who won the event in 5:52.78.

However, the Blue Devils took home fifth (Jordan Barnett 6:50.53), sixth (Choici Stroe 7:07.35), seventh (Lauren Wardwell 7:51.99) and eighth (Mattie Smyth 9:32.01) to outpoint the Greyhounds 16-13 in the event.

"Lauren and Mattie had significant time drops," Curles said of her 500 free team. "Choici, Jordan, and Elli, maintained their times, which is great for this point in the season."

Taylor Richardson drew praise for her efforts in the 200 IM (fifth in 3:03.81) and in the 100 backstroke (fourth in 1:17.68).

"Taylor stepped up to swim the 200 IM and had a great time, just barely missing a district cut," Curles said. "She came back in the 100 Backstroke and had a lifetime best time as well as placing first among the Wa-Hi swimmers."

Wa-Hi didn't win the 100 breaststroke, Pullman's Abigail Hulbert was first in 1:13.9, but the Blue Devils took second, fourth, fifth, and seventh. Katelyn Elmenhurst finished second in 1:21.87, Miranda Ruff was fourth in 1:24.77, Natalie Fink was next to touch in 1:26.20, and Shelby Gordon came home seventh in 1:34.36.

"The breaststrokers have a great level and balance of competition and team support among one another," Curles added. "It's fun to watch them doing what they love. I have great hope for them when we taper them down for districts."

Crowley led a Wa-Hi first, fourth, fifth, and sixth finish in the 50 freestyle. Jennifer Cho was fourth in 30.45, Miranda Ruff was fifth in 30.49, and Alexis Groom came home sixth in 30.68.

"All of our girls in the 50 Freestyle had lifetime best times," Curles said. "It was awesome. In a race so short that one breath can throw off everything, their swims were phenomenal. They are getting so close to their goals."

Wa-Hi hosts its senior recognition meet against Richland, Prosser, and Kennewick Saturday at 10 a.m. in Whitman's Harvey Pool.

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