Wa-Hi swimmers qualify for district

A contingent of almost 20 Blue Devils have now qualified for the district meet following their swim against Richland Saturday.

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WALLA WALLA - Wa-Hi girls senior swimmers Anna Reid and Andrea Hamada celebrated their final home swims as the Blue Devils faced off with Richland at Harvey Pool on the Whitman College campus Saturday afternoon.

Reid finished sixth in the 100-yard freestyle and seventh in the 50 freestyle, and Hamada seventh in the 100 backstroke and ninth in the 100 freestyle.

"To top off the celebrations, both of them had great swims," Wa-Hi coach Katharine Curles said. "They have been two great captains and leaders for our team this year both during the preseason and now. I really could not have asked for better young women to help me and our team as I was abroad and our program doubled in size. They have been indispensable.

"Today's meet was great," she said. "It was definitely one of my favorites this season. We came into the meet knowing that Richland was tough and experienced, and so we, as a team, made the decision to pick the battles we could in each of our events.

"And choose their races they did," she said. "We had some phenomenal swims both from our varsity and junior varsity girls."

Natalie Fink placed second in the 50 freestyle and ninth in the 100 butterfly.

"She also had a great meet getting best times and achieving her goals," Curles said.

"Emma Timm-Ballard (second in the 100 butterfly, third in 100 breaststroke), Abby Crowley (sixth in 200 free, sixth in 100 butterfly), and Cheyenne Schoen (fourth in 100 free, fourth in 200 Individual Medley) had some great finishes and scored points for us in all their events," Curles said. "Most of which were events that aren't within their normal repertoire."

Wa-Hi now has almost 20 swimmers qualified for the district meet in Ellensburg Oct. 28-29.

"A final accomplishment of this meet was achieving even more initial district cuts," Curles said. "Shelby Gordon made districts in her 200 and 100 freestyles, and Miranda Ruff in the 100 free. We now have a squad of just shy of 20 going to districts; phenomenal!

"Overall, it was a great meet," she said. "Comparing us to our first home meet a month ago is like night and day. They have gotten stronger, more confident in the water, more spirited out of the water, and smarter about how they go about tackling this sport that we all have come to love."

The Blue Devils head to Yakima for their final regular-season meet against Eisenhower and Davis on Saturday.

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