WALLA WALLA - Wa-Hi handed Kamiakin a Big Nine girls swimming defeat at Whitman College's Harvey Pool Saturday, 173-111.
"We had a fabulous meet today," Blue Devils coach Katharine Curles said. "Our girls swam great. We were missing many of them due to illnesses or family trips, so we pushed some girls, having many of them swim events they don't usually swim or, for some, have never swam. Mixing up the events is always a bit challenging - both psychologically and physically - but they did a really good job jumping over those hurdles and giving it all they had. There were tons of lifetime and season best times and the girls left the pool with a lot to be proud of."
Wa-Hi's 200 Medley relay team of Abby Crowley, Katelyn Elmenhurst, Cheyenne Schoen and Anna Reid beat Kamiakin's A relay by nearly nine seconds to begin the meet, and Blue Devil team of Emma Timm-Ballard, Courtney Griggs, Hannah Burns and Madyson Gabriel just missed the second-place birth by less than three seconds.
In the 200 Free, Wa-Hi's Schoen, Elli Rassbach and Megan Evans placed 1-2-3, and Jordan Barnett came in fifth, less than two seconds off the fourth-place time.
"The girls each swam their own race in this, pushing themselves, and doing a great job," Curles said.
In the 200 Individual Medley, Crowley placed first in 2:24.88 and Natalie Fink placed third.
"I think that this event is going to be a strong one for both of their seasons," Curles said. "We have a lot of things to work on, but we know what they are and both Natalie and Abby are going to begin surprising themselves and us all with some great IM swims."
Timm-Ballard and Anna Reid swam decisive first- and second-place swims in their 50 Free, Curles said, and Katelyn Elmenhurst ended up in fourth place.
Schoen won the 100 Fly with a swim of 1:07.
"Hannah Burns and Heather Ball also tackled this event, for their first times, and placed fourth and fifth, respectively," Curles said. "I'm so proud of them for getting up there and doing their best - fly is an intimidating stroke, but they definitely rose to the occasion.
"Our 100 Free was a fun race to watch," she said. "Anna Reid swam a great race and placed second. Jennifer Cho and Madyson Gabriel placed fourth and seventh, both racing the girls around them very well.
The 500 Free, Wa-Hi juniors Megan Evans, Courtney Griggs and Jordan Barnett placed 1-2-3.
"I just love relays, and the 200 Free Relay was no different," Curles said. "It was so much fun watching the girls! Katelyn Elmenhurst, Natalie Fink, Elli Rassbach and Megan Evans followed their great personal swims with some excellent relay splits and placed second.
Timm-Ballard, Crowley and Rassbach placed 1-2-3 in the 100 Backstroke, with Timm-Ballard swimming to a state-qualifying time.
Katelyn Elmenhurst swam a lifetime best 100 Breast to place first, and Natalie Fink placed second.
And Wa-Hi teams in the 400 Free Relay finished 1-2-3.
"What a great race!" Curles said. "It is so fun to have such a young and large team. We can support a full roster, plus JV heats, and fill up the pool with relays.
"Also, as a coach, when there are this many girls, there is so much to be excited about," she said. "We have some work to do as we gear up for our next few meets, but I have no doubt that the girls can surpass all of our expectations."
Wa-Hi next hosts Wenatchee at Harvey Pool at 11 a.m. Saturday.