Blue Devil swimmers finish third

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ELLENSBURG — Walla Walla High School finished third here Saturday at the District 5/6 girls swimming meet.

Wenatchee took home the team title with 585 points, Richland was next with 473 and the Blue Devils finished with 247 points to edge Eastmont by five points for third.

“We had a fabulous district championship,” Wa-Hi coach Katharine Curles said. “Finishing third is a strong demonstration of the whole team effort displayed and depth that we have shown all season long. ”

Freshman Mackenzie Hale led the Blue Devils with a first-place finish in the 500 freestyle in 5:21.27 — besting her lifetime best by six seconds. Her win earns Hale a spot at the state meet in two weeks.

Hale also claimed fourth-place in the 200 free with a swim of 2:03.76.

“I was so proud of Mackenzie’s swimming today,” Curles said. “She did great at cooling her nerves and rising to the occasion. She had a textbook swim in the 500 free and swam a very wise race. I was impressed by her maturity.”

Senior Elli Rassbach finished fourth in the 100 backstroke with a lifetime best of 1:05.99. Rassbach also swam to sixth in the 200 individual medley in 2:30.

“It (100 back) was such a great race with which to culminate four years of great swimming,” Curles said of Rassbach. “She looked strong and had a wonderful stroke.

“Rassbach was (also) very strong in her IM, particularly the fly and back,” Curles added. “She’s been working really hard to beef up the front half of that event.”

Also in the 100 back, Shelby Gordon finished 12th, Elise Brown 14th, and Taylor Cook 16th.

The Blue Devil 200 free relay of Kaelie Coleman, Heather Ball, Hale, and Lacey Klem came home in 1:56.06 to take fourth.

Senior Natalie Fink placed sixth in the 100 backstroke in 1:16.70 and seventh in the 100 free in 59.88.

Whitney Lux placed seventh in 6:11.37 in the 500 free.

Heather Ball finished 10th in the 50 free in 28.39.

The 400 free relay of Hale, Klem, Rassbach, and Fink capped the Blue Devil showing with a swim of 4:03.84 to grab third.

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