Wa-Hi freshman Mackenzie Hale is swimming the 500 Freestyle at the Washington state Class 4A meet this weekend.
WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla High School freshman Mackenzie Hale turned in her lifetime best performance in 500 Freestyle at the District girls Class 4A swim meet at Central Washington University on Nov. 2.
Her time of 5:21.27 cut six seconds off her previous best showing, winning the event and earning Hale a spot at the Washington state Class 4A meet at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way Friday and Saturday.
“She had a textbook swim, and was so wise in this race,” Wa-Hi swim coach Katharine Curles said following Hale’s victory. “I was really impressed with her maturity.”
This week, Curles again noted Hale’s growth as she prepares for state.
“Mackenzie is an incredibly mature and seasoned swimmer — particularly for a freshman,” she said. “She is looking so strong in the water right now, and is really confident going into the meet.”
Hale is the lone Blue Devil competing in the state meet this year.
“Going into the meet, she is 11th (in state), but only six seconds out of the top eight,” Curles said. “The top 16 after Friday (preliminaries) will swim at Saturday’s finals meet, and I think she will perform really well.
“She is looking so strong in the water right now, and is really confident going into the meet,” she said. “Last week, we dramatically increased her yardage and this week we are resting her and refining some technique things.”
The 4A state meet begins with prelims at 9:45 a.m. Friday, with the top 16 swimming the finals at 10 a.m. Saturday.
“She responded so well to districts, our last championship meet and last taper (rest) time that I am really confident in her abilities,” Curles said.
“State will be wonderful this year,” she said. “I’m really excited.”