WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla High School posted a 93-75 win over Pullman here at Whitman’s Harvey Pool in non-conference girls swimming action Saturday.
“I love swimming against Pullman because we always have great races,” Blue Devil coach Katharine Curles said. “Our teams are very similar. Today, we won because of our depth which is the best way to win. It means that every member of our team played a part.”
The Blue Devils only put 18 of their 35 swimmers in the water as many swimmers attended Wa-Hi’s Big Blue Weekend, a school retreat to Antelope, Ore.
“That meant that we had a lot of girls who normally swim (junior varsity) swimming varsity,” Curles added. “They responded to the challenge.
“We knew going in that we weren’t going to get first in many events, and that second, third, fourth, and fifth place points are what would make the difference,” Curles continued. “The girls rose to the challenge. It was super fun.”
Wa-Hi’s A and B 200-yard medley relay kicked off the meet by finishing second and third. The A relay of Mackenzie Hale, Whitney Lux, Lacey Klem, and Heather Ball finished second in 2:11.07. The B relay of Taylor Cook, Sabrina Keenan, Shelby Gordon, and Alexis Groom touched next in 2:21.39.
Kaelie Coleman led a Blue Devil two-three-four finish in the 200 freestyle. Coleman touched second with Lux and Groom touching third and fourth.
The Blue Devils claimed three blue ribbons on the day. Hale swam to a lifetime best 2:21.06 in the 200 individual medley for the win. Elli Rassbach had the “swim of her life,” Curles said, as she won the 100 freestyle in 59.25. The 200 free A relay of Coleman, Gordon, Rassbach, and Ball earned the other Blue Devil first place.
Ball, with a 27.91 50 freestyle, paced the Blue Devils to another two-three-four finish. Madyson Gabriel touched third and Groom took fourth.
Wa-Hi took another two-three-four finish in the 100 fly. Klem led the way in 1:12.64. Gordon was next in 1:35.33 and Collins had a strong finish to hold onto fourth.
Hale swam to second in the 500 free with a swim of 5:27.05, a shade over six seconds off the state cut time.
Rassbach, in 1:08.11, and Cook, in 1:27.78, went two-three in the 100 backstroke. Klem added a second in the breaststroke in 1:23.63.
Wa-Hi finished the meet with yet another two-three-four finish in the 400 free relay. Rassbach, Coleman, Hale, and Klem claimed second with a 4:09.87 to lead the Blue Devils to the two, three, four sweep.
“I’m so proud of our girls and what they accomplished today,” Curles concluded. “The theme of today was to find a race and win it. That’s what our girls did.”
Wa-Hi hosts Kamiakin and Southridge at Whitman’s Harvey Pool Thursday at 7 p.m.