FEDERAL WAY — For the second year in a row, North Kitsap sophomore Eleanor Beers was named Washington Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association Swimmer of the Meet at the 2A state championship on Nov. 10-11.
Beers took home four state titles at the meet — individual victories in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events, and two as part of a relay team in the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relays.
She also rebounded from the disappointment of being disqualified from the 100-yard freestyle event at the West Central District meet after she was ruled to have moved after assuming the starting position.
“For some athletes that might have shaken their confidence a bit, but she is extremly mentally tough,” said head coach Greg Braun. “That just made her more determined to be successful at state.”
Instead, she won the finals of those respective races with times of 23.65 and 50.99, earning All-American consideration with her time in the 100-yard event, and finishing just one one-hundredth of a second slower than the meet record she set last year (50.98).
The 200 freestyle relay team of Anna Schrader, Layna Hart, Brianna Hoffman and Beers took home the top spot with a time of 1:40.35. Isabel Hendryx, Izy Iral and Claire Stone joined Beers on the podium with a time of 1:50.06 in the 200 medley relay, a new school record. Hendryx, Hart, Iral and Hoffman also joined forces to take third place in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Hendryx nearly won a first place title of her own, finishing second in the 100-yard backstroke event. She did, however, set a new school record in the process with a time of 57.73.
Hoffman also turned in fine performances in the 200 freestyle finals (5th, 1:58.68) and the 500 freestyle finals (4th, 5:19.23). Iral also took home sixth in the 100-yard butterfly event (1:01.28).
With swimmers scoring in every event, the Vikings pushed three-time defending 2A champion Liberty High School all weekend. Liberty scored its fourth consecutive state crown, but North Kitsap finished in second and Braun was voted Coach of the Year by the coaches in attendance.
“We had kids in every event in the top 16, and we’ve not done that before,” said Braun. “To be able to put a kid in every event was amazing and to have multiple kids that made it to finals for us, this season has been one new thing after another.”
Klahowya’s Kira Crane earned two state titles, winning the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.95, then following up that performance with a win in the 100-yard backstroke. Her time was 57.66. The Wyoming-bound senior set personal best times in both events.
Crane’s win the 100 butterfly comes just one year after she was bested by Alexis Smith of Cheney, missing out on a state championship by .03.
“It was important to her that this season, especially districts and states, that she had those drops in times that she wanted,” said Klahowya head coach Diana Petersen. “It helps her show coaches at Wyoming that she has even more potential than they thought when she signed.”
Olympic’s Chloe Partsch finished just behind Crane in the 100 butterfly with a time of 58.59. Partsch also finished fourth in the 200 individual medley event (2:15.03). She also finished in sixth place as part of the 200-yard medley relay team with Hannah Zimmer, Arly Lagat and Vanessa McLain with a time of 1:58.28.
Kingston’s Claudia Velie took home a medal in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:10.38, finishing just two seconds behind Liberty’s Abby Russell. Vele also finished sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke event with a time of 1:08.95.
At the 3A meet, Central Kitsap placed ninth overall and had a few swimmers compete in the top eight in their events.
Haley Morkort finished in fifth place in the 50-yard freestyle race with a time of 24.65. Taylor Sims took home eighth in the 200-yard individual medley, finishing in 2:11.82. The 200 freestyle relay team of Sims, Olivia Gibson, Chelsea Miller and Morkort came in fifth in 1:39.51. The 400 freestyle team of Sims, Gibson, Tatiana Tubberville and Morkort finished eighth with a time of 3:38.98.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.