FEDERAL WAY — Brianna Hoffman was quite nervous heading into her preliminary race in the 200-yard freestyle at the 2A state meet this past weekend.
That’s an unusual feeling for a defending champ, but Hoffman has been through an unusual year.
The North Kitsap junior has been battling a herniated disc in her back since January; she soldiered through it, dutifully manning the outfield for the school’s 2A state softball team. But she subsequently spent nearly the entire summer away from the pool, a period of time in which she was also involved in a minor rear-end car accident.
Hoffman’s times this season have been a reflection of that extensive recovery. Her district time in the 200 free was 2 minutes, 1 second, which is several seconds off her state championship time from a year ago. But in the prelims on Friday, she inched up to 2:00.25, which was good enough for a fourth place finish and a cushy lane assignment in Saturday’s final.
She kept pace well with Mya Reed of Pullman early in the race. Hoffman was about one full second behind Reed after the first 50 yards, but chipped away at the lead little by little. She pulled nearly even after 150 yards and then turned on the jets in the final 50 to win the race with a time of 1:57.78, beating Reed by half of a second.
“It’s crazy, I still can’t believe it,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman hit the podium three times in all on Saturday. She finished seventh in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:28.12; although that was five spots lower than her second place finish last year, it was understandable given her lack of endurance. Hoffman did, however, be her preliminary time by six seconds and had fairly consistent splits after a hard first 50 yards.
“She’s really been working to get her pace down so she can be consistent,” said North Kitsap head coach Greg Braun.
Right after that grueling distance race, Hoffman was called upon to anchor the next event, the 200-yard freestyle relay. She teamed up with Ava Harris, Zoe Cera and Layna Hart to take second place behind Pullman with a 1:43.95 mark.
Despite losing a huge portion of last year’s state championship team, the Vikings still ended up finishing fourth with 159 points — just seven behind third-place Anacortes — and getting a top-four finish for the fourth-consecutive year.
“I don’t think we did, it’s crazy,” Hoffman said. “I think all of went in thinking, ‘Well, we don’t really know what’s going to happen, we’re just going to swim.’”
Harris, Cera, Hoffman and Hart also combined to finish fifth in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The foursome of Kristina DuPont, Kyla Schroeder, Genevieve Nolet and Zoe Cera finished eighth in the 200-yard medley relay, and Harris added a fourth place finish in the 100-yard butterfly, putting up a 1:00.88.
Bremerton’s Bodlorick caps her career with a fifth-place medal
Dani Bodlorickhad a little adversity of her own to overcome in order to finish her high school swimming career with her first podium appearance.
The state meet wasn’t even on her mind for most of the season as she couldn’t crack the 1:13 mark needed to qualify. But late in the season she put up her seed time of 1:12.14 and then took three seconds off in the prelims, heading into the finals with the fourth-best time (1:09.88). She did so despite dealing with a sore throat and acid reflux.
“I’m sitting here eating airborne and downing DayQuil until I feel better,” Bodlorick said.
Bodlorick was able to fight through her illness one more time on Saturday, putting up a 1:10.51 which was good enough for fifth place and a final moment in the spotlight to end her senior season.
“It felt great to be on the podium for the first time,” Bodlorick said.
Olympic freshman Sascha Winterowd qualified for the finals in two events — the 200 and 500 freestyle. She finished 13th and 15th respectively in those events.
Central Kitsap sophomore Amanda Ashmore finished 13th in the 100-yard backstroke at the 3A state meet with a time of 59.84.
2A State Meet local results
200-yard medley relay — North Kitsap (DuPont, Schroeder, Nolet, Cera), eighth, 1:57.08; Bremerton (Bitah, Bodlorick, Tang, McKenzie), 13th, 2:36.44.
200-yard freestyle — Brianna Hoffman, North Kitsap, first, 1:57.78; Sascha Winterowd, Olympic, 13th, 2:04.77.
200-yard IM — Dani Bodlorick, Bremerton, 11th, 2:08.14; Genevieve Nolet, North Kitsap, 15th, 2:23.60.
50-yard freestyle — Layna Hart, North Kitsap, 11th, 25.75.
100-yard butterfly — Ava Harris, North Kitsap, fourth, 1:00.88; Elizabeth Helmer, Klahowya, eighth, 1:05.81; Genevieve Nolet, North Kitsap, 10th, 1:04.12; Valencia Tang, Bremerton, 13th, 1:06.18.
100-yard freestyle — Layna Hart, North Kitsap, 11th, 56.47.
500-yard freestyle — Brianna Hoffman, seventh, 5:28.12 North Kitsap; Sascha Winterowd, Olympic, 15th, 5:45.79.
200-yard freestyle relay — North Kitsap (Harris, Cera, Hart, Hoffman), second, 1:42.08; Bremerton (Bitah, McKenzie, Tang, Bodlorick), 16th, 1:51.12.
100-yard breaststroke — Dani Bodlorick, Bremerton, fifth, 1:10.51; Kyla Schroeder, North Kitsap, 13th, 1:13.25.
400-yard freestyle relay — North Kitsap (Harris, Cera, Hoffman, Hart), fifth, 3:47.39; Klahowya (Haydu, Swaney, Mitchell, Helmer), 15th, 4:05.94.