FEDERAL WAY – The Gig Harbor Tides finished third as a team Saturday during the Class 4A state swimming and diving championships, and senior Carolyn McCann stole the show.
McCann broke the state record in the 100-yard breaststroke and recorded the third-best time in state history in the 200 individual medley at the King County Aquatic Center. Her time of 1 minute, 1.33 seconds in the breaststroke was better than the previous state mark record of 1:02.00.
McCann, who plans to attend the University of Michigan next year, was hoping to swim the event in less than a minute, but she was thrilled about breaking the record.
“It feels amazing,” she said. “That was my ending goal, and to accomplish that was amazing. It’s more than I could ask for.”
In the day’s most exciting race, McCann went up against Richland phenom Lisa Bratton in the individual medley. Bratton’s backstroke gave her an early lead, but McCann closed the gap during the breaststroke portion of the race.
The two were neck-and-neck on the final stretch, and Bratton edged McCann by 0.12 seconds. Bratton won the race in 1:59.44. The two finished with the second- and third-fastest times in state history.
McCann said she has nothing but respect for Bratton.
“It’s definitely respect,” she said. “We both knew going into it that it was going to be a close race, so it was just a matter of who got their hand on the wall first, and she got it this time.”
Although she wanted the first-place finish, McCann was happy about breaking the two-minute mark, her goal going into the race.
“You can’t say enough nice words about the girl,” Gig Harbor head coach Mike Kelly said. “She’s really focused, works hard. Her hard work is a beacon for the other girls to try to emulate. The IM is always so fun to watch, because everyone has certain skill sets. For both those girls to produce the second and third ever fastest times in state history was pretty exciting to watch.”
The Tides won the state championship in the 200 medley relay in 1:47.52, an All-America Consideration time that also shattered a school record by two seconds.
While the Tides will miss McCann next year, three of the four members of the relay team were freshmen — Alana Ponce, Ursula Andren and Anna Furrer.
“It’s just a culmination of really excited swimmers doing really fast swims, and they just crushed it,” Kelly said. “It was great to see. It was like drinking four cups of coffee all at once. We get three of those girls back. Carolyn’s on her way to do bigger and better things at the college level. For me, personally, really exciting.”
Kelly said McCann’s leg of the race, the butterfly, was probably the fastest ever at the state meet at 24.3 seconds.
“That was so exciting,” McCann said. “It was such an amazing way to start the meet.”