FEDERAL WAY – The Peninsula High School girls swimming team won the South Puget Sound League championship, and its second-place district finish earned it a berth in the Class 3A state meet last weekend at the King County Aquatic Center.
Although their times in Friday’s preliminary heats weren’t fast enough to put them in any top-eight finals, they raced well in consolation events. The Seahawks’ 200-yard medley relay team won the B final and placed ninth overall Saturday in 1 minute, 55.50 seconds.
Senior captain Haley Williams swam the butterfly leg of the relay. Madison Ryan, Whitney Mundle, and Gabby Wiltse swam the other legs of the relay for the Seahawks.
“I think that we did really well,” Williams said. “Gabby brought us home strong in the freestyle. We wanted to break the school record. That didn’t happen, but we still did our best overall time for this entire year. I think all of us put forth our best performance.”
Peninsula head coach Craig Brown said they trained hard this year to achieve their goal.
“It’s hard to put four people together and have them hit on the same day,” Brown said. “Everybody is doing their best today, and that’s why we have a best time.”
Sophomore Whitney Mundle said the Seahawks weren’t going to quit just because they weren’t in the championship finals.
“Once we realized we weren’t going to be in the top eight, we set a goal to take first in that event,” Mundle said. “We all did really well. Most of us did personal bests, and it was our best time of the season, so we were all really proud of the effort by everyone.”
The Seahawks will lose two senior captains — Williams and Madison Ryan — who are held in high regard by the coaching staff and their teammates.
“This year, we’ve had probably the best leadership we’ve had since I’ve been coaching at Peninsula,” Brown said. “We have two great leaders, Haley and Madison. They’re really coachable, and there’s not a lot of drama that we’ve had in the past. It’s been really good for the team.”
While not swimming in any finals was disappointing, the swimmers were proud of going undefeated in dual meets to win the SPSL.
“It was great to take that league title back,” Mundle said. “I know last year we were a bit disappointed about it. Our team has been really strong this year.”
After her final high school individual race, Ryan took a second to reflect on the season.
“It’s been incredible,” she said. “It’s been the absolute best experience in my high school career, and my team is amazing. Everybody is so supportive. It’s been the best senior swimming year that I could’ve asked for.”Sports reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.