Skyline 200 medley relay team wins state swim title

November 14, 2012

By Lillian O'Rorke

When Skyline’s Maria Volodkevich marched out to the poolside for the state championships Nov. 10 the words ‘just race’ were scrawled across her palm.

It was the first event of the 2012 4A Girls State Swim and Dive Championships and, after finishing two-tenths of a second ahead of Issaquah in the preliminary race, the Skyline Spartans 200 yard medley relay team was ready to battle it out for the state title.

Lily Newton’s blazes through the water on her way to a12th place finish. Photo by Greg Farrar

“Winning the 200 medley was my goal for the entire season, so I always write on my hand ‘just race’ before a race,” said the senior who anchored the team. “So that is what I thought about diving in — is just race.”

First off the block in lane four was Spartan Kristaley Umezawa; next to her in lane five was Stacy Maier, swimming backstroke for the Issaquah Eagles. The two emerged for their first breath at the same time, throwing their arms back in synchronized windmills. Maier edged ahead and Issaquah’s Kayla Flaten maintained the slight lead over Andi Scarcello in the second leg.

Then Stephanie Munoz of Skyline dove in for the third leg and passed Eagle Kellie-Marie Langan.

“I didn’t know until the second 25 and I was like ‘OK I really need to bring it up for my team,’ it was really exciting,” said Munoz after the race. “I didn’t know what else to do but smile.”

Keeping the momentum going, Volodkevich dove in the pool for the final leg and pulled ahead of everyone to take the title for the Spartans. Skyline’s final time of one minute, 49.12 seconds was more than a second-and-a-half faster than their preliminary finish.

“Steph and I always have this thing where she brings it in, and I take it home every time. Before a race she is like, I’ll bring it in, you take it home,” said Volodkevich. “It felt like all the hard work I’ve put into this team and everyone’s hard work paid off.”

The championships were far from over for the Spartans, as their swimmers competed in seven other events. Munoz went on to swim the 100 butterfly in 59.30 to take eighth place. She also finished 13th in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:12.38.

Volodkevich took fourth in the 100 freestyle with 53.13. After coming in a little more than a second behind the state champ in the 50 freestyle, Volodkevich finished fifth in the 50 freestyle in 24.13. In the diving finals, Alyssa Holt placed 16th overall with 284.95 total points. Sara Elderkin finished the 100 butterfly in 1:03.6 for 15th. Swimming the 100 backstroke in 1:00.74, Umezawa placed 14th. Scarcello took fifth in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:06.97. In the championship’s final event, the 400 freestyle relay team (Umezawa, Scarcello, Munoz, Volodkevich) finished fifth with 3:40.41.

In the end, the entire Skyline team combined for fifth place overall with 132 points.

“Of course, the last three years have been different, but we are so pleased with our girls,” said coach Susan Simpkins. Skyline won the state title in 2009, 2010 and 2011. “We are really happy with our outcome and how they swam. And a lot of them are seniors so it is a very emotional night.”

After qualifying for six events, and advancing in three for the final day of the state championships, the Eastlake girls swim team finished in 24th with a total of 28 points.

Junior swimmer for the Eastlake Wolves, Lily Newton took 12th place in the 200 freestyle with a final time of 2:00.06. Newton also anchored the 400 freestyle relay team, also made up of Alyssa Poggemann, Erin Alleva and Nikki Bennet. The girls finished their final race in 3:47.41 to take 13th place.

“It was a great meet. We were really pleased with the turnout, the girls swam well today. We’re excited just to make it to state,” said Eastlake coach Kate McCary. “Then that relay at the end there — just every time they swam they kept dropping time and that was best splits for all of them.”

Eastlake also qualified three divers, all of which are set to return to the team next year. Sophomore Kaela Call finished in 12th place with 301.3 points.

Her dives during the Nov. 10 finals included a one-and-a-half somersault, one twist with a 2.2 degree of difficulty. Fellow classmate Christina Torrente placed 13th with a score of 293.85.

Having trained originally as a gymnast, this was the first year that Torrente took her talents to the diving board.

After finishing 21st in the Nov. 9 preliminary state diving competition, Eastlake junior Tyler Thomas did not advance to the championship round. The Wolves also qualified for state in the 200 medley relay and 500 freestyle but did not advance to the final day in either event.

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