Dominating Districts 2018


The lady Tides Swim and Dive repeat as district champions. Photo credit: Coach Kelly.

The Tides 2018 Swim and Dive team knew their competition would be hunting them down as they looked to defend their District Champion title of 2017 at Mt. Tahoma High School on November 2nd and 3rd. The Tides came out strong starting Thursday evening during the diving portion of districts; they had athletes performing well across the board. Coming in sixth place was Keira Hannan. Although she wildcarded into districts that didn’t stop her from beating out the other athletes. Next up was Kirsten Vorpal, taking third place and securing herself a spot at state. Also earning a state spot was Shaye DiMatteo, who placed second.

Friday began the preliminary swimming portion of districts. During prelims, athletes placing seventh through twelfth move onto the B finals on Saturday evening while those placing sixth through the first move onto the A final, where they race to place top five to move onto the state meet. Gig Harbor was off to a rough start when their 200 medley relay got disqualified in the first event. The girls knew they would have to make up for the lost points as they all stepped up to the challenge. The Tides moved twenty-seven athletes to finals.

On Saturday, the team woke up early for a warm up at Gig Harbor to help get ready for the evening ahead. There was excitement in the air when Coach Mike Kelly announced that they were projected to win the meet. He also reminded them that they would have to step up and have good races to actually make it happen.

The ladies were ready for the task at hand. Getting the evening of finals started off was Megan Hanson (1:58.06 state qualifying time) and Madeline Erickson (1:59.63) who took first and second respectively in the 200 freestyle, edging out the oncoming Central Kitsap swimmer; their biggest competitor for points. Gillian Miller (2:06.18) had the swim of a lifetime, winning the B final heat.

The Tides continued the winning performances when Tatum Benson (2:15.65)  took first in the 200 individual medley winning by almost two seconds; Grace Meacham (2:23.68) took seventh winning the B final, and Jenna Coray (2:27.48) took tenth both securing points for the Tides. Even more great performances from the Tides were to come when Teghan Miller and Sarah Grady (25.72) took to the blocks in the 50 freestyle. Miller came out in 4th place and with a state qualifying time of 25.18. Also swimming the 50 freestyle was Jenna Anderson (25.78) and Taylor Bland (26.85) who scored points for the team.

Next up was the 100 butterfly, where the Tides had one swimmer in the A final and one in the B final, in the B final Payton Danosky had a lifetime best swim with a time of 1:08.34, followed by a great swim by Meacham (1:04.12) where she took fifth and slipped into her state qualifying spot. The Tides had two swimmers in each heat of the 100 freestyle Miller (54.63) took 2nd, Anderson grasped onto 4th with a tied time of 55.27, Sarah Grady (58.22) took eighth place, and Paige Everling (58.47) took tenth.

Moving through the evening the tides were looking at a big event the 500 Freestyle where they had 3 representatives in the A final and one in the B. The Tides went third (Erickson 5:22.77), fourth (Hanson 5:26.88), sixth (Benson 5:31.39), and tenth (Aristia McLaughlin 5:53.08). The Lady Tides really stepped up in the 200 freestyle relay and took first place (1:42.58) with a team made up of Miller, Anderson, Hanson, and Erickson. This great race was followed by a state qualification in the 100 backstroke by Everling (1:01.95). McLaughlin took ninth (1:05.13), and Nina Neira (1:05.84) took tenth. Going into the second to last event was Katie Ward (1:14.59), Audrey Wilson (1:15.13), Bland (1:17.35), and Elona Bowyer (1:19.16). They took fifth, seventh, ninth, and eleventh, consecutively. Ward had the race of her life moving up from 6th to 5th to qualify for state. Then it was time for the final face the 400 Freestyle relay swam by Miller, Anderson, Hanson, and Erickson the ladies came out with second place with a best season and state qualifying time of 3:41.64.

Finally, it was time for the team score announcements. The announcer went through the list of schools and scores. Then they announced second place as Central Kitsap meaning the Lady Tides had successfully defended their district Champion title. They took the win by 82.5 points. The Ladies stood atop the podium and sang the Gig Harbor fight song and were handed the 2018 plaque. The Ladies will be sending at least one swimmer in every event to state, except the 200 Medley Relay due to the disqualification. It was an impressive feat by the Lady Tides Swim and Dive team their coaches, parents, and friends are very proud of their accomplishments.