In her final chance to qualify for the class 2A state meet, Sequim's Rachel Hardy made a big splash at the West Central District meet in Silverdale on Nov. 7, earning state berths in both 50 and 100 freestyle events.
Hardy's double capped a strong showing from the rather modest-sized Wolves swim squad, one that finished with just seven bodies by season's end.
Sequim's relay teams - the 200 medley and 200 freestyle - each finished in the top five, missing state by just a few seconds.
Hardy, a junior, dropped fractions of a second off her 50 freestyle time to 26.21 to place third, missing second place by 0.01 seconds. Despite missing a state berth by finishing in the top two in the event, her finish was an automatic state qualifier.
She also dropped 2.5 seconds off her 100 freestyle time to finish in second place with a 58.42 mark, another automatic state qualifying finish.
"She was very happy with her performance today as was everyone else for her," Sequim coach Linda Moats said. "We hope that next year she won't keep us all on pins and needles the entire season and will qualify a little earlier in the season."
Sequim junior Rachel Hughes also had a strong showing, taking seventh in the 1200 backstroke and eighth in the 100 butterfly.
"I think she was disappointed in her times but happy that she was able to compete at districts," Moats said. "She has time. With off-season training on her own, next year should be spectacular."
Sequim freshman Anna Mittmann finished 15th in the 200 free in the preliminaries, a feat Moats said is all the more impressive considering the young athlete learned how to swim competitively at the beginning of the fall.
Fellow freshman Ellie Hubbard took 23rd in the district 50 freestyle and 22nd in the 100 freestyle, improving her personal bests by about one second in each.
Autumn Kessinger, a sophomore, placed 21st in the 100 freestyle and 28th in the 50 freestyle at districts.
The class 2A state meet is set for Nov. 12-14 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.