Swim: Unselfish act highlights SK's appearance at state

Nicole Hinely walked along the pool deck dressed in a long-sleeved shirt, shorts and fuzzy clogs.

State was over — for her, at least.

The junior, who took ninth place in the 100-yard butterfly and 14th place in the 200 freestyle for the Wolves’ highest individual finish at the girls state swimming and diving championship at the King County Aquatic Center, had made the ultimate sacrifice for a teammate.

Hinely gave up her spot on the 400-freestyle relay so that team captain Hannah Straavaldson could experience swimming at state in her final season. She had been an alternate the last two years.

“It made me really happy,” Straavaldson said. “I’m not even sure of how to say it; it’s so flattering, and I’m honored.”

Hinely, arguably the team’s fastest swimmer, knew that swimming the relay gave the team a shot at placing higher than their No. 16 seed time, but felt that scoring was secondary to sportsmanship.

“At this point, we’re going in as 16th-place, anyway, so we can’t really do worse,” she said. “The experience is more important than the points.”

Coach Cliff Rousell said he wasn’t too surprised by Hinely’s choice for Straavaldson to join Kelsey Bagley-Hall, Paige Pearsall and Ashlee Becker in the consolation finals of the day’s final race.

“I said that we aren’t going for a title, high-point level, so what is left for these kids?” he said. “Nicole offered because she knew I wanted to put Hannah in. She has a real generosity and team kindness.”

Rousell said that the relay’s last-place finish, in 3:50.33, was far less important than the memories his swimmers created.

The Wolves placed 33rd in the team standings. Skyline successfully defended its title as 4A state champions.

“Ten years from now,” he said, “it isn’t going to matter what place we finished, but what they experienced.”

For Hinely, her experience seemed a bit like déjà vu.

She finished first in the consolation finals of the butterfly, in 58.86 seconds. If swimmers were allowed to move up, she would have been seventh overall — good enough for a trip to the podium.

It’s the same thing that happened last year.

“She gave everything she had,” Rousell said. “Being the top seed in the consolation finals is a losing proposition, but she took it out even faster.”

Hinely shrugged it off, saying, “I plan to be in the top eight next year. I missed it by one spot, and next year, I’ll be stronger and faster.”

Hinely also placed 14th in the 200 freestyle with a time of 200.35, her fastest of the season.

South Kitsap’s other individual entrant, senior Angela Pearson, made her first appearance in the finals of the 500 freestyle after three years of not making it past the preliminaries. She credited that to letting nerves get the best of her before taking the blocks.

“I tried to not let it get to me, and used my past experience to know what not to do,” she said. “I didn’t let it get into my head.”

Pearson finished 15th, but said she was “satisfied overall” with her time of 5:28.45.

“It was a solid race,” she said. “I probably could have put more into it — you always want to – but it was a good end to the season.”

Rousell agreed, adding that he was thrilled that Pearson finally got her big shot.

“She has swam well enough to make this journey year in and year out, for the last four years,” he said. “To swim enough to score a second-day swim is very rewarding for her and her family.”

WIAA State Swim and Dive Championships at Federal Way's King County Aquatic Center

Class 4A results

Team standings: 1, Skyline 220; 2, Newport 157.50; 3, Thomas Jefferson 140; 4, Ballard 114; 5, Mt. Rainier 110.50; 6, Issaquah 109; 7, Kentlake 94; 8, Snohomish 89; 9, Kentridge 84; 10, Garfield 82; 11, Marysville Pilchuck 81; 12, Inglemoor 75; 13, Union 65; 14, Redmond 61; 15, Cascade 60; 16, Stadium 57; 17, Wenatchee 55; 18, Federal Way 51.50; 19, Gig Harbor 51; 20, Todd Beamer 50; 21, Olympia 48.50; 22, Jackson 48; 23, Richland 44; 24, Lake Stevens 36; 25, Eastlake 35; 26, Kent Meridian 34; 27, Edmonds Woodway 33; 28, Eisenhower 32; 29, Tahoma 28; 29, Roosevelt 28; 31, Kamiak 25; 32, Emerald Ridge 18; 33, South Kitsap 16; 34, Walla Walla 15; 34, Moses Lake 15; 36, Bothell 14; 37, Shelton 12; 38, Rogers 9; 39, Stanwood 8; 40, Central Kitsap 5; 41, Kentwood 2; 42, Woodinville 1; 42, Puyallup 1.

200 medley relay: 1, Skyline (Katie Kinnear, Jessie Dart, Nina Zook, Maria Volodkevich) 1:48.87; 2, Ballard (Annemarie Thayer, Gailyn Portelance, Galen Bond, Luisa Chan) 1:50.48; 3, Newport (Talisa Wibmer, Caroline Van Maren, Monique Saysana, Jordan Lee) 151.08.

200 freestyle: 1, Fiona Majeau (GAR) 1:49.98; 2, Joanna Wu (KM) 1:51.21; 3, Ashley Jay (EDM) 1:52.98.

200 individual medley: 1, Annemarie Thayer (BAL) 2:02.18; 2, Rachel Kim (TB) 2:04.31; 3, Hannah Taylor (MP) 2:06.02.

50 freestyle: 1, Katie Kinnear (SKY) 23.50; 2, Amber Cratsenberg (TJ) 23.57; 3, Hannah Bruggman (WEN) 24.05.

100 butterfly: 1, Kinnear 53.95; 2, Kaitlin Taylor (JACK) 56.45; 3, Emily Tanasse (KL) 56.69.

100 freestyle: 1, Cratsenberg 50.96; 2, Joanna Wu (KM) 51.86; 3, Felicity Cann (STAD) 52.00.

500 freestyle: 1, Majeau 4:54.77; 2, Jay 5:00.36; 3, Clara Heffernan (OLY) 5:03.88.

200 freestyle relay: 1, Newport (Lee, Sara Simpson, Maggie Pana, Lorea Gwo) 1:39.73; 2, Snohomish (Alexa Weyer, Ella Brooks, Shelby Garrison, Maddie Baker) 1:40.50; 3, Kentridge (Emily Shonka, Giuliana Chilczuk, Flannery Allen, Emily Mohr) 1:41.18.

100 backstroke: 1, Thayer 53.82; 2, Kim 56.62; 3, Kristin Ainsworth (TAH) 58.37.

100 breaststroke: 1, Heather Harper (RED) 1:03.92; 2, Emilie Pleger (EIS) 1:04.01; 3, Sage Speak (ING) 1:05.53.

400 freestyle relay: 1, Skyline (Volodkevich, Meghan O’Keefe, Stephanie Munoz, Kinnear) 3:14.14; 2, Newport (Lee, Saysana, Maggie Pana, Lorea Gwo) 3:37.98; 3, Mt. Rainier (Megan Kawaguchi, Erica Young, Courtney Larson, Mackenzie Marrs) 3:38.31.

1-meter diving: 1, Fiona Weeks (KAM) 383.05; 2, Mackenzie Rands (EAST) 382.15; 3, Elizabeth Wiley (TB) 367.50.

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