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GIRLS SWIM | South Kitsap’s DeSmet earns state berth
By JENNIFER CHANCELLOR
South Kitsap will be represented by a lone Wolf at the Class 4A state swim and dive championships – but it’s one on the prowl. For a spot on the podium, that is.
Junior Zoe DeSmet was the only South Kitsap swimmer to qualify for next weekend’s meet at the King County Aquatic Center. She will swim the 200-yard freestyle.
DeSmet’s time of 2 minutes, 5.35 seconds at the West Central District meet at Curtis Aquatic Center qualified her for the sixth and final allocation to state.
“I was seeded fifth and I didn’t think I was going to pull through, but then I got a spot in sixth,” DeSmet said. “I’m just glad my season isn’t over.”
DeSmet narrowly missed out on a state cut in 2012, and said that gave her extra motivation to swim hard in front of her entire family.
“I remember that disappointment after I didn’t make it,” she said, “and I didn’t want to feel that again.”
South Kitsap coach Cliff Rousell said that he was pleased that his team “came out ready to swim” despite its struggles in the finals.
“I think they had such a great day at prelims that they were a little tired and sore,” he said. “But the swims were great efforts, and a couple of them were improvements.”
Rousell said that slow starts in the 100 freestyle put DeSmet and sophomore Aspen Monkhouse at a disadvantage, as they finished eighth (58.50) and 13th (58.70), respectively. In the 50 freestyle, Monkhouse got caught up in the blocks, which cost her half a second, and she finished in 12th place (26.13).
“That probably made all the difference,” he said, “because in the 50, a half-second does make all the difference.”
Senior Jamie Weaver finished 16th in the 100 backstroke (1:11.35). South Kitsap also entered three relay teams, but none advanced.
Rousell said that Monkhouse has an outside shot at being a wild-card entry, but that they won’t know until all of the state entries are submitted.
“We have our fingers crossed that we’ll get lucky,” he said.
Regardless, Monkhouse said she was happy with her first appearance at districts. Last year, she was a sub on one of the relays.
“It was so exciting,” she said. “It was so different.”
She added that seeing DeSmet gives her optimism about next season.
“Zoe is going to state, and that’s huge,” she said. “I know I can do that next year.”
DeSmet said she is a little nervous about being the only South Kitsap swimmer at state.
“It would be nice to have some other girls to swim with to keep me motivated,” she said. “But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, and work with what you’ve got.”