South Kitsap swim team expects to be heard from at state in ’08

Rachel Wester won the 100-yard freestyle in 59.85 seconds in the season opener Sept. 11 against Foss.   - Jesse Beals/Staff Photo
Rachel Wester won the 100-yard freestyle in 59.85 seconds in the season opener Sept. 11 against Foss.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/Staff Photo

Stroke, stroke, breathe. Stroke, stroke, state.

That’s the goal at the South Kitsap pool, where coach Dennis Anderson is looking to lead the Wolves back to the King County Aquatic Center later this fall.

“I have most of my state-experienced type swimmers coming back,” said Anderson, who has coached the girls team since 1986. “Most of them were ninth graders (last season) and I added a ninth-grader, Nicole Hinely, who’s probably the fastest on the team. “It’s like the good times are coming back.“

Hinely already has a state-qualifying time in the 100 butterfly and is close in the 50 fly, and has drawn some early comparisons to Madison Rousell, who won the state 4A championship for South in the 100 free in 2004 and 2006 and the 50 free in 2005 and 2006, and now swims at UNLV.

“She may have the same capability that Madison had,” Anderson said. “She’s got some talent, she’s got some strength, and she has a great work ethic. She does a lot of things right to be good in the water.”

But Hinely’s not the only one. Listen to Anderson run down a list of sophomore girls on the 60-person roster, and he’s not kidding when he cites “a lot of depth” within the group.

Ashlee Becker?

“She’s looking really good in the 200 IM (individual medley), and really close to making a state-qualifying time in the 100 butterfly.“

Mariah Allred? “She’s looking good in the fly, IM and breast.“

Cierra Sharp?

“She’s already surpassing her best times from last year in the 100 fly.“

And Angela Pearson?

“She went to state last year in the 500 and already is looking good this year.“

“The freshmen that are sophomores now all seem better than last year,” he said, adding that with a young team, he thinks they will do well in a dual-meet lineup, but will have to work hard to do well at state.

“For the next three years, we’ll always have depth, but then we’ll start creeping up and become that team that will do some damage at the state level.”

Becker doesn’t see that being a problem, having swam with several of her teammates for years.

“We’ve all been swimming for seven or eight years,” she said. “We’re just pushing the other ones to go farther. We’re all like a family.

And with several first-timers on the team this year, the family is growing.

“We’ve got some new kids who are just beginning,” Anderson said, “but they already are dropping five or 10 seconds in their 50 and 100 frees. It’s pretty cool.”

Anderson said the team has 12 divers, led by seniors Amanda Bryan and Annie Lundberg, and expects to see them develop over the year.

And the team is looking forward to showing him what they’ve got.

“I’m hoping to impress him,” said Hinely, who is aiming for a state berth in the 100 butterfly and 200 free. “I’ll do what I can. I would like to get more state cuts than two, even though that’s all we can do.”

Sharp, who swims the 200 IM in addition to the 100 butterfly, isn’t just looking to impress the coach, though — she has her eye on the competition.

“We better get them,” she said of Gig Harbor, whom the Wolves swim host Oct. 9. “Gig Harbor and Stadium are our two biggest competitors.”

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