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SK's Hinely focused on her return to state meet
No one trains for second place.
And at South Kitsap, no swimmer trains to nearly qualify for state.
With one relay and one individual already headed to the big show next month, the Wolves are focusing on little things to increase their numbers going to Federal Way.
Nicole Hinley is already working on what to do in order to place well in her second appearance at state. She has qualified in the 100-yard butterfly and the 200 freestyle.
Hinely won the butterfly in 59.29 seconds during an Oct. 8 96-90 loss to Stadium, and also finished first in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:00.55.
“I feel really good,” she said. “My best races in the 100 fly last year were 1:01 or 1:00. I’m always under a minute this year.”
Coach Dennis Anderson says with performances like that, he can see the sophomore finishing high in the standings — possibly in the low 57s or high 56s.
“She’s something else,” he said. “I just keep trying to get her going out faster and faster. She doesn’t die.”
Hinley, who feels her work ethic and dedication are paying off, said she is doing more cardio work and leg exercises to prepare for state. She is expecting even more from herself when she starts to taper.
“I’m just trying to build up for my endurance, so I can improve my 200 time,” she said.
Hinley could make it four events if the 200-freestyle relay qualifies. The team, consisting of Rachel Wester, Ashlee Becker, Kelsey Bagley and Hinley, took first against Stadium with a time of 1:44.38.
“We’re less than a second off,” she said. “I think if all four of us girls work really hard on our relay exchanges and our 50 sprints, we’ll be able to make state by the end of the season.”
Anderson’s outlook is similar to his pupil’s.
“We almost got those relays,” he said last week. “We have one or two people off every time. Once we get all four of them one, getting it should be pretty easy.”
Getting it in the 400-freestyle relay came Saturday in the Falcon Relays at South. The team, swam by Wester, Bagley, Hinley and Paige Pearsall, locked in a first-place, state-qualifying time of 3:47.12.
“She was my surprise last year,” Anderson said of Bagley, a junior. “She had some shoulder issues, so I kind of changed the way she swims a little bit.”
That has resulted in a combination of more power with the arms and speed with the legs.
And the role of the season’s surprise has been passed to Wester.
“She’s working hard every day and is having lifetime best times,” Anderson said of the senior, who won the 50 freestyle against Stadium in 26.22.
Anderson said junior Angela Pearson, who advanced to state last year in the 500 freestyle and won it against Stadium in 5:42.55, has figured out “how to take her races a little faster,” and that junior Hannah Straavaldson “keeps improving” in the 500 freestyle and has shaved off another three seconds.
Top placers in each event
200 medley relay: 1, Gig Harbor (Kiera McMenimen, Morgan Cole, Lauren Biggs, Brianne Lind) 2:00.73. 200 freestyle: 1, Kelsey Bagley (SK) 2:05.63. 500 freestyle: 1, Colleen Sullivan (GH) 5:24.63. 100 individual medley: 1, Biggs (GH) 1:08.12. 200 individual medley: 1, Sullivan (GH) 2:20.73. 200 freestyle relay: 1, Gig Harbor (Amanda Smokoff, Elyanna McCullough, Hannah Anderson, Sullivan) 1:49.41. 200 freestyle relay: 1, South Kitsap (Rachel Wester, Ashlee Becker, Bagley, Nicole Hinely) 1:44.81. 50 butterfly: 1, Paige Pearsall (SK) 31.11. 100 butterfly: 1, Hinely (SK) 1:01.47. 50 freestyle: 1, Yasi Fardi (GH) 26.36. 100 freestyle: 1, Bagley (SK) 57.42. 50 backstroke: 1, McMenimen (GH) 30.75. 100 backstroke: 1, Lind (GH) 1:06.52. 50 breaststroke: 1, McCullough (GH) 35.96. 100 breaststroke: 1, Hannah Stipek (MT) 1:12.29. 400 freestyle relay: 1, South Kitsap (Wester, Becker, Bagley, Hinely) 3:47.12*.
* denotes state-qualifying time