Olympia junior Sarah Norman powers through the water during swim practice at The Evergreen State College pool on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013.
TONY OVERMAN — Staff Photographer Buy Photo
Girls swimming preview story: Sarah Norman leads the way for Olympia
What to watch for
The North Thurston Rams have been the queens of girls swimming in South Sound for the past four years and are looking for their fifth consecutive undefeated season. The Rams are 36-0 in dual meets the past four seasons and return five swimmers who qualified for state. Sophomore Arielle Howell is the reigning 50 and 100 freestyle league champion. … Three-fourths of Capital’s 200 and 400 relay members (juniors Jenessa Schulte and Jessica Eidenmuller and sophomore Jada Pearson) are back after placing second (200 free) and third (400) at state. … It will be a rebuilding year for Tumwater, which finished second at the 2A state meet, after graduating 13 seniors from a team that won four state events: 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 100 backstroke (Abby Sullivan) and 100 free (Sullivan) . … Henry Valz, a former Olympia assistant, takes over as coach of the River Ridge and Black Hills programs. The teams will practice and travel together but will compete as separate teams. … Third-year Timberline coach Marie Ratcliff’s squad is young but full of depth. Four of the five swimmers who participated at the West Central District III meet return. … The annual South Sound Relays, hosted by Capital and Olympia, is Oct. 5 at The Evergreen State College. Teams competing are Olympia, Capital, River Ridge, North Thurston, Black Hills, Tumwater, Shelton, Lakes, Steilacoom, Central Kitsap and South Kitsap.
8 swimmers to watch
Sarah Norman, Olympia, jr.: 200 individual medley, 100 butterfly
Melissa Ward, Olympia, so.: 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle
Arielle Howell, North Thurston, so.: sprint freestyles
Sarah Topping, North Thurston, sr.: distance freestyles
Megan Eide, Capital, sr.: 100 backstroke
Jada Pearson, Capital, so.: 100 butterfly, sprint freestyles
Alex Putzier, Black Hills, sr.: 200 IM, 100 backstroke
Payten Goodwin, Timberline, so.: 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly