The South Sound Relays girls swim meet means nothing to any school’s position in the standings, but the meet means something to the schools that swim in it.
The midseason relay meet underwent its seventh annual incarnation Saturday at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, where it’s all relays, all the time, which accords it a unique status in the South Sound swimming world.
“This is a good meet just for all the girls who swim, regardless of skill level,” said Henry Valz, coach of meet co-host Black Hills. “And it’s a relay (meet), so everybody gets to be part of a team.”
The other co-host, Olympia, won the team championship for the fifth time in the meet’s history, returning the title to the Bears after Rogers won the meet last year.
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Olympia amassed 954 points in team scoring, which awards 47 points for first place. Puyallup was second with 885, followed by Steilacoom with 728, Rogers 703, Black Hills 401, Lakes 369, Shelton 301 and South Kitsap 207.
Olympia set the tone in the meet’s first event, the 400-yard medley relay. Senior Ally Norman overtook Puyallup’s Chelsea Kegans in the third (butterfly) leg, and junior freestyler Lacey Wright brought it home for the Bears quartet, which also included senior backstroker Amelia Moore and sophomore breaststroker Emma Song, in a time of 4:23.49.
Olympia also won the 800 free relay (Norman, Maddie Wright, Clare Lang and Lacey Wright) in 9:10.65; and the 2x100 breaststroke relay (Maddie Wright and Song).
Valz said his Wolves’ third-place 200 free relay team (Emma Prybylski, CeCe Pennella, Leah Rietema, Brielle Bryan) recorded the best time in the event (1:53.451) in more than a decade at Black Hills.
The meet was close enough at the top that Olympia coach Mel Smith said “don’t false start” to his team in the 400 freestyle relay, the last event of the day.
The Bears didn’t false start, thus avoiding a potential loss of 47 points, but their third-place points behind Puyallup and Steilacoom were more than enough.
“We brought back the title,” Norman said. “It’s all good.”