FEDERAL WAY — Alexa Nooney was all smiles as she stood on the podium at the Class 3A state swimming and diving meet Saturday morning.
The junior had an “amazing” race at the King County Aquatics Center, finishing sixth in a strong field that included teammate Camden Martin.
Nooney finished in sixth place in 59.9 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke, breaking the one-minute barrier, and leaving her believing she’s going in the right direction.
Although a bit tired and sore from Friday’s prelims, and Saturday’s finals “a bit crazy,” Nooney said she tries to swim each session as a race of its own.
“I had a lot left in the tank today,” she said. “Overall yeah, I dropped some time in the 100 breaststroke … so that was good.
“I’ve been working really hard and everyone’s swimming good this season.”
Martin, a sophomore, touched the wall in seventh place with a time of 1:00.43.
Capital’s 200 medley relay team of Nooney, Martin, Olivia Young and Cynthia Czikall finished eighth (1:53.3).
The Cougars’ 400 relay team of Czikall, Young, Nooney and Martin took 11th in the consolation swim (3:47.65).
And Capital’s 200 free relay team of Czikall, Young, Maya Inglis and Clare Wirzbicki finished 15th in the consolation final (1:45.7).
North Thurston’s Avery Campbell took 14th in the 100 back consolation race at 1:01.54.
And the Rams’ 400 relay team of Campbell, Brooke Kuebler, Nicole Anderson and Samantha Leo finished 15th (3:49.17).
Longtime Rams coach Jak Ayres was awarded the state coach of the year award in 3A at the meet by the Washington State Swim Coaches Association.
No Olympia swimmers reached the podium, but several swam in consolation finals.
Lacey Wright took 12th in the 500 free (5:17.71) and 16th in the 200 free (2:00.82).
The Bears’ 200 medley relay team of Jenny Jang, Emma Song, Lauren Wilson and Ashley Yen took 13th (1:54.42).
Wilson took 16th in the 100 butterfly (59.34).
Black Hills finished eighth in the 2A meet — the best finish in program history — aided by several competitors who reached the podium.
Black Hills diver CeCe Pennella matched her third-place finish from her junior season, and finished her high school career with a second third-place finish in the 2A meet.
Pennella tallied a score of 303.05 points, just short of runner-up Haley Welch of Fife (306.15). Archbishop Murphy’s Kelsey Bassett (339.25) won the event.
Rylee Denney took third in the 100 fly finals, posting a time of 59.79. She was one of three swimmers to break one minute, and broke a program record. Denney also took sixth in the 200 individual medley (2:17.98).
Emma Prybylski took seventh in the 500 free (5:25.24), and eighth in the 200 free (2:02.43).
The 200 free relay team of Denney, Prybylski, Brielle Bryan and Leah Rietema finished fourth (1:43.64), while the 400 free relay relay team of Denney, Prybylski, Rietema and Kalli Bishop took eighth (3:54.27).
Both relay teams broke program records.
Staff writer Lauren Smith contributed to this report.