Hannah Barker sometimes gets sick of water.
There were times this summer when Barker’s mother, Dena, would ask her daughter to go swimming.
“I’m like, ‘I just got back from a chlorinated pool, you expect me to go jump in a lake?’ ” Barker said. “I don’t want to do that. I want to sleep, I want to eat, I want to watch movies.”
During the high school season, Barker, a sophomore at Timberline High School, spends about four hours per day, three days a week in a pool. She swims for 90 minutes in the morning with the Evergreen Swim Club, and 2 1/2 hours in the afternoon with the Blazers.
Tough, Barker said, but worth it.
“It’s my workout of the day, it’s how I get fit,” she said. “It’s like my second home.”
And it treats her pretty well.
Barker placed sixth at the Class 4A state meet in the 200-yard freestyle and seventh in the 500-yard freestyle last season.
She broke four individual school records at Timberline as a freshman in the 100 freestyle, 200 free, 500 free and 100 backstroke. Against Stadium on Thursday, Barker broke her own record in the backstroke by 0.28 seconds, swimming a personal-best time of 1 minute, 2.32 seconds.
“The thing with Hannah is she can do so much more,” Timberline coach Marie Ratcliff said. “She’s going to be a beast when we can get her really rocking.”
How does Timberline do that? By putting beepers in Barker’s head, Ratcliff said.
“We do a lot of tempo with her,” Ratcliff said. “Getting her stroke right, because she can’t swim a 50 free with the same tempo as a 500 free.”
Barker’s tempo and pace extends to other teammates who are postseason swimmers. Senior Payten Goodwin and junior Elaine Rocamora train alongside Barker, and both swam with her on record-breaking relay teams last season.
The foursome of Goodwin, Rocamora, Barker and Rebecca Thomas — who has since graduated —broke school records in the 200 free relay (1:46.82) and 400 free relay (3:56.37). Both relays qualified for the state meet.
“The relays are the biggest team thing, because obviously there are four people, and you have to keep encouraging people to be as fast as they can,” Barker said.
Which is something Timberline makes a conscious effort at — loud encouragement.
“You can actually hear them yelling at you in the water,” said Rocamora, who was a district finalist in the 200 free and 500 free last season.
Goodwin, who has qualified for state in the 100 butterfly the past two years, said the program’s move last season to Class 4A helped with the team atmosphere at state.
“When we were in 3A, I was the only one on the team to ever go to state, it was just me by myself,” she said. “What 4A has really done, (Barker and Rocamora) go to state, five other girls go to state.
“If anything, I would say it’s harder, but I’m glad that it’s harder because it presents a challenge and people really go after it.”
The push from addother 4A state-caliber swimmers — from programs such as 4A Narrows rivals Stadium and Gig Harbor — in neighboring lanes has helped Timberline improve, Ratcliff said.
Teammates yelling encouragement from the edges of the pool could be the biggest motivator, Ratcliff said.
“It’s not about one,” she said.
Lauren Smith: 360-754-5473
Prep girls swimming primer
Team to watch
North Thurston hasn’t lost a dual in 55 meets. Its undefeated streak started when coach Jak Ayres — who founded the program in 1969 — rejoined the Rams in 2009. North Thurston held off 3A Narrows contender Wilson, 96-84, in its season opener and looks to continue its streak with veteran talent at the top, and enough depth to gather up third, fourth and fifth-place finishes. The Rams placed 20th as a team at the state meet in 2014.
Five swimmers to watch
Hannah Barker, Timberline, so.
Holder of four individual school records, Barker already broke one of her own in the 100-yard backstroke against Stadium last week. She placed sixth at state in the 200 freestyle as a freshman, and seventh in the 500 free.
Arielle Howell, North Thurston, sr.
The Rams’ top sprinter, Howell placed eighth in the 100 freestyle at state last year in 56.21 seconds. She also took 16th in the 50 free.
Ally Norman, Olympia, jr.
Norman is carrying on the family tradition — her sister Sarah, a state swimmer, graduated in June — and Ally has been a presence at state the past two years. Coach Mel Smith said she’s competitive in any stroke. She took sixth at state in the 100 butterfly in 2014.
Jada Pearson, Capital, sr.
Illness has kept the state veteran out of the pool so far this season, but coach Burke Anderson is confident Pearson will have a strong finish. Last season, she took 10th in the 50 free and finished 13th in the 100 free at state.
CeCe Pennella, Black Hills, so.
In an area where divers are scarce, Pennella was the top-placing freshman diver at the 2A meet last year. She took 10th with a score of 260.75.
Mark the date
Sept. 24: North Thurston at Capital and Gig Harbor at Olympia, 3:30 p.m., Evergreen State College
Best of the rest
Lauren Anderson, North Thurston, sr.; Karli Brown, Tumwater; Cynthia Czikall, Capital, so.; Anya Dickinson-Cove, Olympia, sr.; Hanna Grantham, North Thurston, so.; Maya Hansen-Tilkens, Olympia, jr.; Nicole Howard, Tumwater, jr.; Josie Krysinski, Black Hills, jr.; Maya Lawson-Rivera, North Thurston, jr.; Hannah McCleod, Tumwater; Honour Middleton, Olympia, sr.; Ale Nooney, Capital, fr.; Kylie Otton, Tumwater, sr.; Hope Roethke, Tumwater, so.; Shelvey Swett, Capital, jr.; Kali Teal, Tumwater, so; Melissa Ward, Olympia, sr.; Lacey Wright, Olympia, so.; Michelle Yan, Olympia, sr.; Olivia Young, Capital, so.