High School Sports

Lawson-Rivera swims to two third-place finishes at 3A state swim championships

North Thurston's Maya Lawson Rivera displays a powerfull butterfly stroke in the girls 200 meter Individual Medley Saturday 11/14/15 during the girls 3A State swimming championships at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way. Rivera took third in the competition with a time of 2:09.06.
North Thurston's Maya Lawson Rivera displays a powerfull butterfly stroke in the girls 200 meter Individual Medley Saturday 11/14/15 during the girls 3A State swimming championships at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way. Rivera took third in the competition with a time of 2:09.06. dkoepfler@thenewstribune.com

Maya Lawson-Rivera saw double Saturday at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

The North Thurston High School junior picked up a pair of third-place finishes in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke at the Class 3A state swimming and diving championships.

“I had great swims from districts to now,” Lawson-Rivera said. “I was just pumped, I was ready to go.”

She swam a personal-best time of 2 minutes, 9.06 seconds in the 200 IM after slipping to sixth place during the backstroke.

“Backstroke is my weak link in the IM,” Lawson-Rivera said. “It always has been and it most likely always will be, but I definitely make up for it in my fly and breast.”

Her 33.7-second split in the breaststroke in the third leg propelled her to second place, though Wilson’s Madeleine Dodge out-touched her at the wall.

Lawson-Rivera posted a 1:05.7 in the 100 breaststroke for her second third-place finish.

She walked away with four podium finishes Saturday — the other two as a leg of North Thurston’s 200-yard medley (eighth place) and 200-yard freestyle (sixth) relays — as the Rams racked up 86 points.

The seventh-place team finish is the highest the program has placed in the 3A meet.

“That’s surprising actually,” North Thurston senior Arielle Howell said. “I thought we’d be way lower. In past years, we were always around 20th, so we weren’t expecting top 10.”

Howell anchored the 200 free relay, which tallied the Rams’ highest single-event total of the meet at 26.

Through three legs, the Rams trailed the rest of the field.

“I saw us kind of falling behind a little bit, and I knew I needed to pick it up,” Howell said. “That was my last race ever, I’m a senior, so I just tried to put it all into the pool.”

Howell passed Bellevue’s Kellen Gibson in the final leg to touch the wall in seventh place at 1:43.74. Seattle Prep was disqualified from the race, bumping the Rams to sixth.

Lakeside of Seattle posted a state- and meet-record 1:35.23 in the race to take first.

The Lions repeated as 3A champions with 297 points. Capital took 15th with 48.

Barker nabs two fourth-place finishes

Following her fourth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke, Timberline sophomore Hannah Barker scurried over to her teammates and let out a scream.

“That’s all I wanted to do,” she said. “It lets out my nervous energy, like, ‘Oh, my God, I got fourth, yeah!’ 

Coming in as the eighth seed after Friday’s preliminary, Barker swam a 58.4.

“That fourth just gave me a boost of confidence,” she said. “Like, you know what? Look what I can do on the outside lane. I don’t need to be on the inside to do my best. That proved to me I’m able to do something I never thought I could.”

Twenty minutes earlier, Barker also took fourth in the 500-yard freestyle with a season-best, school-record 5:08.31.

After clocking in at 27.04 in third place on the second turn, she was squarely in fourth for the final nine laps for a career-best finish at the state meet.

Olympia’s Alexandria Norman took eighth in the 100-yard butterfly at 1:00.61.

Liberty repeats for 2A title

Liberty (Renton) nabbed the 2A team crown for the second consecutive year with 310 points, besting second-place Squalicum (283). Tumwater was the highest-placing local finisher at 16th with 34 points.

Lauren Smith: 360-754-5473, @smithlm12

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