Woodinville senior Megan Shaull in action
at Mary Wayte Pool. Derek Johnson photo
MERCER ISLAND— When high school girls board a bus they’re usually chatting and laughing all the way to their destination. But as Woodinville and North Creek shared a bus ride last Friday to Mercer Island, the atmosphere was subdued.
“The interesting thing was when we got on the bus just before 8 a.m., everyone was closing their eyes,” Woodinville coach George Sayah said. “It was a really quiet bus ride. Everyone was trying to get some rest. I would have expected a louder ride, but at this time of the year everyone is a little worn down and focusing on their races.”
The Falcons arrived at Mary Wayte Pool feeling focused and ready. Given the morning start time, their preparation had to be altered.
“We’re used to racing in the afternoons, but now we’re racing in the mornings,” Sayah said. “So we had to talk about hydration and when do you want your first meal to be? We talk about those things that aren’t so much about the swim itself, but the preparation of it. I ask them to pay attention to that kind of stuff because it can really impact a race.”
As the competition got underway, the Lady Falcons acquitted themselves well. The 200 Medley relay team got into the final heat finishing in sixth place. Chloe Johnson achieved a best time in the 100 freestyle with a 1:00.52. Megan Shaull achieved best times in both the 50 free (:27.37) and 100 breaststroke (1:21.68). Her 50 freestyle earned her and 19th place overall finish.
Meanwhile, Sarah Epley achieved her best time in the 100 freestyle at 1:01.74. Abbie Mosset scored her best time in the 100 freestyle at 59.69 as well as in the backstroke at 1:07.38. Taylor Fitch achieved a 16th overall finish in the 50 Freestyle with a time of 27:09. Of note, Fitch was also selected to the All-KingCo honorable mention team.
“I was really proud of our team today,” Sayah said. “It was mostly best times, which was fun to watch. That’s how we designed the season to work. I’m really proud of how hard they fought. They’re really caring about each other and are really engaged.”
One swimmer, in particular, Sayah said made giant strides during the season.
“Chloe Johnson, who is a senior with us,” he said. “Her brother is in our program. He told me last year that his sister swims a little bit and she might come out for swim next year. I’m a [substitute teacher] in the district, and I was filling in for Wayne Maxwell’s sports med class. She happened to be in that class. I had a quick discussion with her, saying she should come out and join us.
“She had played three years of volleyball and decided to join us for her senior year. She was so disciplined in her workouts. Everything we threw at her she responded to really well. She came in today in her 100 freestyle, she dropped about four seconds [off her previous best time]. That’s hard to do... I was tremendously proud of her.”
An update on the Woodinville dive team will be in next week’s issue of the Woodinville Weekly.