WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee girls swim team wasn’t at full strength in Thursday’s dual meet against cross-river rival Eastmont, but sailed to a 126-60 victory thanks to strength in numbers.
The Panthers shifted several swimmers into unfamiliar events and still yielded strong results as they prepare for the final stretch of the regular season.
“We weren’t at full strength,” coach James Elwyn said. “We hope next week we can get some rest and be at full strength at least for Saturday against Richland and Hanford. … By next Saturday we want to start feeling really good. That’s kind of our focus right now. And today was more about trying some different events and kind of seeing how it goes.”
Jessica Wierzbicki posted won the 100 backstroke with a 1:04.08, a solid mark considering it was the first score she’s posted in that event all season.
Kayli Elwyn won the 500 freestyle with a lifetime-best time of 5:33.52, Tori Peterson finished second in that race with a season-best 5:38.94 and Sophia Nordt was third in that event with a 6:45.78. The Panthers took 9 of 12 events and had several competitors pick up points with second- and third-place finishes.
“We had people doing different things and that’s kind of fun to do now and then,” James Elwyn said. “It tells you about your team and what flexibility you might have, so I was really pleased with how the girls responded in doing some different things.”
While Eastmont was outscored in the pool, it had plenty of positives in the meet as well.
Ali Pierce took first place in diving with a score of 190.20, Kelly Hartman won the 100 freestyle with a :56.25 and the 50 free with a :25.51.
Wildcats coach Darcy Bruggman was pleased with the performances of all three of her divers.
Pierce picked up some points with her first-place finish, but also competed in two relay events. Divers Deborah Lawless and Kaila Sheppard also competed on relay teams.
“Our team is growing,” Bruggman said. “The cool thing about it is the divers are willing to come and swim for us and try those relays just to help because we need their strength. I’m really impressed by that.”
Eastmont posted several district-qualifying times in the pool and like Wenatchee, had several swimmers compete in foreign events.
“Our goal was to as a team swim strong and race hard and get some personal-best times and district-qualifying times,” Bruggman said. “And definitely we had those.”