Beavers get second at state tourney
By Dean Wong
The Ballard Beaver girls swimming team finished in second place overall at the 4A State Championship at the King County Aquatic Center last weekend.
Inglemoor won top honors with 190 points, followed by Ballard at 171 and Garfield at 156.
The meet concluded the best season in Beaver swimming in years with a number of strong individual performances and school records set during the run to state.
Ballard was declared the undisputable champion of the 400 free relay when it took first place with a time of 3:38.45, an All American Consideration Time.
The relay team consisted of Heather Stevens, Linnea Scott, Brianna Meyer and Marja Scott.
All the Beaver swimmers were busy with more than one event during the two-day meet.
Meyer took second in the 100 free with a time of 58.87 and third in the 500 free at 5:06.07. Stevens was third in the 50 free at 24.71.
Two Beavers took sixth in various races. They included: Marja Scott, 200 free, 1:56.07 and 100 free, 53.97; Linnea Scott, 200 IM, 2:12.65.
The 400 relay team was fifth in the 200 free relay. Stevens, Katie Jo Burkland, Meyer and Marja Scott combined for a time of 1:42.07.
The Ballard swimmers had a strong showing at the KingCo District Two Meet on Nov. 3 and 4 leading up to state, breaking seven school records.
They included: Stevens, first, 50 free, 24.50;' Meyer, first, 100 fly 58.16; Marja Scott, first, 100 free, 53.51; Jennifer Jaeger, 10th, 100 free, 58.67; Meyer, 500 free, 5:07.54; Marja Scott, second, 200 free, 1:55.31; 200 medley relay, (Marissa Horan, Linnea Scott, Meyer, Stevens) seventh, 1:56.70; and 200 free relay, (Stevens, Burkland, Meyer, Marja Scott), first, 1:40.97.
"The whole team has cranked it up a notch in the last weeks of the season," said Head Coach Carlos Palacian, He also coaches Holy Names and was named 3A Coach of the Year last season, taking that girls team to the state 3A title.
With Ballard's winning ways this fall, Palacian should be considered for Coach of the Year in 4A.
In a sport like swimming, individual success can make up for a team's record.
The KingCo league is well balanced and Ballard found that out after going 5 and 5 in team meets.
"The league is very competitive this year, we were surprised by a few teams," said Palacian.
Ballard relied on a solid core of eight swimmers that are as talented as any school in the state. "We are very deep," said Palacian.
The season's top performer has been Stevens. "She is definitely one of our brightest stars," said Head Coach Carlos Palacian.
With the Ballard Pool closed for much of the swimming season for renovation and school letting out later than in the past, the Beavers overcame hardships to get to where they are today.
The Beavers have had to travel to the Helen Madison Pool in North Seattle with their home pool closed. Because of that, the team had shorter practice sessions. Home meets were at the Queen Anne Pool.
Despite the adversity, team chemistry was good this year and winning second place at state proves it.
"The girls have stepped up to the plate and are doing great," said Palacian.
As a team, Ballard faces parity among schools in KingCo.
"I'm really excited. There's amazing parity in the league. Everyone is really close and it is making for a fun season," said Palacian.
Dean Wong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 783.1244.