FEDERAL WAY – Kim Williams could feel conspired against.
Instead, the Bellevue junior looks at the circumstances surrounding her at the 3A state girls swim meet and smiles a smile that belies the competitive spirit that lies within.
Make no mistake, Williams has big plans for Saturday night’s championship finals at King County Aquatic Center.
The first involves building on a solid, if unspectacular, set of preliminary swims from Friday that has Williams sitting atop the qualifying in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 breaststroke (1:03.86).
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Her IM time of 2:04.28 puts Williams in position to better her state-meet record of 2:01.20 set a year ago. But whether she still can go after the overall state record of 1:58.23, set in 2008 by Skyline’s Andie Taylor remains to be seen.
“That would be the prime goal,” Williams said of the meet record. “The 1:58 would just be a bonus.”
To get there, Williams must take down a friend. Liberty’s Mackenna Briggs is second-seeded heading into the IM final at 2:06.04.
“We’re really good friends,” Williams said. “We have a handshake. I know that sounds dorky. But it’s fun to compete against someone I’m so close with.”
Briggs isn’t so sure how competitive it will be, if one believes her words.
“She’ll win by a lot by then,” Briggs said, grinning.
Was that a bit of sarcasm?
“Maybe,” Williams said.
“It’s not, I promise,” Briggs retorted.
The IM won’t be the only quick race. Meadowdale’s Anna Keane, the two-time defending 50-free champ, served notice to the field with her 23.20 qualifying swim. That already is faster than she went to win the title a year ago (23.38).
Amid all the fireworks, the team race tightened considerably. Mercer Island, which ran away with the Sea-King District title a week ago, and Lakeside seemingly have turned this into a two-team fight.
The four-time defending champion Islanders and Lions each qualified all three relays into the championship finals. Mercer Island has 11 individual championship swims and 10 consolation swims, while Lakeside has 12 championship individuals and three consolation swims.
Barring some miracle, there will be a new champion in 2A girls swimming come this evening. Defending champ Lake Washington pencils out as a distant eighth in the team race.
Still poised to make history, after a solid preliminary meet, are the Pullman Greyhounds. Pullman is attempting to become the first girls swim team from east of the Cascades to win a state team title since Eastmont in 1990. If the Greyhounds falter, however, Ellensburg could accomplish the same feat.