FEDERAL WAY — Every once in a while, an athlete comes along that you just have to take a step back and appreciate the show they put on for you. Bellevue senior Janelle Rudolph is that kind of athlete.
Rudolph, to the surprise of no one, added two more championships to her trophy case during the finals of Saturday night’s Class 3A state swimming and diving championships at the King County Aquatic Center. Her championships in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100 backstroke make her undefeated at state in those events during her high-school career.
Rudolph finished the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.37 seconds, just off her personal best and state-record time of 22.36 that she set in Friday’s prelims.
Rudolph, who was named swimmer of the meet, set another state record in the finals of the 100 backstroke, finishing with a time of 52.90.
“That was definitely my goal going into this season,” Rudolph said of the records. “It’s my last season, so I just would’ve loved to finish out the year by getting those records, so that’s what I set my goal to do at the beginning of the season.”
The Stanford commit is one of the most decorated female swimmers in state history, and she always lived up to, if not even surpassed the hype.
“Coming into high-school swimming, I didn’t really know what to expect,” Rudolph said. “I think after my four years here, it’s just been a really incredible experience. The team, even though it’s changed every year, has just been such an amazing team. Everyone just supports each other so much. That’s what makes high-school swimming such an incredible and fun experience to do every year.”
Rudolph helped the Wolverines to wins in the 200-medley relay and the 400-freestyle relay and to a third consecutive team championship just as Newport, from the same school district, did at the Class 4A level earlier in the day. Bellevue finished with 303 points, edging Lake Washington, which finished with 263.
“It means so much to us,” Rudolph said of the team title. “In my sophomore year when we won the state title for the first time in a long time, that was just really incredible. To be able to continue that streak, it’s just mind-blowing.”
- Several Seattle-area swimmers won individual championships at the Class 3A meet. Lakeside senior Nathalie Valdman won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:48.92 and the 500 freestyle in 4:52.80, Bainbridge sophomore Margaret Hayes won the 200 IM in 2:03.61, Roosevelt senior Kate Leary won the 100-butterfly in 55:02 and Lake Washington junior Amelia Hammer won the 100-freestyle with a time of 50.93.
- After Liberty’s streak of four straight Class 2A titles came to an end last year, the Patriots returned to the top of the podium Saturday afternoon, edging Sammamish for the championship. The Patriots finished with 268 points; the Totems finished with 264 points.