The senior broke the state mark in the 100 butterfly and also added a crown in the 50 freestyle.
Anyone who has seen North Creek senior Gabrielle Dang swim in her previous years of high school knows she is fast. In fact, after Saturday night in at least two events, no one in the history of Washington State has ever been faster in one event.
Dang kicked off the weekend by tying the state record in the 100 butterfly in Friday’s preliminaries. It was only the beginning, Dang broke that record on Saturday, winning the state championship with an automatic All-American time of 52.58. The previous state record of 53.10 was set by Eastlake’s Katie Kinnear in 2009.
“That was so unexpected,” Dang said. “I did not think I was going to go that fast. That was my personal best, again, and I just did not feel good in the warm-up pool. The turn-around after diving to the butterfly was super-quick, so I was super overwhelmed, but I just did what I had to do and it ended really well.”
That record-breaking performance came just about an hour after she won the 50 freestyle with an automatic All-American time of 22.91.
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“It hasn’t hit me yet, but thinking about it, it’s crazy,” said Dang, who was named swimmer of the meet. “It’s a state record, out of this whole state, I got it.”
Skyline senior Sarah DiMeco won two individual state titles on Saturday, taking the 200 freestyle in 1:46.98, an automatic All-American time and the second-best time in state history. DiMeco won the 500-freestyle with an automatic All-American time of 4:48.08, third-best in state history.
“I’m just really glad that, not just me, but everyone on our team is really stepping up,” DiMeco said. “It’s our last high-school state, and it’s really sentimental and everyone is just wanting to swim fast.”
DiMeco outlasted Newport rival Yulia Groysman in both events. Though the two are friends outside of the pool, they have fueled each other in the pool for all four years.
“We’re two really strong distance swimmers, so it’s really fun to race in all the events,” DiMeco said. “We just push each other.”
DiMeco also helped Skyline break the state record in the 200-yard medley relay. The Spartans finished with a time of 1:44.00, which broke Lakeside’s record of 1:44.58 set a year ago.
Though Groysman came up short against DiMeco in the individual events, she did help Newport to a second consecutive state championship, which they capped with a state record in the 400 freestyle relay at 3:26.33, breaking the record of 3:27.47 set by Skyline last year.
The Knights finished with 356 points. Skyline was a distant second with 231.5 points.