For Mountlake Terrace High School swimmer Annika Matthews, it’s not necessarily where you start, but where you finish.
Matthews is heading to the WIAA State Swimming and Diving Championships this Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15-16, to compete with the state’s best high school swimmers. Matthews qualified for the 100 meter backstroke competition at the event, to be held at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
“She finished second in the 3A District finals this past Saturday with a time of 1:04.00,” explained MTHS girls swim coach Karin Reddecliffe. “This is not quite state time, but is close enough for her to earn one of the three places allocated to 3A schools.”
Matthews is the only Hawk to qualify for this year’s state swimming and diving meet.
Reddecliffe was quite pleased with how Matthews worked hard and showed great improvement throughout the season to earn her spot at the state competition. “I am not surprised by her qualifications, but rather thrilled that she was able to get her time down from 1:05.93 over the course of the season and make it to state,” she said. “She has been working hard on the little things that make times faster, like her starts and turns.”
Matthews joined the Terrace swim squad this season after a hiatus from competition. “She hadn’t been swimming for some time so she had to work hard to get back into form,” Reddecliffe said. Matthew’s efforts throughout the season paid off as she not only qualified for state but also qualified for and competed in last weekend’s 3A District meet in all four freestyle events – the 50 meter, 100 meter, 200 meter and 500 meter – in addition to the 100 meter butterfly. “She has swum at anchor for most of our relays as well,” Reddecliffe added.
The coach also noted Matthews’ positive contributions to a MTHS swim team that at times struggled this year against strong competition in the Wesco 3A League. “Annika has taken the time to help other swimmers with their techniques and strokes and has been a great asset to the team,” Reddecliffe said.
The preliminary heats of the 3A state swimming championships begin at 6:15 p.m. Friday at the King County Aquatic Center. Additionally, 4A preliminary competition will be held at the center on Friday morning, and 2A prelims will take place in the early afternoon. Final events for all three school classifications are scheduled for Saturday; 3A finals begin at 6:30 p.m.
You can find more information on the WIAA Girls Swimming and Diving Championships here.
– By Doug Petrowski