Sports

Championship effort by Cats

 Oak Harbor junior Kyla Meuer (above) gets a jump on the competition in the backstroke portion of the 200 medley relay race at the state finals in Federal Way last weekend. Meuer (below left) and freshman Missy McIntrye (below right ) celebrate their performances that helped Oak Harbor place seventh in the meet. - Ken George
Oak Harbor junior Kyla Meuer (above) gets a jump on the competition in the backstroke portion of the 200 medley relay race at the state finals in Federal Way last weekend. Meuer (below left) and freshman Missy McIntrye (below right ) celebrate their performances that helped Oak Harbor place seventh in the meet.
— image credit: Ken George

Despite just bringing five girls to state in only six events, the Oak Harbor girls swimming team was able to finish an impressive seventh place in the 4A State Swimming Championships held last weekend at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way.

In just her first state meet, Missy McIntyre captured her first state title with a first-place finish in the 100 Breaststroke. The freshman’s time of 1:04.49 gave her the win by almost two seconds over Katie Fitzgerald of Capital (1:06.30).

“Her turns were what made the race,” Edge said about McIntrye’s performance. “She came off the wall way ahead of everyone and there was no catching her.”

McIntyre’s showing in the 100 Breaststroke was especially impressive. The 14-year old chipped two seconds off of her previous personal best and qualified for the U.S. National meet next year. According to Edge, the freshman’s time was also about .5 of a second from qualifying her for the Olympic trials.

“She dropped two seconds of her preliminary time. We were both happy with her race. I was shocked that she did it. I knew she could do it but, I was still shocked.”

McIntyre also placed 12th in the 200 Individual Medley with a time of 2:11.45.

Also helping the Wildcat cause was junior Kyla Meuer. Meuer placed second in the 50 Freestyle (24.26), just behind Roosevelt’s Jill Kripps (23.99) She also finished fourth in the 100 Freestyle (52.36).

“Her 100 was something else, she was really focused,” said Edge. “She told her mom a couple of weeks ago that she wanted to do a 52 and she did it. It was a lifetime best and we were both really happy.”

At last year’s state meet Meuer was third in the 50 and fourth in the 100.

The Wildcats also received a big boost from their relay teams. The Cats 200 Freestyle relay team - McIntyre, Meuer, and seniors Lora Burge and Brandy Rupert - earned a second-place finish finishing behind Capital with a time of 1:41.13. Meuer led off the event with a scorching 23.92, while McIntyre swam the anchor leg in 23.72.

“It was exciting that they did so well,” said Edge. “Lora Burge is a senior and one of our hardest workers she and (Brandy Rupert) were right on their best times; you can’t ask for anything better than that.”

The 200 Medley relay foursome of McIntyre, Meuer, Rupert and senior Kate Waller finished in ninth place with a time of 1:57.34, winning the consolation heat.

Capital of Olympia won the 4A state tile, recording 247 points. The Wildcats totaled 109 points to earn their seventh place finish, nine points behind WesCo North Division-rival Snohomish (118). Fellow WesCo opponent Kamiak took third with 174 points.

The Wildcats showing was impressive since it was done with so few swimmers. Teams like Snohomish, Kamiak, and Capital had more chances to earn points with extra swimmers in the consolation brackets and with divers.

“We did phenomenally well for the numbers we had,” said Edge. “It was an incredible experience to see people that you have worked with all season do so well.”

The Wildcats should put together another solid season next year. Meuer and McIntrye will return with another year of experience and Edge believes there will be up-and-coming swimmers to fill out the relay teams.

“A lot of the girls will swim year round. We’ll come in next September and see what we have. Hopefully we can get some more to state.”

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