Sports

McIntyre takes 2 state swim titles

Following a day of hot competition Thursday in the prelims, the Oak Harbor girls swim team continued the water boiling pace into the finals of state swim competition Friday.

Both individual swimmers from Oak Harbor, senior Kyla Meuer and sophomore Missy McIntyre, made a lasting impression on the crowd at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, flying past the competition in the preliminary swims of day one.

McIntyre claimed the 50 free prelim with 23.75, with her teammate Meuer in second with 23.95. In the 100 free Meuer swam to third with 52.42. McIntyre, the returning state champion in the 100 breast, took first in the prelim race with 1:04.40. The 200 free relay team of Meuer, Ashley Werring, Cassie Klieman and McIntyre made a prelim time of 1:44.28.

In the finals the Cats actually had a faster time than the eighth place Rogers “A” team, but because they fell into the 9-16 place bracket in prelims, they did not have an opportunity to advance past ninth in the standings during finals.

In the 50 free, there isn’t much to remember. For state competitors like Meuer and McIntyre, it’s less than a full minute of your life. At the prelims, it was a just enough time to decide senior Kyla Meuer’s future.

Meuer’s prelim time of 23.95 broke 24 seconds and she knew it.

“Kyla was crazy, as soon as she finished she was so happy and jumped out of the pool crying and screaming. We were all hugging and jumping up and down,” McIntyre said.

It was the first time Meuer broke 24 seconds and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the senior. Her performance had just earned her a full-ride scholarship to Southwest Missouri State, so the happiness was understandable.

“When I visited on a scouting trip the first week of November they offered me a 50 percent scholarship, but said I could have a full scholarship if I broke 24 seconds in the 50 free,” Meuer explained.

Knowing she’ll soon be signing commitment papers to Southwest Missouri State had an added meaning because that is where Meuer’s best friend, Chauntelle Johnson, swims. You can bet you’ll find Kyla waiting by the mailbox for the next week or so for a letter from Southwest Missouri coach Jack Steck.

Oak Harbor coach Emillie Sullivan predicts good news for Meuer’s future coach Steck.

“She’d going to be amazing in college, and will be a phenomenal swimmer. I can’t wait until I get an e-mail from her about her first collegiate meet,” Sullivan said. “I predict she’s going to drop time and do really well.”

Competition only quickened for the finals of the state meet. The waters of the aquatic center have a tendency to add speed to the already fast state competitors, and it was seen Friday.

McIntyre continued to dominate, as she claimed the state title in the 50 free when she swam 23.92 in the finals. Meuer swam into fourth with 24.15, and paddled away knowing she earned a scholarship during prelims.

Meuer placed fifth in the finals of the 100 free with a time of 52.65.

“I was disappointed with with how I did in the 100 free, because I had such high goals for myself,” said Meuer who placed fourth last year, and swam into third in the prelims.

Oak Harbor made their season goal of sending a relay team to the state meet, when the 200 free relay team of Meuer, senior Ashley Werring, junior Cassie Klieman and McIntyre swam 1:44.0 at districts. Both days at state the team swam into 11th place, with a prelim time of 1:44.28 and a finals time of 1:43.57. Snohomish, who ended the regular season on top of the WesCo North, finished behind the Wildcats in 12th place in prelims and finals with 1:44.30 and 1:43.57. At state, senior Amy Rose and Annegret Klinger were alternates.

McIntyre defended her title in the 100 breast, winning the competition with a time of 1:04.30 in finals. The sophomore has already set the goal of breaking the state 100 breast record of 1:02.96 set by Kathy Smith of Lake Washington in 1981 by the time she graduates high school.

“I want to break the record by the time I’m a senior. Right now I’m just going to try to drop a second off my time every year,” McIntyre said.

Both McIntyre and Meuer earned All-American consideration in the 50 free, and Meuer also earned consideration with her time in the 100 free. McIntyre earned automatic All-American recognition in the 100 breast.

With 82 points, Oak Harbor placed 11th at state in a field of 52 teams, and ahead of all the other WesCo North teams. Snohomish finished 32 points behind in 21st, Marysville had nine points for 32nd. Cascade finished with two points, and Lake Stevens received no score.

Despite dropping from last year’s seventh place finish at state, Sullivan and her girls are happy with last week’s performance.

“For a team of four swimmers how they did was amazing. Last year we had two relays plus two individual swimmers to add points. I’m really proud of the girls and excited how we did,” Sullivan said.

Just trying to catch her breath from the state meet excitement, McIntyre said she’s not really looking at next year as of yet, but is sure of one thing. “I’m not going to state alone next year, someone’s coming with me,” McIntyre said.

The Wildcats ended the 2002 season fifth in the WesCo North, fifth at the district meet and 11th at state.

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