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STATE SWIMMING/DIVING PREVIEW: Federal Way's Ramey hoping to repeat
At King County Aquatic Center, Federal Way
Schedule: 2A – preliminaries are Friday from 9:45 a.m. until 11:45 a.m., and finals are Saturday from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. 3A – preliminaries are Friday from 2:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., and finals are Saturday from 2:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. 4A – preliminaries are Friday from 6:15 p.m. until 8:15 p.m., and finals are Saturday from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.
Tickets: Single day passes are $9 for adults, $7 for children and senior citizens. Tournament passes are $15 for adults, $10 for children and senior citizens.
What to expect: In terms of the Federal Way school district swimmers and divers, Kenna Ramey and Shelby Church have the best chance at coming home with some hardware. Both won South Puget Sound League and West Central District individual titles in their previous two meets.
Ramey, a Federal Way High School junior, is the only swimmer in the state to swim the 50-yard freestyle in under 24 seconds this season. The defending 50 free state champion is the leading qualifier in 23.98 and won last year’s Class 4A title in a blazing 23.62. Wenatchee junior Hannah Bruggman (24.13) might be Ramey’s biggest competition in her hopes of a repeat in the 50 free.
Ramey is also the second-leading qualifier in the 100 butterfly and should battle with Cascade senior Kalena Laurent for the state title in that event. Laurent is the only swimmer to swim under 57 seconds this season (56.64), but Ramey isn’t far behind, with a qualifying time of 57.03. The third-best qualifier, Newport’s Lorea Gwo, is nearly a second behind Ramey.
Church, a Thomas Jefferson senior, is the fifth-leading qualifier in the 1-meter diving event with 348.90 points. But a state championship would be quite an upset for any diver not named Caitlin Chambers. The Garfield senior is a big-time favorite in the event and might challenge the all-time state record in diving. Chambers qualified with 475.55 points and the all-time mark is 473.30, set in 2005 by Issaquah’s Jesse Snowden.
Church’s twin sister, Monica, is the seventh qualifier in diving with 343.60 points and Federal Way sophomore Tia Thomas has the ninth-best prelim score (338.0).
Other district 4A state meet qualifiers are Beamer’s Estelle Kim in the 100 butterfly (23rd, 1:03.93), Federal Way’s Eva Barth in the 50 free (24th, 25.86) and 100 free (22nd, 56.9) and the Federal Way 200 free relay and 400 free relay teams.
Decatur will be represented by juniors Anna Paradee and Lanie Vuong in the Class 3A meet. Paradee is the 12th-best qualifier in the 1-meter diving with a score of 309.35 and Vuong will swim the 100 butterfly after qualifying 25th in 1:03.75.
In terms of team titles, the favorites entering the meet are Richland in 4A and Mercer Island in 3A. Richland could become the first eastside school to win a large-school classification state championship. The Bombers have several of the top qualifying times in numerous events.
Mercer Island is ultra-talented and attempting to capture its fifth consecutive team title, which has never been done in 3A.