An influx of young talent, mixed with their traditional depth, has been a winning formula for Aberdeen’s swimmers thus far this season.
The Bobcats remained unbeaten with a 102-74 victory over Capital in an Evergreen 2A Conference girls meet Wednesday at the YMCA of Grays Harbor.
After dominating league competition for much of the past decade, the Bobcats endured an uncharacteristic 4-7 season in 2012.
They’ve rebounded to win all three of their dual meets this season after opening the campaign by capturing the Evergreen 2A Conference Relays. Capital was second in the Relays.
“We’ve gotten some help from the freshman class coming in,” AHS coach Jan Simons explained. “They’re all hard workers and they’ve got some skills. Then, we have some (key) sophomores and juniors. They’re all pretty strong to begin with and they’ve improved.”
“We’ve got some great depth this year and that’s helped a lot,” she added.
To illustrate the latter point, Aberdeen’s six individual event victories Wednesday came from six different swimmers.
Taylor Jones, a junior who grew up on the Harbor and transferred back to Aberdeen from Olympia, might have been a double individual winner except for a mishap in the 200-yard freestyle.
Jones owned a narrow lead over Capital’s Jenessa Schulte but miscounted her laps and momentarily stopped after completing 150 yards. By the time she resumed swimming, Schulte had taken a commanding lead.
Undaunted, Jones outdueled freshman teammate Mari Rabung to nab the 100-yard breaststroke and anchored the winning 200 free relay team.
Freshman Emily May helped turn around the latter event — one of the best of the day — with a sizzling third leg. She also won the 100 butterfly.
Senior Megan West stroked to a decisive victory in the 500 freestyle, sophomore Linnea Davison out-touched Schulte in the 100 backstroke and junior Danielle Rowe won the 50 free.
Aberdeen’s Naomi Wolfenberger was the meet’s lone diver.
Down 25-21 after three events, the Bobcats moved in front when Rowe and Davison went 1-3 in the 50 free.
After collecting six points from diving, they blew it open when West, freshman Bonnie Rowe and sophomore Hannah Mellon-Jackson (a Hoquiam student who competes for the Bobcats during the regular season) swept the top three places in the 500 free.
May, Jones, Mari Rabung, Danielle Rowe and Hannah Palmer were praised by Simons and assistant coach April Heikkila for fine performances.
The Bobcats face Tumwater next Wednesday at the River Ridge pool in Lacey.
ABERDEEN 102, CAPITAL 74
200 medley relay — 2:09.56 — Capital (Pearson, Nooney, Hoffman, Hawkins), Aberdeen, Aberdeen. 200 free — 2:10.07 — Schulte (C), Jones (A), Eide (C), West (A), A. Davison (A). 200 IM — 2:26.86 — Hoffman (C), May (A), Holt (A), Nooney (C), Molly Rabung (A). 50 free — 27.38 — D. Rowe (A), Eidenmuller (C), L. Davison (A), Mari Rabung (A), Pierson (C). Diving — 116.95 — Wolfenberger (A). 100 fly — 1:06.74 — May (A), Hoffman (C), Eide (C), Butcher (A), Sampson (C).
100 free — 1:00.26 — Eidenmuller (C), D. Rowe (A), Pearson (C), Holt (A), A. Davison (A). 500 free — 6:55.0 — West (A), B. Rowe (A), Mellon-Jackson (A), Richter (C), Loose (C). 200 free relay — 1:51.27 — Aberdeen (D. Rowe, Holt, May, Jones), Capital, Aberdeen. 100 back — 1:16.39 — L. Davison (A), Schulte (C), Molly Rabung (A), Hawkins (C), Pierson (C). 100 breast — 1:18.38 — Jones (A), Mari Rabung (A), Nooney (C), Wolfenberger (A), Knutzen (C). 400 free relay — 4:08.47 — Capital (Pearson, Eidenmuller, Hoffman, Schulte), Aberdeen, Capital.