With talented Capital dominant in the pool, Aberdeen’s chief highlight Wednesday came on the diving board.
Bobcat divers Amber Rosché and Naomi Wolfenberger earned district berths, but Capital won 10 of the other 11 events en route to a 112-67 victory in an Evergreen 2A Conference girls swim meet Wednesday at the YMCA of Grays Harbor.
Returning to the 2A ranks after many years as a 3A school, Capital was as good as advertised. The Cougars from West Olympia finished 1-2 in seven events Wednesday. All three of their swimmers lapped Aberdeen’s entries in the 500-yard freestyle.
The Bobcats (1-1, 1-2) did have some bright spots, however, particularly in diving.
Although Capital did not enter a diver, Rosché and Wolfenberger would have set a high standard in any case. A senior who is a first-year varsity swimmer, Rosché compiled fine marks on all six of her dives, finishing with a 158.35 score. Wolfenberger, a sophomore who also dove last year, wound up at 140.55.
The showing was particularly impressive considering that Aberdeen does not have a diving coach. Ex-Bobcat Micah Carcellar helped out early in the season, with AHS head coach Jan Simons — who freely admits that diving instruction is not her specialty — handling those duties of late.
As of Monday, according to Simons, neither diver could perform either an inward or reverse dive. Both underwent a 45-minute training session following a 90-minute swim practice.
“By Tuesday, Amber had both the reverse and inward (down) and Naomi had the inward,” the Bobcat coach said. “It was amazing, it was awesome.”
Aberdeen’s other victory Wednesday came in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Shayna Wilson gave the Bobcats an early lead and Wolfenberger, Keola Holt and Danielle Rowe finished it off to win impressively in 1:58.20.
Moments later, Rowe was locked in a tight race with Capital’s Marleana Nooney and Megan Hoffman in the 100-yard breaststroke. Third entering the final lap, Rowe rallied to catch Hoffman, but Nooney prevailed by nearly two seconds with a time of 1:21.98.
Simons gave her troops mixed reviews for Wednesday’s performances.
“We have a ways to go,” she said. “We’ve got to develop that mental toughness. They’ve got the ability and the desire. But the mental toughness, we’re working on it.”
Holt, who battled illness, was one of the Bobcats cited by Simons for a fine showing. She also commended Rowe, Linnea Davison and Lauren Dunn in addition to both divers.
The Bobcats face another tough foes next Wednesday when the Black Hills/Tumwater combine visits the YMCA.
Cougars 112, Bobcats 67
200 medley relay — 2:06.28 — Capital (Pearson, Gabo, Eidenmuller, Schulte), Aberdeen, Capital. 200 free — 2:04.26 — Willoughby (C), Hoffman (C), Holt (A), West (A), Pierson (C). 200 IM — 2:37.10 — Schulte (C), Gabo (C), Rowe (A), Nooney (C), Rabung (A). 50 free — 26.68 — Pearson (C), Eidenmuller (C), Wilson (A), Hurd (A), Butcher (A). Diving — 158.35 — Rosché (A), Wolfenberger (A). 100 fly — 1:15.93 — Hoffman (C), Davison (A), Clem (C), Bortel (A), Eide (C).
100 free — 58.52 — Pearson (C), Eidenmuller (C), Wilson (A), Holt (A), Gray (C). 500 free — 5:56.68 — Hoffman (C), Gabo (C), Schulte (C), West (A). 200 free relay — 1:58.20 — Aberdeen (Wilson, Wolfenberger, Holt, Rowe), Capital, Aberdeen. 100 back — 1:05.68 — Willoughby (C), Bortel (A), Wolfe (C), Butcher (A), Craig (A). 100 breast — 1:21.28 — Nooney (C), Rowe (A), Hoffman (C), Pierson (C), Wolfenberger (A). 400 free relay — 3:59.92 — Capital (Schulte, Eidenmuller, Pearsonn, Willoughby), Capital, Aberdeen.