Redhawk swimmers end season on high note

Leader news staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 11/27/19

Port Townsend High School’s Redhawk Swimmers finished their season with a series of best times, hugs and smiles.

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Redhawk swimmers end season on high note

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Port Townsend High School’s Redhawk Swimmers finished their season with a series of best times, hugs and smiles.

Senior and co-captain Veda Dosey, junior and co-captain Emillia Nunn, sophomores Emma McAdam and Morgan Trail, and freshman Kaylee Barlow, Gillian McCracken and Magdaline Ferland participated in the 1A/2A State Swim and Dive Championship Nov. 15-16.

Dosey, Nunn, Trail and Barlow swam in the 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relays, and Ferland was the alternate for both relays.

McAdam and McCracken swam in the 50-yard freestyle and 50-yard backstroke in the adaptive swim competition.

The team started off the meet with a season-best time in the 200-yard medley relay of 2:06.67.

“I’m so proud of how we swam,” Nunn said.

Coach Peter Braden deemed Dosey’s breaststroke split of 34.05 as particularly notable, given that it was the fastest Redhawk split in that event since Serena Vilage in 2012.

Vilage remains the Redhawk 100-yard breaststroke record holder.

Braden also credited the 200-yard freestyle relay team with swimming very well, as they finished the meet with a season-best time of 1:52.88, more than three seconds faster than they swam at the District meet the week prior.

Coach Shannon Minnihan also commented on Nunn’s split, saying “Emillia had never gone under 28 seconds, and she skipped 27 altogether, and swam a mind-blowing 26.89. Her hard work all summer really paid off.”

Both relay teams finished 20th at the meet.

Braden went on to praise McAdam and McCracken for representing their school well, with “great swims” in the adaptive swims.

McAdam improved her time in the 50-yard freestyle to 48.93, almost six seconds faster than her state time last year, while McCracken swam a personal best time of 1:04.68.

The girls finished third and fifth, respectively.

Braden recalled when McCracken’s mother, Sharon, contacted him about the possibility of her daughter joining the Redhawk squad.

“Sharon said Gillian would be happy to just practice, but we said, ‘Nope, if she practices, then she’ll compete in meet too,’” Braden said. “So she did, all season. It was fun to watch her receive her medal.”

Minnihan pointed out McCracken’s improvement over the season.

“She was using floaties when she won the 2019 State Spring Special Olympic Championship 25-meter floatation race,” Minnihan said. “But she swam at State without any in-water support.”

Additionally, when McCracken competed in the backstroke in the Special Olympics, it was only for 15 meters, and at the state meet, she competed in a distance of more than three times that, the 50-yard backstroke.

McAdam also swam the 50-yard backstroke, finishing third with a personal best of 1:04.80.

In early 2020, both girls will get back in the pool, and train for the Washington State 2020 Special Olympics Championship.

McAdam competes for the North Kitsap Vikings, and McCracken for the Jefferson County Warriors.

Braden and Minnihan expect them to swim longer events, and to continue to do well.

The team wraps up its season with a year-end celebration and banquet in early December.

While three seniors will move on, the team expects the rest to return, including 11 freshmen.

“I can’t wait until next year,” Barlow said.

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