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Newport wins 4A, Williams takes two for Bellevue | Prep sports news

The Newport swim and dive team.  - Courtesy photo, Newport SWIVE
The Newport swim and dive team.
— image credit: Courtesy photo, Newport SWIVE

Newport takes 4A title

Newport waited 26 years between state swim and dive state titles, but the Knights were back atop the podium this weekend at King County Aquatic Center, taking the team scoring championship with the deepest squad in the state.

Despite not winning an individual event or team relay, coach Eric Bartleson's team was in front when the final event was finished as a host of underclassmen bolstered the team's depth.

One of the freshman who made an impact was Elisa Fang, who finished fourth in the 50 free, sixth in the 100 backstroke and also swam on a pair of relays, including the third place finishing 200 medley relay squad that also included Jenny Huo, Amelia Liu and Emily Waddell.

Maggie Pana also had a standout performance for Newport with a fifth place finish in the 200 freestyle and fourth place in the 500 free.

School record holder Lorea Gwo was third in the 50 free, just in front of Fang, and took the same spot in the 100 butterfly.

Gwo, Huo, Waddell and Pana teamed to earn the team's best finish of the met in the 200 free relay, where they were second in a time of one minute, 41.91 seconds.

It was Fang, Pana, Gwo and Liu in the 400 free relay, the final event of the day, where the Knights finished third to secure the team scoring title.

Wolverines fifth as Williams nabs two more

Bellevue sophomore Kim Williams added two more state championships on Saturday at King County Aquatic Center, taking home the 3A state title in the 200 yard individual medley and 100 yard breaststroke, earning an automatic All-American time in both events.

"It was really fun, I just felt like a kid again," Williams said of her second state swim and dive meet. "I just tried to relax and have fun."

Williams, who was named Swimmer of the Meet, and Mercer Island's Grace Wold faced-off in one of the day's main events in the 200 IM, where Wold came out in front in 2011. The Mercer Island senior shaved some six-seconds off her preliminary time to finish in two minutes, 1.87 seconds, but she was fractions behind Williams' time of 2:01.20, which was a personal best more than eight-seconds faster than the time she posted the day before in qualifying.

It was far from the first time the two KingCo and club swimming rivals have met in the pool.

"I've raced against her since I was 11 or 12 years old," Williams said. "It's just really fun to race her. She pushed me really hard."

It was not nearly the same challenge in the 100 breast, where Williams flew past the competition and finished more than two-seconds in front of her closest competitor in 1:03.49.

She teamed with Naomi Ngo, Linnea Uyeno and Natalie Fontana to bring home a fifth place finish in the 200 medley relay as well. The same foursome was fourth in the 400 free relay and Ngo finished sixth in the finals of the 200 IM and seventh in the 100 fly.

Williams said after a pressure-packed 2011 meet, where she took her first individual state title in the 100 backstroke, her focus was on remaining confident and loose with her teammates and focusing on the experience rather than the outcome.

"I wasn't happy after state last year because I was so stressed out and put so much pressure on myself," she said. "This year, it wasn't a big deal. I didn't care what my time was, it was just really fun."

Bellevue ended the meet in fifth place as a team while Mercer Island won the team scoring going away. Three of the top four team finishers were from the Sea-King district.

Contact and submissions: jsuman@bellevuereporter.com

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