The Cheney girls’ swimming team notched its first win of the season last Saturday, downing Grandview 106-55 in double-dual action that also included Prosser at a very hot Eastern Washington University pool. The Blackhawks didn’t quite pull off a double win, however, swimming well in losing to the Mustangs 94-71.
Finishes for the meet were based on head-to-head competition between the three teams. For example a Cheney swimmer who finished first against Grandview in one event might finish second against a Prosser swimmer in the same event.
Several Blackhawks finished first no matter which team they swam against. In individual events, Katie Shea was first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2 minutes, 23.09 seconds and was first in the 100 free in 1:07.25 while in the 100 breaststroke, Kaylie Watters was first in 1:17.61. In relay events the 200 free team of Watters, Shea, Brittany Meyer and Kaylie Geschke finished first in 2:01.38.
In other individual events, Geschke was first in the 200 individual medley against Grandview, second against Prosser in 2:38.23, with Samantha Abbott second against the Greyhounds in 3:08.24. In the 50 free, Watters was first against Grandview, second against Prosser in 29.25, with Kierra Heiydt second against Grandview in 32.81. Heiydt was also second in the 100 free against both teams in 1:13.94.
In the 200 free, Sophie Schwalbe was second against both Grandview and Prosser in 2:30.23, with Meyer third versus Grandview in 2:32.22 while in the 500 free, Schwalbe was second against Grandview, third versus Prosser in 6:41.23. In the 100 backstroke Erin Moseley finished third against both in 1:24.35, with Kora Wevers third against Grandview in 1:29.49.
In the 100 butterfly, Moseley and Meyer went 2-3 against Grandview with times of 1:22.24 and 1:26.62.
In the relay races the 200 individual medley team of Wevers, Abbott, Moseley and Heiydt was first against Grandview, third against Prosser in 2:34.05. In the 400 free Cheney’s A team of Geschke, Shea, Meyer and Watters was first against Grandview, second against Prosser in 4:25.64 while the B team of Moseley, Abbott, Heiydt and Schwalbe went second and third respectively in 4:48.21.
While swimming against two other teams was challenging, Cheney head coach Jennifer Hochwalt said a malfunction in the university’s heating system last Saturday sent the water temperature into the 90s, and the inside air temperature along with it, making the environment hot and muggy inside Eastern’s pool facility.
“It happens,” Hochwalt said. “We stayed low and kept them (swimmers) on dry land for a day or two after so they wouldn’t overheat.”
On Oct. 2 the Blackhawks traveled to Lion’s Pool in Yakima to take on Selah, again getting great performances while losing to the Vikings 94-74.
Individually, Shea, Meyer, Geschke and Watters all took first place, Shea in the 200 free in 2:21.38, Meyer the 100 butterfly in 1:23.28, Geschke the 500 free in 6:04.06 and Watters the 100 breaststroke in 1:18.54. Second place finishes went to Moseley in the 100 butterfly (1:23.72), Shea the 100 free (1:05.60), Schwalbe the 500 free (6:46.09) and Wevers the 100 backstroke (1:25.46).
Meyer was third in the 200 free (2:32.46) with Abbott third in the 100 backstroke (1:29.87) to conclude individual events. In relays, the A team of Watters, Schwalbe, Shea and Geschke was first in the 400 free in 4:34.01 with the B team of Meyer, Abbott, Wevers and Moseley third in 4:51.43. The 200-free team of Shea, Geschke, Schwalbe and Watters was second in 2:02.45, with the 200-IM team of Wevers, Abbott, Moseley and Heiydt third in 2:36.26.
Hochwalt said she was very happy with the way her team swam against all three Yakima Valley schools, noting the Blackhawks losses came against bigger teams capable of filling all event slots and therefore getting more points in the lower places.
“If you can’t compete for those four, five and six places you’re at a disadvantage,” she said.
Cheney competed in one additional meet, Sept. 29 against West Valley-Yakima that was moved from EWU to Yakima due to the EWU-Montana football game. Those meet results will appear in next week’s Cheney Free Press.
The Blackhawks wrapped up their dual meet season Tuesday on the road at Pullman, with Eastern Washington 2A/3A/4A district competition taking place Oct. 26-27 in Ellensburg. This year Cheney heads into districts without having qualified a swimmer for the state meet in Federal Way, something they have normally done in the past.
Even so, Hochwalt said the Blackhawks are swimming well, with their times either staying consistent or getting faster. She added that a lot of “great swimmers” graduated throughout the league last year, leaving the field open in many events for district placers to advance.
John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.