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By David Pan 

Jackson’s Limberg wins third straight state title | Girls swimming


Last updated 11/18/2016 at Noon

Jackson senior Nicole Limberg wrapped up her storied high school career with a record breaking performance.

Limberg won her third straight 100-yard breaststroke title to become the Timberwolves’ one and only three-time state champion at the 4A swimming and diving meet Saturday morning at the King County Aquatic Center.

The Wolfpack standout won two other state titles, successfully defending her 200 individual medley title and helping Jackson to a first place finish in the 200 medley relay.

For Limberg, Saturday’s finals was really all about the team. The Jackson standout and teammates Madison Pressler, Chloe Limargo and Alexis Nims started out Saturday’s finals on a winning note by taking first in the 200 medley relay with a school record time of 1 minute, 47.41 seconds.

“We were really excited,” Limberg said. “We knew we were swimming fast. … My goal was to beat a relay record for high school. We did. That was my favorite moment.”

Limberg’s two individual state crowns weren’t far behind, though. Limberg won the 200 individual medley in 2:02.28, comfortably ahead of Skyline’s Christina Bradley, who finished in 2:04.89. The 100 breaststroke was much closer with Limberg taking first in 1:02.23, just ahead of Wenatchee’s Isabelle Dressel, who clocked in at 1:02.56.

“I haven’t really thought about it,” Limberg said of her individual accomplishments. “High school swimming is my favorite season . … There was pressure. I was nervous for sure. But I think my teammates tried to calm me down and make sure everyone was good.”

Jackson coach Drew Whorley said that graduation of Limberg and fellow senior Pressler was, in some ways, the end of an era.

Limberg’s three consecutive state championships definitely was an impressive feat, Whorley said.

“She does everything right,” he said. “She’s psychologically tough. She competes every day in practice. She trains hard. Technically, she does it as well as anyone we’ve ever had do it. She’s kind of the total package. It’s so much fun to get to work with her.”

Limberg has the ability to calm her nerves and to fight back when faced with challenges, Whorley added. She displayed her toughness in winning her third straight 100 breaststroke title.

“She’ll tell you she’s nervous. She doesn’t outwardly show that,” Whorley said. “I think deep down she’s able to roll with things really well. That helps when faced with adversity and you saw that. She had a girl breathing down her throat for 75 yards. She had the will in that last 25.”

Jackson’s victory in the first event of the finals, the 200 medley relay, helped set the tone for the rest of the meet for Limberg, who was named the 4A swimmer of the meet.

The win came as a little bit of a surprise.

“I don’t think we knew we could win,” Limberg said. “Maddie started off really fast. I was like ‘Wow. I can hold the lead and extend it.’ … When everyone is doing well, we all swim fast. That’s why I love high school swimming so much.”

Limberg, Limargo, Pressler and Nims also took second place in the 400 freestyle relay.

All of the Timberwolves either held their position or moved up a spot on Saturday.

“I was just so proud of them, the whole group,” Whorley said. “Not only did we swim best times across the board, but we were able to pick up more points than we were supposed to and just beat people.”

Pressler finished third in the 200 freestyle and fourth in the 100 freestyle. Junior Limargo took third in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke. Freshman Heidi Ly placed ninth in the 100 backstroke.

Jackson finished fifth overall in the team standings with 186 points, behind Skyline (243), Wenatchee (232), Issaquah (199.5) and Newport (193.5).

“The level of competitive drive that I feel our girls demonstrated today is something I couldn’t be more proud of,” Whorley said.

GRIZZLIES, WILDCATS EARN STATE MEDALS: Glacier Peak’s Riley Fidler finished fourth in the 4A 100 butterfly and took 16th in the 200 individual medley. Divers Mari Hsieh and Ryzele Lagdaan placed 11th and 12th, respectively.

The Grizzlies’ 200 freestyle relay team of Kiah Lines, Anna Smith, Jessica Boar and Fidler took 12th and the 200 medley relay team of Lines, Marissa Kanaly, Fidler and Smith placed 15th.

Archbishop Murphy’s Caroline Kowalchuk finished sixth in the 2A 500 freestyle and was seventh in the 200 freestyle.


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