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By David Pan 

Jackson’s Chang rises up to the challenge at state | Girls swimming


Last updated 11/16/2018 at Noon

Jackson’s Mia Chang is a triple threat.

And not in the way you might think.

The Wolfpack sophomore closed out the 4A state girls swimming championships with a feat not likely to be repeated anytime soon.

Chang swam in back-to-back individual events and then was the anchor on the Wolfpack’s 400-yard freestyle team Saturday, Nov. 10, at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

About two hours earlier, the Jackson standout also helped the 200 medley relay team to a fifth-place finish. But the end of the meet was where Chang made the biggest impression.

Chang finished third in the 100 backstroke finals with a time of 56.55 seconds, which virtually matched her time of 56.54 in Friday’s preliminaries. Tahoma’s Hanna Weissman captured the race in 55.54.

Minutes later, Chang won the 100 breaststroke consolation finals in 1:05.54, well below her prelim time of 1:08.39. Chang officially finished ninth but her time actually was the sixth fastest time in the event.

The Jackson sophomore then wrapped up her busy night by anchoring the Timberwolves to a fifth-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay. Chang and teammates Emily Mun, Caitlyn Anderson and Heidi Ly finished in 3:37.36, more than a second faster than during the prelims.

Jackson coach Drew Whorley marveled at Chang’s accomplishment.

“She got right at her best time in the 100 backstroke,” he said. “She gets out of the water, gets her award, climbs right up on the block wins the 100 consolation breaststroke. Athletes don’t swim back to back events at these meets, individual events, for a reason – because it’s hard. She wanted to do it. She asked to do. I was really impressed with her desire to embrace that challenge and then to really persevere and compete and come back and anchor our relay and help us get fifth place.”

The 200 medley relay team, included the same members of the 400 freestyle. The Wolfpack clocked in at 1:47.51, .30 seconds faster than on Friday.

“I feel like we came in and just, especially in the medley relay, really outperformed what I thought we were capable of doing,” Whorley said. “That (400 freestyle) relay at the end was 3/10th of second off our school record. To me that’s really impressive to come back in the 400 freestyle relay. It’s been a long day.”

Ly finished fifth in the 100 backstroke and placed 11th in the 200 individual medley. Anderson took 13th and Mun placed 15th in the 100 freestyle.

“It was a big deal for them to get here,” Whorley said. “I thought they came back and handled their first time in individual events at the state meet really well.”

Whorley added that Ly’s swims in her individual events were right at her best times of the season.

Jackson’s 200 freestyle team of Parker Hoppe, Anderson, Isabella Phung and Mun placed 14th.

“It’s a young group. All these kids will be back nest year, which I think is really exciting for us,” Whorley said. “The perseverance, the toughness that they showed today, I’m really proud of.”

Glacier Peak’s Riley Fidler placed 9th in the 50 freestyle and 10th in the 100 butterfly. Younger sister Macy took 13th in the 100 butterfly and was 14th in the 100 backstroke.


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