Going for gold

Published 6:14 pm Thursday, February 7, 2013

Washington senior Emily Pfeiffer will look to defend her state championship title in the 100-yard breaststroke today at the NCHSAA 3-A state meet. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines

The Pam Pack swim team will participate in its biggest meet of the year today when it travels to the Triangle Aquatics Center for the NCHSAA 3-A state competition, and despite the gravity of the event, the swimmers are as cool as a winter night in Alaska.
“We’re very relaxed right now,” Washington coach Spencer Pake said during a team practice. “I think there might be some butterflies in the young ones but I feel good where we are.”
Why shouldn’t he? Washington heads into the state meet having placed fourth in the East Regional girls’ meet while the boys’ team took eighth.
Overall, Washington will bring 20 summers to the state meet as the Pam Pack girls will participate in nine events and the boys will compete in seven.
The meet begins in the morning with preliminaries and resumes at night after a short break with those who made the cut. The immediate goal for the Pam Pack is to make sure their stay at state is a lengthy one.
“We want to get as many swimmers as possible into the night meet,” Pake said. “You have to make the top-16 to make the finals. So in the morning we’re going to come out and swim for our life so we can hopefully come back and battle for state championships.”
Washington got its first-ever state championship last year when Emily Pfeiffer took gold in the 100-yard breaststroke. Back for her senior year, Pfeiffer will look to retain that title and possible add another one.
“I think Emily Pfeiffer has a very good chance to repeat in the breaststroke. She will have to be focused and have good swims,” Pake said. “She also has a very good chance to medal in the 200 IM and the girls 200-yard freestyle relay (Lanie Godley, Megan Baldwin, Jessie Penhollow and Pfeiffer) has a very good chance of medaling, but it’s going to take four great swims from four very talented girls.”
Pake also felt strong about his 200-yard medley team of Pfeiffer, Kaitlyn Richards, Penhollow and Baldwin, as well as the 400-yard freestyle team of Penhollow, Richards, Godley and Chandler Beach.
Pake is also hoping that freshman Rylee Anderson, who gave a stunning performance in the 200-yard freestyle to make it to state, can continue to stay hot.
“She dropped a considerable amount of time in the 200,” Pake said. “She was seeded 20th and came out of nowhere to take 12th place to get into the state championship.”
Pake said the boys’ relay teams can make some noise at state and felt confident the Pack could place in the top-10 in the 400-yard freestyle relay (James Martin, Eric Lovenberg, Luke Harris and Robert Sandy), 200-yard freestyle relay (Christian Crompton, Martin, Harris and Sandy) and the 200-yard medley relay (Lovenberg, Daniel Crozier, Sandy and Martin).
“On the boys side I think the 400-yard free has a very good opportunity to get in the top-10, along with the other relays,” Pake said. “I think in Eric Lovenberg, Robert Sandy and Luke Harris’ individual swims they all have a great chance to make it to the night meet. We just have to stay focused and try to get as many there as we can.”