All-Region Girls Swimmer of the Year

Nikki Cannon Senior, Hudson’s Bay High School

By

Published:

 

Season highlights

• Won the 100-yard backstroke at the Class 3A state meet for the second year in a row, posting her fastest time, 56.65 seconds.

photoNikki Cannon

(/The Columbian)

Buy this photo

• First-team 3A Greater St. Helens League in the 100-yard backstroke.

• Won six 3A district titles in her career. Nikki won the 100 backstroke three times, the 100 freestyle twice, and the 50 freestyle once. Because of injury, she did not swim individual races at district this year.

More about Nikki

• Favorite movie: “Anything ’80s Molly Ringwald. They’re classics.”

• On your iPod: “It’s a wide variety. At one place on my list, there’s Ludwig van Beehtoven next to some rap.”

• Sport you would do if you didn’t swim: “I’m too tall to be a gymnast, so maybe a diver. I couldn’t do it, but it looks like fun.”

Next year and beyond

Nikki will attend Boise State on a swimming and academic scholarship. She said she also considered swimming teams at Wyoming and Utah, but Boise State was an easy choice.

“Club swimming’s great. But it’s a different feeling when you’re representing your school, and swimming with people you go to class with. It’s just fun.”

Nikki Cannon

who competes with Vancouver Swim Club, where her mother coaches.

All-Region team

• Carly Cannon, fr., Hudson’s Bay: Placed sixth in 100 backstroke at 3A state; 12th in 100 butterfly.

• Jessica Bottelberghe, Sr., Columbia River: Second in 200 IM at 3A state; fifth in 100 butterfly.

• Monica Bottelberghe, Fr., Columbia River: Second in 200 freestyle at state; fifth in 100 free.

• Peggy Liang, Sr., Mountain View: Third at 3A state in 50 freestyle and third in the 100 freestyle.

• Julia Sanders, So., Hockinson: Class 2A state champion in 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

• Andrea Young, So., Union: Placed ninth at 4A state in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle

Fall on stairs doesn't knock Cannon off podium

Trying to be quick almost cost Nikki Cannon a state title.

Scurrying down the stairs to assist her mother with the DVR, the Hudson’s Bay senior slipped. But the wrenched shoulder she suffered while breaking that fall didn’t derail Cannon’s push for another state championship.

Despite missing the final month of the season to rest her shoulder, Cannon capped her high school swimming career with a flourish. She captured her second consecutive championship in the 100-yard backstroke at the Class 3A state meet, recording a personal-best time of 56.65 seconds to beat in a tight race to capture the gold medal.

It was the fastest Cannon swam the backstroke since winning the 2009 state title in 57.09 seconds. Her narrow victory over Amanda Thatch from Kennedy — the lone state title won by a Clark County 4A or 3A swimmer — produced the highlight of a strong state meet for area swimmers, and made Cannon the choice for The Columbian’s All-Region girls swimmer of the year.

Cannon had posted a state-qualifying time prior to her injury, so she was eligible to race at state despite competing only on a relay at the district meet. She just wasn’t sure her shoulder would hold up through her final race. In fact, before surprising herself with a 57.8 in the preliminary round a day earlier, she wasn’t sure she could even qualify for the finals.

Once she was racing, she didn’t think about holding back.

“I didn’t really know how (the shoulder) would feel, but when I saw we were close at the halfway mark, I knew I had to pick it up,” Cannon said.

Cannon’s fast finish is a reflection of why high school swimming is special, even for those like her who are year-round club swimmers. It’s no fluke, she said, that her two fastest times in the 100 backstroke came at the high school state championships.

“The energy is so high, and it’s just a lot of fun,” Cannon said.

And her final race produced a memory she counts as her favorite of many swimming for Bay.

“After (winning state in) the backstroke, because there were a lot of ups and downs this season and my sister (Carly) came over and hugged me. It was a nice finale to everything.