FEDERAL WAY — Monica Bottelberghe walked into the Weyerhaeuser Aquatic Center wearing her older sister’s Nikes. She then proceeded to fill her shoes.
Two years ago, it was Jessica Bottelberghe who took first place in her event at the Class 3A State Swimming and Diving Championships. Saturday, Monica followed suit.
The Columbia River sophomore dominated the field in the 200-yard freestyle, winning by more than four seconds as she posted a personal best time of 1 minute, 50.55 seconds.
In doing so, Bottelberghe improved upon her second-place finish in the same event last year and set a standard for state championship races to come.
“I felt really good, really strong,” said Bottelberghe, whose sister left her sneakers behind when she took off to attend Boise State. “I was really happy with my day.”
Julia Sanders also was happy with her day. But the Hockinson junior usually is at the Class 2A state meet.
Sanders successfully defending her state titles in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.
Sanders won the 50 free in 23.72 seconds, improving her winning time from last season of 23.90. And she did the same in the 100 butterfly, winning in 56.29 seconds, an improvement from her 56.73 winning time in 2010.
Sanders’ victory in the butterfly was her third consecutive title. Sanders also won a state title in the 200 individual medley as freshmen, giving her six individual titles in three state meets.
Hockinson teammate Bailee Christenson jumped up from the No. 7 spot in qualifying to place third in the 100 backstroke. That helped Hockinson place 12th in the team standings with 80 points.
When Bottelberghe woke up Saturday morning, she was undefeated in the 200 and 100 freestyles on the season.
And even though she posted the fastest preliminary time in the 100, Bottelberghe was bested in the final by Anna Keane of Meadowdale.
Keane swam the event in 50.62 compared with Bottelberghe’s 51.16. But seeing how Bottelberghe recorded a personal best, she was still excited with her second-place result. Just not as excited as Keane.
“I was just happy to be close to her, let alone beat her,” said Keane, who, after the race, thanked Bottelberghe for pushing her. “It was a little bit of a surprise. She’s a big motivator for me, and I knew she was going to be very tough to beat.”
Camas freshman Anne Panebianco didn’t touch the wall first in any of her races Saturday, but she still walked away more than satisfied. After qualifying fifth, Panebianco took third place in the 100 backstroke, posting a time of 59.92 and breaking a minute for the first time in her life.
“That’s been a goal of mine for so long and now I’m so happy,” Panebianco said. “Now I can set even higher goals.”
Here’s how other local swimmers fared on Saturday:
CLASS 3A: Mountain View freshman Darya Samiee finished fifth in the 500 freestyle.
3A: Panebianco, Gretchen Beyer, Ashlyn Price and Julieann Reed took eighth place for Camas in the 200 medley relay.
2A: Seton Catholic’s Ada Beale placed fourth in the 200 individual medley, finishing in 2:16.28.
4A: Union’s Andrea Young placed fourth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.89.
4A: Union’s Felicia Williamson was sixth in the 100 freestyle (53.50).
4A: Young and Williamson teamed up with Megan Pollard and Alice Chang to finish sixth in the 200 free relay for Union.