Swimming is nothing new to McKelvey Brewer and Nadia Phelps. They’ve been doing that for years.
But swimming for a high school team is something different.
“I’m still learning all about high school swimming,” Brewer said. “I’m just trying to enjoy every new experience.”
Swimming at the state meet is definitely something new for Brewer and Phelps. Both will get that chance this weekend at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
But it also new for any swimmer representing the swim teams for Hudson’s Bay and Fort Vancouver high schools.
Brewer, a Vancouver School of Arts and Academics sophomore who swims for Hudson’s Bay, is the first Bay swimmer to compete at state since 2015. Phelps, a Fort Vancouver freshman, is the first Trapper to advance to state in more than a decade.
Brewer qualified for state with runner-up finishes in the 100-yard butterfly and 500 freestyle at last weekend’s district meet in Shelton. She is seeded sixth and ninth at state at those two events.
“I dropped two seconds off my best time in the butterfly and 10 seconds on my time in the 500 free,” Brewer said. “I’m hoping to go even faster this weekend. Swimming with faster swimmers also helps push me to go faster.”
Phelps placed fourth in the 500 free at district to advance to state. She is seeded 17th in the event at state, and the top 16 swimmers advance to Saturday’s championship and consolation finals.
“My whole goal at district was to finish in the top five to get to state,” Phelps said. “My goal now is advance to Saturday. It’s going to be hard, but I’m going to give it my best.”
Sarah Dunn, the coach for the Bay and Fort programs, said Brewer and Phelps have been invaluable to her effort to build the swim programs at both schools, not just because they are fast but because both have many years of club swimming experience.
This fall, Dunn’s second season as coach, the program had 12 swimmers from Fort and six from Bay.
“McKelvey and Nadia have been great with the other girls,” Dunn said. “We had girls who started back in August who could barely swim to the other end of the pool, and now they’re contending for state berths.”
The state meet runs Friday and Saturday in Federal Way. Jane Tewinkle of Columbia River is seeded seventh, right behind Brewer, in the 100 fly. Tewinkle is also seeded ninth in the 100 backstroke. Hockinson’s Paige Dangleis is seed ninth in the 100 breaststroke.
In the 4A meet, Union’s Annette Chang is seeded seventh in both the 50 and 100 free events. Camas’ Campbell Deringer is seeded ninth in the 100 breast.