North County swimmers make waves at state

Camas and Hockinson both claim academic state championships

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Anna Panebianco made a big splash at her first high school state swimming meet, and so did three other Camas Papermakers.

Panebianco captured third place in the 3A championship finals of the 100-meter backstroke Saturday, at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way. The freshman finished with a personal best time of 59.92 seconds.

“That’s a swim where she really put her heart and soul into it,” said head coach Mike Bemis. “She had been trying to break that one-minute mark all season. For her to be able to do it at the right time and in the proper place is really outstanding.”

Panebianco, Gretchen Beyer, Ashlyn Price and Juliann Reed earned eighth place for Camas in the 200 medley relay, with a season best time of 1:56.77. Panebianco, Reed, Price and Brittany Worley took 14th place in the 400 freestyle relay, with a season best time of 3:57.09.

Price capped off her high school career as a district champion and a state finalist in the relays. It was the first state meet for sophomores Beyer and Worley. Reed returned as a junior.

“Those two relays came a long way for us in a short amount of time,” Bemis said. “It’s a testament to those five girls.”

Panebianco notched 11th place in the 50 freestyle (25.72), Reed grabbed 20th place in the 50 freestyle (26.78) and Price notched 22nd place in the 100 backstroke (1:06.23). After qualifying for her first state meet as a wild card, Alessandra Harms took 25th place in the 500 freestyle (5:52.23).

Swimmers from Battle Ground, Hockinson, Seton Catholic and Woodland also had strong state meets. These teams train and compete alongside Camas as part of the North County co-op program.

Hockinson’s Julia Sanders snatched 2A state championships in the 50 freestyle (23.72) and the 100 butterfly (56.29). Bailee Christensen clinched third place in the 100 backstroke (1:02.86). Sanders, Christensen, C.J. Schiller and Monica Krubeck led Hockinson to 11th place in the 200 medley (2:04.95) and the 400 freestyle (4:00.3) relay races.

Ada Beale of Seton Catholic clinched fourth place in the 200 individual medley (2:16.28) and 10th place in the 100 freestyle (56.18). Battle Ground’s Jamie Rogers finished 14th place in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.92). Woodland’s Maddie Green grabbed 14th place in the 100 backstroke (1:07.19).

The Camas and Hockinson girls swimmers were also rewarded for their efforts out of the pool and in the classroom.

The Papermakers shared the 3A academic state championship with Lakeside and Sedro Woolley. All three teams had a combined GPA of 3.72. The Hawks earned the 2A state academic title with a team GPA of 3.83.

“We are very proud of both of those awards,” Bemis said. “It shows that we have some very talented and bright girls swimming for us.”