Swimmers make splash at district

"Northwest District 3A meetTeam scores: 1. Jackson 237, 2. Meadowdale 228, 3. Anacortes 223, 10. South Whidbey 31 (14 teams total)Individual results200 individual medley: 1. Sturdy (Anacortes) 2:12.63, 2. Gerry (S. Whidbey) 2:16.2650 freestyle: 1. Pater (L. Stevens) 25.42, 11. Lawer (S. Whidbey) 28.3500 freestyle: 1. Gerry (S. Whidbey) 5:22100 backstroke: 1. Sturdy (Anacortes) 59.38, 13. Lawer (S. Whidbey) 1:12.81What South Whidbey High School girls swim team lacks in quantity, the make up for in quality.Consisting of just two swimmers, junior Domi Lawer and senior Ryanne Gerry, the team is one of just two Falcon sports that placed in the Northwest District this season. Gerry was an individual champion in the 500-yard freestyle at last week’s district meet in Anacortes, and teamed up with Lawer to post South Whidbey scores in the 50 freestyle, 100 backstroke, and the 200 individual medley. The performances earned the team 31 points and 10th place out of 14 teams, and sent Gerry on to this week’s state meet.This is only the second year South Whidbey has had a girls swim team. Gerry, a senior, and Lawer, a sophomore, started the team last year when their families moved into the school district. Because the school does not have a pool or a swimming coach, the pair swam with the Mariner High School team this year and last. But they were Falcons among Marauders, and at dual meets had to swim apart from the team they practiced with. This year, after two appeals to the the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association, the Falcon swimmer were allowed to score as part of the Mariner team during regular meets, something they say truly made them feel part of the larger team.Lawer and Gerry have a number of things to take pride in from this season. Their district times were the fastest of their careers, and they was able to be part of two successful swim teams thanks to the arrangement between South Whidbey and Mariner. But the biggest thrill of all came when students at South Whidbey High School put up a banner at homecoming recognizing the two-girl swim team.“This year we finally got recognition from our school,” Lawer said.It is safe to say that the girls have the longest way to go for practice and meets of all the athletes at South Whidbey. Every weekday, they get aboard a 2:30 p.m. ferry to start the drive to practice at Mariner. After two hours of practice, Lawer commuted back to the island. Gerry stayed for several more hours, doing a second practice with her Kirkland club team and working as an evening lifeguard at the pool.The time the pair put into travel and practice took its toll. Dinner always came late for them, and homework time usually came after 10 p.m. or before 7 a.m. And on meet days, well, forget about it.“It was, like, nonexistent,” said Lawer.While Lawer has two years of high school swimming left, Gerry gave her farewell state performance in the waters of the Federal Way Aquatics Center on Thursday and Friday. Ranked as one of the top distance freestylers in the state, she said she expects be be scouted by a number of college coaches. That, plus getting a shot at the state championship, set her eyes glittering with excitement as she talked about it this week.“My favorite part (of the season) is going to be this weekend, I’m sure,” Gerry said.Gerry said she is leaning toward going to school at Seattle Pacific University next year. Meanwhile, Lawer said she is looking for anyone who wants to join her little swim team next year. It’s not inconceivable that she will find one or two volunteers.“There are a lot of closet swimmers at school,” she said.Both swimmers will continue to swim with club teams throughout the rest of the school year."

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