Emma Chard and Sara Sachs are wasting no time in picking up where they left off for Foss. The junior swimmers, who have twice swam at the state meet, are already garnering numerous state times for the Falcons in the young season – the latest being two relay qualifying times in a 115-68 loss to North Thurston on Sept. 20.
“We went in there, we didn’t really expect to (get the state times),” said Sachs, who also has qualified for the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke individually. “Last year was our first state relay that we did really well at. This year I think we can make the ‘A’ final…and possibly do well in that.”
The duo teamed with senior Megan Ripley and junior Yana Kuloff to win the 200-yard medley in one minute and 57.73 seconds – less than a second below the qualifying time – and later won the 200-yard medley relay in one minute and 45.59 seconds.
“They’ve been really coming along,” said Foss head coach Matt Wood of his relay team. “That’s just after three meets and three weeks of practice, so they’re really not in shape…It’s pretty exciting to get (the state times) in the second week of the season. It kind of gets that monkey off our back and allows us to relax and have fun.”
Chard notched an impressive time of two minutes and 13.47 seconds in the 200-yard individually medley, and later swam the 100-yard breaststroke in one minute and 8.54 seconds – both times which would have placed in the top eight at the state meet last year.
“I just try to get out fast and stay the same speed,” said Chard, who has also qualified for the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle. “If I slow down I’ll get tired and won’t speed up – just try to stay fast.”
Sachs noted the vast improvement for the Falcons’ duo since their freshman year, when they swam at the state meet but did not yet have year-round training.
“Our freshman year we weren’t club swimmers and hadn’t had any experience like that,” Sachs said. “We were both way down near the bottom (at the state meet)…that definitely motivated us.”
The two are now members of the Tacoma Swim Club and swim year-round, with their eyes set on placing even higher at the state meet this season. Chard said her main focus will be the 100-yard breaststroke, while Sachs noted the 100-yard backstroke as her best event. Whatever the results the rest of the season, Wood sees the potential for some serious success down the road.
“Every year they’ve been dropping a ton of time,” Wood said. “It’s definitely exciting to see what will happen…they’re going to continue to get faster all the time.”