Photos by Greg McCorkle
Highline High Schools Megan Kawaguchi launches off the strating block for the 200 IM- Megan had the third fastest meet time. SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS

SLIDESHOW: Kennedy and Mt Rainier take top medals at WIAA State Finals

FEDERAL WAY--The aqua blue pool had the look of clear Caribbean waters, a nice feeling in contrast to the chilly air outside the complex. Inside the competition was hot.

Built for the 1990 Goodwill Games, the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way hosted the 2012 WIAA State 2A, 3A, and 4A Girls Swimming and Diving finals.

Qualifying schools from across the state of Washington came together in this state of the art aquatic center to compete for state titles in their respective divisions. Inside, if you’ve ever been to a swim meet, was the ever present fragrance of chlorine and that was a fragrance these girls like to wear. Student body and family members cheered as the athletes knifed though the clear waters and did acrobatic movements on the one meter board. The din subsided only for the start for each event.

Of the many local high schools competing, it was Kennedy Catholic and Mount Rainier High Schools who came away with honors.

In division 3A Kennedy Catholic’s Vanessa Moffatt took a fifth place finish in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57:58 seconds, Angela Gagliardo was eighth in the 100 breaststroke and the 400 freestyle relay team stood on the eighth place pedestal.

Kennedy’s highlight of the day happened when a petit diver by the name of Ashley Knox finished her high school diving career by winning the state 3A diving title with a score of 419, getting a score of 43.5 on her final attempt.

Knox commented, “It’s been an amazing four years and it feels good to be coming out on top. I’m really blessed with the coaches I’ve had but I wish I would have tied with my best friend."

Knox is considering attending the University of Colorado after graduation.

Kennedy ended the day with an 11th place in the state rankings. Other 3A finishers were Holy Names in 16th and Highline High School finished 22nd.

In division 4A Mount Rainier High School competed well. Emily Da Dalto placed fourth in the diving competition, Megan Kawaguchi stood on the third place podium for the 100 backstroke, and the 200 Freestyle Relay team is the best in the state, standing atop the winner’s platform with a time of 3:39.27.

Mount Rainier had the fourth best overall standing at the evening's end with 155 points.

Congratulations to all of the swimmers who made the long journey to the pinnacle of Washington State High School swimming and diving completion.

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